There is no end in sight to DPA’s as the Minister makes announcement

There is no end in sight to DPA’s as the Minister announced today that he has been listening to us. Demonstrating this he has announced two DPA’s pertinent to the City of Unley.

I attended on behalf of the City of Unley.

Minister Rau explained that he has been listening. He accepts he and indeed the City of Prospect have failed to provide quality developments along Churchill Road.

I heard him to say that good design is not all about getting the maximum financial result from a development. Good development must relate to its neighbourhood.

This has been the core of what we have tried to achieve here at Unley. We can all take great heart that we have led the way toward better design outcomes.

What has been learnt has been incorporated into a new “Inner & Middle Metropolitan Corridor (Design) Development Plan Amendment”.In so doing he is recognising the work that the City of Unley put into it’s corridor plan and more recently into the Unley Central DPA.

Much of the DPA focuses on the interface with surrounding suburban residential zones  and the street interface. It addresses too, environmental issues.

It would appear on the face of it that this is being incorporated in to the other DPA relevant to Unley. That is the “Inner & Middle Metropolitan Corridor (Sites) Development Plan Amendment”, which is the subject of another blog.

Both DPA’s are open for public consultation as of tomorrow. Submissions are required by 25 July. A public information session has been set for City of Unley participants on 22 June between 4.00 pm and 6.30 pm. It will be held at the Latvian Hall, 4 Clark Street Wayville.

I encourage all who have shown an interest in the recent series of DPA’s to take the opportunity to look at this one, and take part in the consultation.

Sorrybut there is no end in sight to DPA’s.

 

Retired: so more time for Council…..well more time for family and self.

The purpose of the blog is to announce I am retiring in my day job as a building inspector. I will therefore also be closing my business Reliable Home Inspections.

It means more time for Council. Well more time for family and self.

Cr Don Palmer
Clarence Park Ward
City of Unley

On Easter monday, a week before my 65th Birthday, I had what doctors call an unconscious fall. The fall occurred while delivering the current issue of the Clarence Park Ward newsletter. The newsletter is a popular method of communicating to our ratepayers (Jennie & I) what is happening on the Council front.

I fell on East Avenue over a low brick fence and found myself hurting in the rib, wondering if anyone had seen the fall. The fall resulted in 2 broken ribs.

Concerned that I may have suffered a heart attack or a stroke doctors have put me through a series of tests to ensure I had not suffered either. Yesterday I was given the all clear on both fronts.

We still however don’t know what happened. Given my day job involves working at heights and given I now qualify for the pension I have decided the time therefore is right to retire.

This means more time for Council.

Well actually with the time I put into Council now it means I can put more time into two more important areas of my life. Firstly my family including my Wife, my Dad, my Kids and my Grandkids. Oh how I look forward to more time with the grandkids.

And more time for self. Yes! Time to play some sport. Both the Millswood Croquet Club and Bowls Club have prompted me in the past to join them. I simply did not have time. Now I do and to exercise more, build my fitness back to decent levels.

It will mean more time for Council. With no work to get in the way I should be able to respond to your concerns with more energy. So my retirement should work to your benefit.

 

Outcomes from 2017 LGA Ordinary General Meeting

Acting on behalf of our Mayor, as your Deputy Mayor, I attended last months LGA Ordinary General Meeting. A number of initiatives were passed for action by the LGA.

Below is a summary from LGA President Lorraine Rosenberg on the outcomes from the LGA Ordinary General Meeting.

It was fantastic to catch up with many of you at our 2017 Council Best Practice Showcase and Ordinary General Meeting (OGM) in Adelaide last month.

Some of the key outcomes that came out of our OGM included member councils asking the LGA to:

  • Request an update from the State Government about the Waste to Resources Fund, and how much of the money in this fund has been reinvested in waste management programs.
  • Consult with councils as to whether to lobby DPTI to review the Australian Road Rules relating to the provision of legal parking of vehicles on nature strips.
  • Propose a partnership with the Electoral Commission to pilot electronic voting in the 2018 Local Government elections.
  • Undertake a public campaign to advocate for the deregulation of liquor licensing to allow for small bars across South Australia.
  • Investigate whether there is sufficient evidence across local government to declare high speed high capacity broadband to be a utility, defined as an essential infrastructure service to achieve the goal of universal coverage.
  • Lobby the State Government to resource the Office of the Coordinator General to coordinate public infrastructure works between the State Government, councils and public utility providers.
  • Explore business models that could be used by the local government sector to manage commercial operations in order to offset the cost of council services for our community.
  • Investigate ways in which access and inclusion is approached by councils, and assist in making this approach consistent across the sector where possible.
  • Advocate to the State Government for the establishment of a Climate Change Adaptation fund that could be accessed by the sector.
  • Work with ALGA, Federal and State Government, and local universities to establish a national centre for local government innovation, research and development in Adelaide.

