Highlights of draft City of Unley 2018/19 Budget.

While limiting the likely rate increase to 2.8% (including a 0.3% allowance as our best guess as to what the China rubbish crisis may inflict on us), the City of Unley 2018/19 Budget is achieving great things for our community.

Balancing Budget

Council is embarking on some major projects. Projects that will benefit future generations of Unley. Given this and in keeping with our policy on Capital Works we will be taking out loans to fund the balance after some successful grant applications. By so doing they will have a minimal effect on the rate rise in the Unley 2018/19 Budget.

The proposed New Capital Projects total $8.321M net and include:

  • King William Road Streetscape project $2.25M, with a further $5.5M to be spent in 2019-20.
  • Implementation of the local area traffic management study for Parkside and Fullarton $215K.
  • Continued implementation of Council’s Cycling and Walking Plan. Year 3 totalling $180K, focussed on the King William Road intersection with Simpson Parade and King William Road from number 29 to Greenhill Road.
  • Unley Oval Grandstand upgrades. Includes Female Change Rooms, and accessible canteen area stage 1 of a 2 year project, with a total net cost of $1.5M.
  • Goodwood Grandstand. $1.8M for year 1 of a  2 year program, at a total cost of $3.6m.
  • Brown Hill Keswick Creek project of $1.5M.

Capital Replacement Program

The proposed Capital Replacement Program of $7.627m net has been based on current asset information and asset management plans. Items include:

  • $1.127M for the proposed road reseal program;
  • $1.041M for the footways renewal program;
  • $872K for drains and stormwater;
  • $883K for the Property Program; and
  • $493K for reserves, recreation and open space projects.

A copy of the Capital Replacement Program providing more detail can be found on pages 81 thru’ 91 of the Draft 2018-19 Annual Business Plan.

As I indicated in my recent blog you can contribute your thoughts on the inclusion of these projects in the City of Unley 2018/19 Budget.

City of Unley 2018/19 Budget ready for Public Input.

The City of Unley tomorrow night will consider and endorse the draft of the 2018/19 Budget for public input. You will then have an opportunity to review the presented projects and their impact on funding requirements.

It will be your chance to influence 2108/19 budget, the rates you will be paying, and what services you will receive for this. It is indeed your chance to show the new State Government that you would prefer to influence our budget rather than allow another tier of Government (with no empathy for your neighbourhood) do it for you.

Council is considering a rate increase of 2.5% resulting in new borrowings in the order of $5.277 m to deliver all proposed projects and maintain current service levels. Not yet included is any allowance for increased waste disposal costs on the 2018/19 Budget.

Not included is any impact resulting from China’s ban on foreign waste to determine how this will affect our recyclables contract. We are currently investigating the impact. I am not sure whether we will have enough information to include it tomorrow night. Once done though it will quantify any possible cost increases for the disposal of recyclables (yellow bin) so as to incorporate it in our final draft.

Community consultation on our 2018/19 Budget

Community consultation will occur between 26 April and 25 May 2018. It will include six (6) public meetings/community information sessions as shown below. Council will also receive submissions by visiting Council’s website (through Your Say Unley) or written submissions to PO Box 1, Unley 5061.

We will accept all submissions up until the close of business on 25 May 2018.

Location                                                      Date                                 Time

Goodwood Library                                        10 May                            10.30am – 11.30am

Clarence Park Community Centre            10 May                             6.30pm – 7.30pm

(How convenient for ratepayers residing in my Ward)

Unley Civic Centre                                        14 May                             6.30pm – 7.30pm

Living Choice Fisher Street                        17 May                             10.30am – 11.30am

Living Choice Fisher Street                        17 May                              6.00pm – 7.00pm

Unley Community Centre                         21 May                              10.00am- 11.00am

The Annual Community Plan which underpins the 2018/19 budget will be found on the Council website after the meeting. Highlights can be found in my separate blog which I expect to post on Tuesday.

Kaufland have confirmed their interest in the Anzac Highway Le Cornu Site

By presenting a development application Kaufland have confirmed their interest in the Anzac Highway Le Cornu site.

 

Anzac Highway LeCornu siteThey recently lodged a development application for “a new retail development”. The proposed development is only for the front 60% of the existing LeCornu site . A development that will include a major supermarket, a range of small tenancies and office space.

A development which will not contain any residential component. Accordingly the 5 storeys height allowed under the new development plan will not be reached.

Other developers will be offered the remaining eastern rear 40% in due course. When this happens it may well be a 5 storey development.

The State Commission Assessment Panel (SCAP) will determine the application and not Council.  Under the current planning laws we are allowed only a commentary role. We are limited to matters of direct involvement. Such matters as:

  • public realm improvements.
  • street trees.
  • stormwater.
  • traffic management.
  • waste management.
  • encroachments, or the like.

