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.

The extended use of the lighting at Goodwood Oval confuses Grandstand consultation

Hopefully a development application for the extended use of the lighting at Goodwood Oval does not hinder the Grandstand Redevelopment.

 

A development application for extended use of the lighting at Goodwood Oval has been submitted to Council. The timing of this application by the Goodwood Saints Football Club is poor. It will run concurrently with the consultation on the new Goodwood Oval Grandstand.

This is therefore not healthy, and I suggest poor timing by the Goodwood Saints.

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

First of all, public consultation on the Grandstand is essential to achieving good design. As a result we look to our community to contribute to the design and to take ownership of the design.

Extended use of the lighting is a totally separate project. The Development Regulations deem this as development.

It requires public notification, in this case a category 3 notification. Hence public involvement in this process is not one of contributing to the final design. It is one of representing (positively or negatively) on the suitability of a predetermined design by the applicant. Cat 3 notifications means anyone can submit a representation to the Panel.

Our Council Assessment Panel (CAP) will assess the application. The Regulations require this.

This is not just a social issue. It is an infrastructure issue. Council itself will be providing a submission to the CAP. This will focus on the Oval’s ability to handle any extra use resulting from the extended use of the lighting.

 

Clashing with the Grandstand Consultation

With the history of opposition to the extended use of the lighting, the application is surely poorly timed.

It has the potential to cause a backlash on the Goodwood Oval Grandstand design. My earlier blog expands on what we are looking to achieve together on the Grandstand. The extended use of the lighting is a what do you think about this.

Hence I implore anyone wanting to have a say to separate the two. My earlier blog focuses on the Grandstand redevelopment.

You can provide a submission on either or both. Therefore, your choice.

Seeking Your Feedback on Goodwood Oval Grandstand

Council is seeking your feedback on draft designs we have recently developed for the new Goodwood Oval Grandstand. After consultation with the footy and cricket clubs to ensure we have captured their needs, we now seek your input.

As everyone knows, we received Government funding late last year. Their contribution added to our own commitment and the contribution of the clubs and the SANFL.

This therefore means the project will proceed. That is a non-negotiable.

What we need now is to develop and refine the concept designs. To ensure the new facility fits in with the local environment we look forward to the contribution from the wider community. Seeking your feedback will assist the final design.

Discussions I have had neighbours have identified a couple of suggestions that I believe will improve the design. Both aesthetically and functionally. A question has also been raised as to the availability of function area to the community. Another whether the change rooms might be available to others who may hire the oval. I like that too.

Please contribute. Your input may prove to be just as helpful. You can help by going to our have your say website.

At the same time, we are seeking further input from the SANFL and the AFL. They have made observations that will positively impact on the size and cost of the project. Such observations as the number of toilets can be reduced and physio space likewise reduced.

Extended Use of Lighting

Hopefully a development application before council for extended use of lighting by the Goodwood Saints Football Club will not detract from helping us achieve the best design.

The lighting use has nothing to do with this consultation. Council, must under the Development Regulations, process this application. Our Council Assessment Panel will assess the application.

Please do not mix the two. We need your feedback to the grandstand design. If you have an interest in the lighting please refer to my separate bog.

 

It’s all go with the Goodwood Oval Grandstand with Council signing off.

It’s all go with the Goodwood Oval Grandstand with Council signing off on the State Government’s grant.

Council unanimously accepted the following motion on Monday night. It’s all go with the Goodwood Oval Grandstand as a result.

In my opinion this is great news for the western Unley community.

The Goodwood Oval Precinct is utilised well by the community. The Goodwood Saints Football Club and the Goodwood Roos Cricket Club are a big part of this. Both are leaders in their respective fields.

With the activity that exists, the facility deserves better than the current accommodation .

As acting presiding member in the absence of our Mayor, I was unable to move or contribute to the debate. It turned out that this was not needed. Your elected members were strong in their belief on the way forward.

For the Grandstand

The decision means that we can now move from the concept drawings we have now to detailed drawings. Council will work with the Department of Sport & Recreation and continue to work with the clubs to make to that end. Our community will be engaged as part of this process to.

The motion recommended by our administration was amended on the night to accept a 2-storey solution. Members were of a similar view to the clubs as to which model best suited, not only the clubs needs, but the community at large.

For Tennis Lighting and Millswood Croquet

While it’s all go with the Goodwood Oval Grandstand, the motion also endorses both of these projects.