These motions will help form a key part of our advocacy agenda for the coming year, as we represent councils to both ratepayers and other spheres of government.

Draft minutes from the meeting are available to download from our website.

Take Advantage of Council’s Community Event Sponsorship Program

Calling all event makers, shape shifters, trail blazers, dreamers and doers – Apply now!

We are calling for event organisers, entrepreneurs and community groups to apply for funding of up to $6000 to host a community event under our Community Event Sponsorship Program.

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Apologies for not getting this out sooner. I have been preoccupied since Easter with health issues.

The Council’s Community Event Sponsorship Program is part of a suite of initiatives to encourage our community. It aims to assist individuals and groups to coordinate exciting and innovative events. Events that directly benefit the people and businesses in the Unley community. To keep add to what is happening now and keep Unley Alive.

Council supports festivals and events of all sizes. Projects that inject vibrancy into our public spaces and main streets and provide significant economic and cultural benefits for the community.

We’re encouraging applicants to think outside the box. To come up with some creative and fun ways Unley locals and the wider community can celebrate together.

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I would love to see some applications coming in for us to support events with the likes of the following:

  • Beer and Donut Festival recently held in Melbourne, or
  • Adelaide’s popular Alpine Village or Royal Croquet Club,
  • something during the Fringe, or
  • how about an Unley/Australia Ninja Warrior, or some world record attempts.

GRANT DETAILS

Applications for the City of Unley community Event Grants are NOW OPEN and close at 5pm on Friday 30 June.

Event organisers can apply for sponsorship for up to 3 years, from one of three tiers:

Up to $6000 sponsorship and in-kind support for large-scale events attracting more than 1000 people;
Up to $4000 sponsorship and in-kind support for medium-scale events attracting between 200-1000 people; or
Up to $2000 sponsorship and in-kind support for small-scale events attracting between 50-200 people.

What do you want from Council

What do you want from Council in the next 12 months or even the next 4 years.

We are asking you to help us prioritise what Council does for you in the next 12 months and beyond. The first step was for us to prepare a draft Community and Business Plan, and accompanying budget for next year, which we have now done.

You have had and many of you have taken opportunity previously to help and guide us to design our individual programs.

The next step is for you to provide your input into how we should prioritise the many programs we have or envisage. We would dearly love to hear from you. Check out this video and be stimulated into giving us your thoughts as to how we should prioritise the many things we do.

For more detail and an opportunity to respond check the links below which from part of our Have Your Say webpage.

Draft Annual Business Plan and Budget 2017 – 2018

This sets out the program we expect to conduct over the next twelve months, including the budget.

Draft Community Plan and 4 Year Delivery Plan 2018 – 2021.

We have taken the opportunity to review our Community Plan. This review coincides with the development of a new 4 Year Delivery Plan which provides focus for priority in program delivery.

How to provide comment
Have your say by:

  • Providing feedback online at Your Say Unley
  • Sending a written submission to The City of Unley, PO Box 1, Unley SA 5061

Hard copies of the draft plans are available from the Unley Civic Centre, 181 Unley Road, Unley.

Public Meetings
Our staff will be available to discuss the draft plans with you at the following public information sessions:

  • Monday 15 May, 10.30 – 11.30am. Goodwood Library, 101 Goodwood Road, Goodwood
  • Tuesday 16 May, 2 – 3pm. Fullarton Park Community Centre, 411 Fullarton Road, Fullarton
  • Wednesday 24 May, 5.30 – 6.30pm. Unley Civic Centre, 181 Unley Road, Unley

So! What do you want from Council?

 

Unley’s Village Green. Where to from here

The Unley Village Green has been saved from redevelopment. This was one of the many results of the final Unley Central DPA decision made recently .