Our Administration will review the proposal.  In due course draft comments will be provided to Elected Members for our perusal and feedback before we submit them. We will then present them to SCAP.

Furthermore, the application will be subject to Category 2 public notification to adjacent properties. Notification will however be limited only to direct neighbours and property owners on the opposite side of the streets of the site within 60 metres of the boundaries of the site. Once the timing for Cat 2 notification is known, I will alert readers of this blog via my Facebook page.

In the meantime, I will seek audience with our administration so that I may view the detail of the proposal and offer assistance to Council’s input. I am aware of a number of concerns of near neighbours. I will ensure their concerns  are considered in our submission.

Please. How about a bit of Cycling Courtesy everyone, from both sides

There is a lot of angst out there still between drivers and cyclists. Both are people. I ask therefore for a bit of cycling courtesy from everyone.

Motorists have been incensed at the opportunities afforded cyclists. They believe cyclists are being given latitudes they don’t have. Not having to register their bikes and have number plates where drivers do.

absence of cycling courtesyCyclists, on the other hand, are mortified that motorists do not pay them the courtesy of being a road user with equal rights. This too has been highlighted in the media.

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Governments have been criticised for their efforts to improve road safety for cyclists. The infamous Frome Road infrastructure project is still condemned today. The City of Unley has had its share of criticism when people realised that our projects might appear to favour cyclists over motorists. The infrastructure changes at the intersection of Young Street and Porter Street is an example.

This all stems in my opinion from a lack of Cycling Courtesy. A lack of respect for each other.

My message to motorists. Cyclists are people too.

Cyclists deserve the respect of being a joint road user. They deserve respect as being someone who uses a mode of transport that is not only making them healthier but helping to make drivers healthier too. They deserve cycling courtesy.

My message to Cyclists. Time to for Cyclists to respect Drivers.

I must say too that it is time for many cyclists I have encountered in recent times to have respect for me. Respect for me as a driver. Respect for me as a pedestrian. Cycling Courtesy, in other words, works in the opposite direction as well.

A recent experience on Cromer Parade as a motorist, and other experiences lately as a pedestrian have left me with the conclusion that we all need to respect each other a whole lot more than we do currently. Accordingly that means cyclists need to start respecting motorists.

Driving west along Cromer Parade a  week or so ago and travelling at the designated speed limit I attempted to pass a cyclist travelling at half my speed in the same direction. The cyclist sped up as I started to overtake and moved to the centre of the road. This forced me to the other side of the road where I narrowly missed a collision with a parked car.

The cyclist jesticulated at me from the centre of the road as I passed. Another cyclist travelling a safe distance away in the opposite direction also gesticulated at me. Why? Perhaps for being on his side of the road for a while. Maybe because they felt I should not have overtaken the first cyclist. Perhaps I wonder because they believe they have more rights to be on that road than eye. I will never know.

Time too, for Cyclists to respect Pedestrians.

I also say too that it is time for many cyclists I have encountered in recent times to have respect for me as a pedestrian. I remind cyclists that pedestrians are also people. Like you with your experience with motorists we are at your mercy in that you not only are bigger and travel faster (your argument with drivers) but you are also silent.

I have experienced on a number of occasions near misses as a pedestrian. All from the rear.

This includes cyclists on the Greenways path through Black Forest and along the west side of the Showgrounds.  The underpass under the Goodwood Rail Station is another such frequent location(where they are meant to dismount). There are numerous other locations. I felt the wind of a cylcist earlier this year passing me from behind on the Torrens River Bridge on my way to Adelaide Oval. A bridge some 9 metres wide and I am walking about 1.5 m from the west handrail, only to feel the breeze as a silent cyclist traveling from behind at speed passed me.

Cyclists please recognised that you need to show the same respect as you are requesting from drivers.

My final message for all of us.

Whether you are a motorist or a cyclist please respect the fact that you are both people. People deserve respect. Motorists need to respect Cyclists. Cyclists, in turn, need to do the same in reverse. They also need to respect the pedestrian. Because pedestrians too are people.

Let us all show some cycling courtesy and start respecting each other rather than bitching about other respecting us. Give respect. Earn respect.

But…. People are People.

 

 

I Invite You to Take the Pledge and Win

The City of Unley has a program I invite you to participate in. It is called “take the pledge and win”.

The take the pledge and win campaign is a strategy we have undertaken to reduce the amount of organic and recyclable waste going into landfill. By entering you can win both ways….we can both win.