The focus is to secure additional outside funding for both. This is needed as we have redirected the funding we allocated for these projects to the Grandstand to secure the State Government Grant.

To secure outside funding more work will be needed on the concept designs to ensure it is fit for purpose and affordable.

More than just a new Grandstand

The recent announcement in the fight for the seat of Badcoe of a $ 2.5 million State Government grant to Council is about more than just a new Grandstand. It is much more.

Locals are aware of the push by the candidates of both the major parties’ candidates for a new Grandstand at Goodwood Oval. From a Council perspective it is about much more than just a new Grandstand.

Tennis World (Goodwood Oval) Millswood

As evidenced by many posts on this blog site, Council has been working on a master plan for the Goodwood/Millswood Precinct for some time. Since that initial public consultation, we have had extensive consultations with the clubs.

Balancing the needs of clubs on both sides of the Seaford Rail Line has been a challenge. We recently determined the priorities from the many opportunities identified for the precinct.

Millswood Croquet Club

Before talking Goodwood Oval, we have identified a priority need to provide a new club room for the Millswood Croquet Club. Readers of this blog may remember me publically expressing previously the opinion that the current club room is a death trap. So, a new club room (some 245 m2 compared to the current 145 m2) is proposed.

Funding for the projects will now have to be re-sourced. We allocated $ 1.2 m for all works in the precinct. Allocating $ 1.0 m of this to the grandstand will leave a hole in the funding bucket.

Even for Goodwood Oval it is more than just a new Grandstand. Three projects have been identified for Goodwood Oval. Outside the Grandstand we also have identified the need to:

  • Upgrade the Tennis SA court lighting. This project is designed to prevent light spillage from the tennis courts to surrounding houses and the streets.
  • Provide a community area complete with access pathways in the north-western corner of the Oval surrounds. This should encourage more people to use this part of the precinct.

All the options, more than just a new grandstand, will be considered at our next Council meeting, tomorrow night.

 

Devastating blow across the bow in the fight for Badcoe

A win for the Labor Candidate for Badcoe, Jayne Stinson. Armed with a 900 plus signature petition, she has successfully lobbied her party to back her campaign to upgrade the Goodwood Oval Grandstand.

Goodwood Oval Grandstand

The State Government’s announcement today of providing funding to Council for improvements to the Goodwood Oval and Millswood Sporting Complex is, I suggest, profound. For the Liberals, this is surely a devastating blow across the bow in the fight for Badcoe.

The Liberals and their candidate (our Mayor), Lachlan Clyne have had the rug pulled out from under them. This the Government has done, by promising the funds now. Yes! To be paid now, prior to the election. A commitment that cannot be undone after the election. A commitment I find hard to see the Liberals matching.

This is welcome news to the City of Unley’s western community. That is subject to any conditions we are unaware of. Readers of this blog would be aware of the work Council has done on master planning of this precinct. You would also be aware of my efforts to ensure the best possible result for our community.

Jayne Stinson, entertained by Goodwood Saints President Craig Scott.

Looking back, I am happy that I took an early and ongoing leadership role in promoting (through the upcoming State election) the project as one warranting State Government grant funding. After introducing the project to Jayne Stinson as soon as she gained preselection back in March, I took the opportunity to introduce her to the Presidents of the Sporting Clubs. Their subsequent conversations have reinforced Council’s views of the needs. And then some.

In the meantime, we have been hard at work on our Master Plan.

We invited and received comment from our community some two years ago. Protracted discussions with all the precinct’s sporting clubs followed.

We are close to having a near shovel ready project. Good timing it would seem.

Watch this space for further information including Council’s response once we receive the official conformation and detail of the Grant.

Battle for Badcoe focuses on the Goodwood Oval Grandstand

Recent media headlines have identified that the Battle for Badcoe focuses on the Goodwood Oval Grandstand.

Goodwood Oval Grandstand

I am pleased that both the Labor (Jayne Stinson) and the Liberal (Lachlan Clyne) candidates are focused on the Goodwood Oval Grandstand. For someone acutely aware of the state of the current grandstand facility this is heartwarming.

Some of the credit/blame for Jayne’s focus is probably due to me. I canvassed among other things redevelopment of the Goodwood Oval Grandstand when I first met her. This was a week or so after her candidature was announced earlier this year. I then followed up by introducing her to the Presidents of the resident football and cricket clubs. She has taken this prompting seriously, conducting her own survey.