The Village Green was the centre or focus of much debate during the recent Unley Central DPA public consultation. Many a resident living near the Village Green were aghast at the prospect that the Village Green could be built on sometime in the future. Whilst this was not being considered by Council as owner of the property I can understand where the concern emanated.

Our DPA documentation was poor. Without question it gave rise to those concerns. It was an example of a communication faux paus. This is something that Council has been guilty of a number of times. Something for which I have been pursuing a change for some time now. That is not the point of this blog however.

Although the Village Green has been protected from any interference as a result of the decision made it has brought into focus the very existence of the Village Green. The question now is Unley’s Village Green. Where to from here.

The SOS Village Green group is asking just that. They are keen to put the same question to Council.

It is great to see them being so proactive. When the citizens of a community are proactive you can bet the community is a strong community.

Consequently SOS Village Green have created a survey monkey for all with an interest to contribute their thoughts. It can be accessed at the following link.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/unleyvillagegreen

The survey prompts a number of thoughts for the cottages and the current green area itself. These prompts are not unlike some that I promoted during the Unley Central DPA debate.

If you have a similar passion to the members of SOS fill out the survey. The question they are asking is Unley’s Village Green. Where to from here. Hence the question I put to you is do you want to contribute to that conversation.

Using Loan Funding for Capital Works and Replacement

Council has long had a policy of using loan funding for Capital Works and Replacement. Doing so spreads the burden of capital expenditure over current and future rates.

Following on from my post introducing this years budget, if you look deeply into this years draft budget you will see that we are planning to have $15.7m of loans outstanding as at June 2018. This is $ 1.0m more than predicted for June 30 this year.

Our capital expenditure will actually grow by $ 3.5m during the next twelve months.

Most of this will be to fund our contribution to the Brownhill Creek Flood Mitigation Scheme. Part will be to fund the upgrade of the Goodwood Oval Grandstand. Part to provide detailed concept (project shovel ready) plans for the Goodwood Oval and Millswood Sport Grounds improvement plan. The Unley Oval improvement plan and the King William Road master plan will also be funded this way.

Whilst committing funds to these projects we will be paying back our current loans to the tune of $ 2.5m.

Loans of such magnitude can be frightening to some not personally used to loans of this size, including elected members. Having said that I remember when I first secured a home loan I could borrow 7 times my annual wage. Using that formula Council could conceivably borrow $ 280m.

That said this will not ever happen. We have a commitment to borrow no more than 80% of our net operating revenue (or approx $ 32m on today’s revenue).

Some might also suggest that we should not penalise future generations by burdening them with “such high” loans. If you have the cash to do this that is a reasonable observation.

The only way we could do this would be to increase the rates. If we did this to fund just $ 1.0m of capital expenditure we would need to increase rates in the order of 2.5%, nearly as much again as what we are currently proposing this year.

Council will continue therefore with a policy of using loan funding for Capital Works and Replacement.

DRAFT 2017-18 ANNUAL BUSINESS PLAN AND BUDGET OUT FOR CONSULTATION

Before Council settles on it’s 2017-18 Annual Business Plan and Budget we are looking for your input.

At last night’s Full Council Meeting we moved and approved that:

1. The report be received.
2. The proposed list of net Operating Projects of $1.232 m be endorsed for community consultation.
3. The proposed list of net New Capital of $3.790 m be endorsed for community consultation.
4. The proposed list of net Capital Replacement of $7.445 m be endorsed for community consultation.
5. The Draft 2017-18 Annual Business Plan and Budget be endorsed for the purpose of community consultation, to be conducted between 3 May and 26 May 2017.
6. The Chief Executive Officer be authorised to make any necessary minor edits required for consistency or clarity to the Draft 2017-18 Annual Business Plan and Budget, if required.
7. The community consultation process outlined in the report be endorsed.

I encourage you to examine the 2017-18 Annual Business Plan and Budget so that you may become familiar with what we are proposing. Tell us what you believe we should be doing; what services we have not included you believe we should include, those services we have included but you believe are not required; or what should be modified

The 2017-18 Annual Business Plan and Budget can be found here at page 19, item 832: It provides detailed information regarding the:

• proposed projects to be undertaken
• services provided by Council to the community,
• resources required by the City of Unley to deliver the services and projects, and
• funding required (proposed rates increase and estimated borrowings).