I had the pleasure yesterday to tour many recycling facilities courtesy of a joint venture between Council and KESAB. An Unley Community bus with about 15 ratepayers aboard toured the following establishments:

  •  Electronic Recycling Australia, Underdale (electronics recyclers).
  • VISY (yellow-lidded recycling bins).
  • Adelaide Resource Recovery (demolition recyclers).
  • Jeffries, Wingfield (transfer station for green-lidded organics bins).
  • IWS ( blue-lidded bins).

For me the tour was truly informative and appreciated. The ratepayers who took the tour were also appreciative. They asked many reasoned questions at each establishment, and of our KESAB host Wendy Sutton while in transit. Seeing the facilities in action gave us all an appreciation of the efforts being made by our waste industry to avoid the costly disposal into landfill.

Waste disposal is truly a science now. Consequently the industry has come a long way at reducing the impact of waste on our environment. Councils, including Unley, have been conscious of taking advantage of this. As a result contracts let for waste disposal have to meet exacting environmental targets.

You can participate too. Indeed we ask you to participate so that you and I can both win. So our future generations can win.

This is where our “take the Pledge” program comes in. To ensure we all do win we are, in partnership with Mitre 10 Barrow & Bench, we are offering a way you can win twice. Once you make the pledge you will go into a draw to win one of 10 $25.00 gift cards.

For details visit: https://www.unley.sa.gov.au/waste-recycling/reducing-waste#hash-slide-take-the-pledge-233 and make your pledge today.

 

 

What is the best use of the Forestville Hockey Field after they leave?

Residents around the Goodwood Oval will be aware of the pending move of the Forestville Hockey Club away from the Forestville Hockey Field at Goodwood Oval. Others, not so close to the Oval, may not.

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The Club is set to move to the Women’s Memorial Playing Fields at Ayliffes Road, St Mary’s. For those not aware, they were recipients of the big spend by the previous Government during the recent State Elections.

Rather than wait for the shift from the Hockey Field to occur I believe we should start talking now about how we might use the field when they shift. Now is the time for our community to have a deep and meaningful conversation. A conversation that will allow a seamless move from the old use to the new.

Jennie moved a motion at the February Council meeting that I seconded to to allow for a public consultation to be included in next year’s budget. You don’t have to wait until then however to participate in the conversation.

Goodwood Saints LogoI say that because the Cricket Club has already communicated a desire to use the Hockey Field for junior sport. The Football Club will no doubt see a similar opportunity.

Unley United Soccer Club, who train on the Hockey Field during winter, may also see an opportunity. Tennis SA likewise may see an opportunity to extend their courts to provide deeper backdrops. Discussions I have had with them suggest otherwise but?

Hmmmmm! Any incursion by the clubs may not necessarily be a bad thing however. It may open the main oval up for the general public.

Jennie & I would love to hear from everyone who wishes to participate in the conversation from as early as now. We don’t need to wait on our administration to gear up for consultation to commence talking.

Planning Process Pains Perpetuated in Fullarton

A sitting of Unley’s Council Assessment panel last night saw how Planning Process Pains Perpetuate. This was in evidence with the approval of a 2-storey development on the corner of Culross Avenue and Fullarton Road.

Approved Development for Culross Avenue and Fullarton Road.

Neighbouring residents turned up on mass to protest a development proposed for that site. They left disillusioned by the Planning Process.

Several neighbours made verbal representations, backing up their written submissions. Unley MP David Pisoni, likely to be the planning minister in the new Government, also made representation.

The Panel approved the development. They did so because the application because it was not significantly at variance to the development plan. This was much to the dismay of the gallery.

Much of their dismay centred on understanding that development plans are not prescriptive, but a guideline. They felt that a minimum in the plan should be just that, a minimum.

Planning is not an exact science. This can even confuse those in the industry.

Opportunity missed in the Planning Process

Most of their dismay centred however in an arena they had control over a few years back. Last year this section of Fullarton Road was rezoned. The then Planning Minister signed off, as part of the planning process, on a development plan amendment.

Residents had an opportunity some 4 to 5 years ago to make representation at this stage of the planning process. Back then there was a proposal to alter our development plan to contribute to the Governments 30-year plan.

Not many did, unlike those in the west. The people in the west turned up in force to protest the changes. More to the point they were successful.

Back then, Jennie & I doorknocked all affected residents in Black Forest. We did so to ensure they received and understood the advice provided them by Council. We found many had not bothered to check the mail. Many also did not understand the potential impact on their neighbourhood. Our mentoring helped them, obviously with contrasting results to what happened in Fullarton.

Ultimately the DPA was split into two. The east was approved by the minister with the west left to be argued later (indefinitely).

This has resulted in a development approved that may not have been contemplated had the east been as informed and proactive as the west obviously was. One of many to come, one suspects.