Lachlan Clyne, as Mayor of Unley, is of course only too aware of the state of the Grandstand. He is also aware, up until recently, of what work Council has put into determining a way forward.

Trouble is the candidates have been so keen they have been replicating what council has already done.

They have both been conducting their own public surveys. Surveys designed to see how the locals feel about replacing the current grandstand with new club rooms. Surveys on one option only.

Millswood Croquet Club rooms

Council did this as the first stage of our master planning for the Goodwood Oval and Millswood Reserve some 4 years ago. This has allowed us to identify the priority projects and consider options. Something the candidates are not doing.

There have also been reports that they are publically asking Council how much we would be prepared to contribute to the redevelopment. Hang On Guys! This and Millswood is a Council owned facility.

As the Battle for Badcoe focuses on the Goodwood Oval Grandstand we ask the candidates how much their parties are prepared to contribute to this and the other three projects.

We will shortly, hopefully at the November Council meeting, have options available to consider. Options that have been costed for all three projects to come out of the Master Plan. That includes the Grandstand, the tennis lighting and the Croquet club rooms.

From memory we have committed around  $1.0 m in our long term financial plan. We await on how much the future State Government is prepared to contribute to our project.

 

Jayne Stinson engages with our local community in the Battle for Badcoe.

Hot on the heels of my blog recently on a 3rd candidate in the battle for Badcoe, endorsed Labor candidate Jayne Stinson engages with our local community in the Battle for Badcoe.

She held two public meetings yesterday. The first was held at Dora Guild Playground; the second at Page Park. I attended both.

Of interest was the presence of the President’s or immediate past presidents of three of our local premier sporting organisations.

Jayne was entertained by President Craig at the Goody Saints v University match

Goodwood Saints Football Club and Goodwood Cricket Club promoted their joint pursuit of female participation in their respective sports. Both clubs are leaders in their competitions and are active in female participation. Later Jayne spent the afternoon as guest of the Footy Club watching the “A” grade beat and pass University in the top five.

They are both keen to see renovations to the Grandstand. Renovations that are long overdue. Renovations that have become urgent given female participation in both Football and Cricket. They lobbied for grant funding for Council’s proposed upgrades.

Millswood Bowling Club and, by way of a phone call to me to promote their needs, Millswood Croquet Club promoted their respective grant funding needs. The Bowling Club is in urgent need for upgraded female toilet facilities and likewise a need for disabled facilities. The Croquet Club in need of new premises.

All four have embraced the principles of Council’s Active Unley strategy. This has resulted in the needs promoted.

Their lobbying backs up my lobbying with Jayne earlier this year.

Other issues included looking at safety of the pedestrian rail crossings at the Clarence Park Rail Station. The introduction of quieter and faster trains while removing gates has created a more dangerous environment than ever before noting this is a Station that has previously seen a death of a young child.

In the meantime, I am looking to catch up with the 3rd candidate later this week, Cr John Woodward.

Our 2017/18 Budget: a win for those in Our Community who contributed to the process.

After the most significant contribution from our community in who knows how long Council has determined its budget for 2017/18. A win for those in our Community who contributed to the process.

 

As I suggested in my blog post entitled “Please Stay with Us” the contribution from our community has seen positive results. Many initiatives suggested have now been included in the budget.

Those that have not have been earmarked for council to contemplate as projects later in the year. Should any of those projects receive council endorsement we will need to include them in one of our quarterly budget reviews.

The inclusion of the extra initiatives has seen the rate increase lift from 2.8 % to 2.9%.

The significance of this budget is the expectation that some of those projects we have been contemplating since before I joined Council may occur sooner rather than later. This includes:

  • the start of the Brownhill Creek Flood Mitigation project,
  • the redevelopment of the Unley Oval grandstand. This will be the culmination of a number of improvements at that ground.
  • Possible commencement of the Goodwood Oval and the Millswood Sporting Reserve,
  • Possible commencement of the redevelopment of King William Road between Arthur Street and Mitchell/Park Streets.

A win for those in our community who contributed to the process.

It will also see something I have been championing since my early days on Council. That is an improvement in service standard in the reactive maintenance of our footpaths.

Of course, we have also had to pass on a 9% increase in the NRM levy that Councils are forced to collect on behalf of the government. Our rate payers are contributing the equivalent of 3.1% of our rate-able income. That is a whopping (in excess of) $ 1.2 m. And we are collecting $ 38.3 m in rates.

If you want to know more about what the budget includes you can check it out here.

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.