Watch Out for Improvement in carparking in King William Road.

Improvement in carparking was one of the major considerations in the design of the new King William Road. I expect you will be delighted with Council’s solutions to what has been a perennial problem in King William Road.

 

For as long as I have been on Council we have been seeking collaboration for the property owners, the landlords, to improve carparking in the precinct. This has been met with limited success. With the redevelopment, I am hopeful we may meet with some more success.

As I have reported previously there are over 400 off street carparks available in the precinct. These are behind the various shops.

I detailed in my blog post on 5 July what we are doing. I encourage you to check it out, if you have not already.

 

We have approached this challenge with an understanding that there are two types of shopper that use the road. They are mission oriented shoppers and leisure oriented shoppers.

City of Casey Smart Sign

City of Casey Smart Sign

One is intent on parking, buying their goods, and departing in the least amount of time possible. The other is looking for an experience. They will be looking to stay a while and shop at multiple outlets.

Truthfully the street has always catered well for the mission oriented shopper. A loss of a few on street carparks I doubt will dissuade or limit these shoppers.

Opening up the rear carparks (the off street carparks) is catering for the leisure oriented shopper. The shopper, I suggest that will bring more business to the street. Needless to say, the shopper on which the ultimate success of the street will rely.

 

Before the project is complete, why not venture down to the street and check it out for yourself.

 

The smart technology will not be available until the completion of the project. But the carparks will. Because the construction is focusing now on the footpath areas there will remain no on street parking, at least until the construction goes into Christmas hibernation at the end of this month as has been widely reported. This means you have to seek out the alternatives in order to shop there, whether mission oriented or leisure oriented.

This will gear you to take advantage of the improvement in carparking that will soon be a reality.

 

 

Another Award for King William Road

I am proud to announce yet another award for King William Road. This, primarily inspired by our consultation, while a few continue to denigrate us for our consultation.

Bad news sells papers. We have all  heard that. That may well spell the storey behind a few naysayers dominating the media agenda still around King William Road. To be fair, the media have in recent times, tried to present a balanced storey.

We have seen a number of traders reported recently as commending Council on our efforts. On our communication, on our consultation.

That said there has been no reporting on the positive of another award for King William Road. The second award we have received, both focusing on our excellent consultation on the project.

The 2019 South Australian Landscape Architecture Awards recognised Design King William. Minister Pisoni, Unley’s own local member of State Parliament, presented the award.

The following commentary/ reasoning was provided for our award:

Urban Design Landscape Architecture Award
Design King William by City of Unley with Communikate, Village Well and Outerspace Landscape Architects

“This innovative community co-design approach has set a benchmark for community engagement and urban design planning. This ambitious project was completed within a tight timeline yet provided an ‘open door’ policy to ensure that all stakeholders and the wider community were fully involved for the duration of the project. The success of the project is evident in its high levels of community engagement and Council support, and extremely positive feedback received on the final design outcomes. The jury eagerly anticipates the construction of the planned works in the near future.”

Regular readers of my blogs will recall a previous award I reported on back on the 30th June.

Both awards demonstrate that the City of Unley has conducted a genuine, inclusive engagement process to contribute to meaningful outcomes for our communities.

Improved Parking in King William Road

Look out for improved parking in the King William Road Precinct. The redevelopment of King William Road will provide improved parking, as opposed to reduced parking as promoted by the Media.

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Improved parking will result from the redevelopment of King William Road. The media however is correct. We are reducing on-street parking. This is fact.

We are sacrificing them in order to provide the outdoor dining, the seating rest areas and the trees you requested. We could have provided 20 more car parks by not providing the elements you asked for in the design.

So, how is this an improvement you ask?

The media have not picked up on what we are doing to improve car parking. We will be directing drivers to parks currently not being used.

There are over 400 off-street car parks available. Most of these car parks are not being used however. Car parks that many, maybe most don’t know exist.

Some areas are being used quite well, others however unfortunately aren’t. Indeed some car park areas are simply not being  used at all.

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Council is addressing this as part of the redevelopment. We are going digital.  Using Smart City answers. In other words, we are using smart technology to direct drivers to the available carparks.

 

Are you familiar with the use of smart technology used in carparking stations? We will be using smart technology to direct you individual carpark spaces that are available by way of digital signs.

This technology works on the use of a sensor embedded in the paving of the individual carpark. When covered by a car it triggers a red carpark in use sign. Conversely, when there is no car, the sensor triggers a green carpark available sign.

City of Casey Smart Sign provides improved parking

City of Casey Smart Sign

For King William Road we will have signs that show the number of carparks available behind various shops. Signs which will be located at the junction of King William Road and the lane leading to that carpark.