Time to make sure our Credit Card policy is working as it should.

After the recent media interest, it is time to make sure our Credit Card policy is working as it should. This is the recommendation of our Audit & Governance Committee.

As I indicated in my first blog on this topic, Unley has a written policy on the use of credit cards.

It is not however a Credit Card policy. Accordingly, it is the Corporate Purchase Card Policy.

First of all, we only issue credit cards to officers who regularly minor purchases. Most of all, elected members aren’t. 

We introduced the use of corporate credit cards in 2013. We did this in response the growing on-line supply market and to business demand for an efficient procurement options at local stores. Due also, to transacting with stores that do not offer business accounts.

Credit cards are a low cost and efficient procurement option for low value, low risk purchases. Consequently, the use of credit cards has resulted in a decrease in the use of petty cash, which is a less transparent process.

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As at the 30 June 2017, Council had issued 30 cards to employees, and their use last financial year was about 2% of total expenditure.

The review will assess the following:

  • the operational business need for credit cards.
  • the level of cards issued.
  • current policies and procedures.
  • record keeping practices.
  • appropriateness of expenditure incurred.
  • level of internal controls required.

The review will therefore identify improvement opportunities in use, policies, systems, reporting and supply management. 

In addition to this review, mandatory educational sessions will be held for for staff to re-educate them about appropriate use and their obligations as cardholders. 

The internal audit report will be presented to the next meeting in May 2018 of the Audit & Governance Committee.

CONCLUSION

The aim of the audit of our Credit Card policy will be to provide a clear picture of areas for improvement, process controls, access to policies and the use of reporting tools to continually review and monitor use. 

Now that the dust has settled on the State election it is now time to turn our attention to Local Government

Congratulations to Jayne Stinson on being elected as the member for Badcoe and to David Pisoni on being returned in the seat of Unley. I look forward to working with you both to better our local community.

Councillor, Clarence Park Ward. City of Unley.

Now that the dust has settled on the State election it is now time to turn our attention to Local Government. Yes! Council elections are scheduled for November this year.

It is my intention to put my hand up again. I will be looking to continue as one of your two Clarence Park Ward Councillors.

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Why Councillor? Why not Mayor?

Many people have asked me in recent times to run for Mayor, which is certainly flattering. I believe however my true value to council and to its ratepayers is to focus on being a Ward Councillor.

The elections will see a significant turnover of elected members. Two members, one being the Mayor, have already resigned. Two other councillors have announced that they will not be renominating. A fifth is considering his future.

Five of 13 positions on Council will therefore see a change of member.

Two, maybe three, of our current membership are considering running for Mayor. Given anyone losing the Mayoral race will not be on Council this means a turnover of 7 out of the 13 positions. If I were to run for mayor too the change will lift to 8, 9 if an outsider won the Mayoral race.

Change is usually healthy. It is good to see change after each council election. New ideas, new perspective, new energy etc. If the extent of change is excessive however this can be unsettling.

This is because the learning curve when stepping into the elected member role is extreme. New members therefore need time to settle in.

Running for Mayor, with so many others considering it, would increase this risk.

Please Minister, Follow Unley’s Lead

As the government tries to take the lead on Planning Reform I implore them to follow Unley’s lead.

 

The Department of Planning, Transport & Infrastructure (DPTI), on behalf of the Minister, wrote to us late last year. They put a proposition to us  to co-operate with them as they push ahead with the Government’s planning agenda.

In attempting to take the lead on planning reform they have asked councils to collaborate with them. They are asking us to sign a formal agreement to work with them. An agreement intended as a living document that will adapt as things evolve and change. An agreement recognising the need for a more “formal” elected member involvement and direction.

I implore them to simply follow Unley’s lead. They have agreed with Unley’s approach to good design but this has yet to occur in other council areas.

This week our City Strategy & Policy Committee will be making a recommendation to Council in response to the Government’s request. I expect the committee (of which I am a member) and indeed council to agree to work with them. To facilitate the efficient and effective development and implementation of the new planning system, the co-operation and contribution of local government is pivotal.

In a spirit of continued co-operation and as an investment in better “local” outcomes, a genuine commitment to involvement is warranted. However, this must work both ways.

They (DPTI) need to recognise our understanding of the local environment. They need to follow Unley’s lead. Furthermore, other councils need to follow Unley’s lead.

We have already, with a series of DPAs, achieved the population accommodation required by the Government’s 30-year plan. We achieved this with selective rezoning. It has been achieved with planning principles for transitioning to adjacent residential zones not achieved anywhere else.

Please Minister, whoever you may be after the upcoming election, follow Unley’s lead.