To deliver all proposed projects and maintain current service levels. We will require a rate increase of 2.8% and new borrowings in the order of $3.4 m

Please take the opportunity to examine the 2017-18 Annual Business Plan and Budget and provide us your observations.

Watch out for invitations to examine and observe in the following:

Advertising in the Eastern Courier Messenger

• Online consultation on Your Say Unley

• Notification on Council’s website with appropriate links to the Draft Annual Business Plan and Your Say Unley

• Advertising in the Unley Life Column

• Development of a video for social media and website (This is page 22 of the Council Agenda Reports for 24 April 2017)

Further, why not attend one of three public meetings/community information sessions. Timing is proposed as follows:

Goodwood Library 15 May 10.30am- 11.30am

Fullarton Park Community Centre 16 May 2 pm – 3 pm

Civic Centre 24 May 5.30pm – 6.30pm

Why would we provide a subsidy to Business

The question “why would we provide a subsidy to business” is resonating in the media today. This repeats a question asked by elected members at our last meeting. We debated then whether to accept a request for grant funding by the Hyde Park Tavern.

Hyde Park Tavern The Tavern’s application for grant funding was partially successful. Council voted 7-5 in favour of grant funding of $10,000. They had requested funding for half the budgeted cost of $ 70,000 for the project.

Debate on the night was lively. Many elected members I suggest argued that we are not and should not be in business to subsidise business. That is true. I agree.

The project however for which funding was requested and approved was to create an outdoor dining area. An outdoor dining area, not on their land, but on council land.

I believe those who supported the grant recognised that this business was prepared to invest in improving “our” infrastructure”. In other words it is a case not of a subsidy to business but supporting businesses who wish to contribute to improve the amenity of the neighbourhood in which they operate.

Why would we provide a subsidy to Business. I say because they are prepared to invest in their community. Because this will improve the environment in King William Road. And because this will be  a welcome forerunner to the redevelopment of King William Road north of the Tavern.

Council has been looking for some time now to reinvest in King William Road just north of the Tavern. We are currently redeveloping Goodwood Road in similar fashion. Businesses in both strips will benefit from any such redevelopment. In these cases no business will be asked to put their hand in their pocket to assist in funding the redevelopment of our infrastructure.

At Goodwood Road this means that businesses such as Gingers, Boulangerie, Goodwood Bakehouse, Two Sisters, the Capri will potentially benefit from the work we are currently doing. What about the businesses on King William Road north of the Tavern. How many of them will benefit? Should they be asked to contribute to those projects.

We should be thankful that the Hyde Park Tavern is prepared to undertake redevelopment of Council’s infrastructure. Such development makes for a thriving and more vibrant city. A thriving business district is an essential component of a desirable neighbourhood.

Council: More than roads, rates & rubbish. Provider also of Community Grant Funding.

Are you aware that Council assists Community groups to provide the services they do? Community Grant Funding is one of many services most ratepayers do not know is provided by Council. 

Council provides Community Grant Funding to improve the quality of life of our residents. It is made available to community based groups and organisations or to individuals on behalf of such a group.

Community Grant Funding is an opportunity for Council to support programs that can be run more economically by others. An opportunity also to fund projects not being provided by Council.

$ 73,150.00 is set aside in our current budget for Community Grant Funding. As part of this funding up to $4,000 per project is available for programs in the following categories:

recreation;

art and culture;

community;

community health and wellbeing; and

environment.

There are two ways for an applicant to be eligible for funding. They must be either located within or providing services to the residents of the City of Unley.

The receipt of funding for many groups is the maker or breaker of whether or not their project proceeds. Consequently this is a popular program to those that know of it.

Two opportunities are available each year for grant funding. A current round of applications is being assessed right now by a committee (including myself). We will recommend to Council who we believe warrant Community Grant Funding and how much is appropriate for each. Council will determine who ultimately qualifies at it’s May Council meeting.

Like Community Grant Funding for Your project?

Do you have a project in mind that you would appreciate the assistance of Community Grant Funding in the future? If you do, I suggest you contact our administration for advice on how to apply for it. Contact either Matthew Ives on 8372 5134 or Pam Hocking on phone 8372 5108.