Signs such as the City of Casey sign shown above.

Why Pavers on King William Road

Why pavers on King William Road. The current public conversation is asking that question.

King-William-Road-Concept-IllustrationWhy pavers on King William Road? Because that is what you asked for. Certainly that is what I heard you saying. Accordingly, it influenced my vote. With a unanimous vote it must be what the rest of the Councillors heard too.

You made this a paramount request of us from the very beginning of the design process. You were telling us the pavers are what makes King William Road unique. That the street came alive back in the 80’s after that Red Scheme project because of the pavers.

In response to that prevailing observation you were telling us, we provided you with three different approaches to paving the street. You chose the one we are providing.

The three choices are shown on the Design King William website. They were as follows:

  • All paved.
  • Bitumen Paved.
  • A Hybrid bitumen and paved road

Option 1 was for a paved road, paved footpath, paved parking. The bitumen option included paving to the parking bays and the footpath. The 3rd option was for a Hybrid. A bitumen paved road with brick infills at the intersections. It also included paving to the parking bays and the footpaths.

You told us overwhelmingly that you wanted option 1. 54% of you wanted this option. A clear majority. The option we are therefore  implementing.

30% of you wanted the hybrid version. This was a compromise solution if you want and it was your 2nd preference.

Only 16% of you favoured the bitumen option. That is 1 in 6 of you.

And yet this is not what we are hearing. What we are hearing is that this is the way we should have gone with the 2nd Option, the least preferred option previously. We are hearing that the disruption would have been less with this option. Therefore we should have listened to those who did not want pavers.

Sorry!

We listened to the majority. The significant majority. I am sure the majority will enjoy it.

City of Unley Transforming King William Road

A far cry from the Killing King William Road message out there, as reported in my last blog post. Those in the know, know council is actually transforming King William Road.

 

Our community asked us to do something about the troubles being experienced in King William Road. They asked us to save the street.

The street was in trouble. This therefore was our prime motivator for doing what we are  doing.

In addition, we learnt a few years ago (after conducting some core testing) that the structure of the road needed repair. This was something we could not avoid. It was something we simply had to do.

Repairing the road we therefore saw as a great opportunity to address the concerns of our community. And from day one, when Design King William was born, our communities’ views were the paramount contributor to the solution we found.

 

Claims by a few that we did not consult them are simply not true. Our consultation was extensive. Indeed, so well done and so extensive, the City of Unley was commended for our engagement. We received a 2018 Form Innovation Award.

 

King-William-Road-Concept-IllustrationThe project commenced with seeking the views of traders and residents alike on what they wanted out of a redeveloped street. Inspired by their responses, we then asked them both about their preferred road surface, what kerbs and footpaths they wanted, the extent of landscaping and on street parking.

Then, armed with this information, we put a proposed design before them. A design incorporating what they had been telling us.  We had overwhelming approval from them for this design.

 

Subsequent to winning the award and Council unanimously approving the design we continued the consultation with Traders.

 

This consultation covered how and when we would carry out the redevelopment. What time of year. Whether we would work day and night. Whether we would stage it or not. How we would stage it.

The program we are currently conducting is a direct result of that lengthy and ongoing engagement.

We are doing what they asked for. We are transforming King William Road. In addition, we are also doing it at the time of their preference, and in the manner they asked us to do it.

I have to question anyone therefore (who claims to represent our community) and who disagrees with my observations. Where they were when we were engaging in extensive consultation with our community. As someone actually elected to represent our community, I have not heard from any who have been paraded this week by the current media announcements bemoaning what we are doing.

Terrible Council is Killing King William Road

The Unley community has been pounded this week by a singular message. That terrible Council is killing King William Road. Destroying the businesses.

 

The focus has been consistent. Each day a new storey reinforcing the message awaits us as we get out of bed in the morning.

Amongst other claims, we have a prominent landlord in the street quoted as slamming Council for destroying the street. In addition, we have a business relocating allegedly after just one day of construction activity. A business who I understand made that commitment some 6 months ago. And then, a claim apparently on behalf of a Ratepayer Association we don’t know claiming the people of Unley no longer have confidence in the Council’s CEO.

Killing King WilliamRight now, the road certainly looks like it is ground zero. It certainly does look like a bomb has exploded.

You have to ask. How could this happen? How could a Council be allowed to run rampant over its community and not consult with them or listen to what they are saying.

Do you believe this rhetoric. I hope not. How about some truth coming into the conversation to avoid the street falling over purely and simply because of the doom and gloom being portrayed.

 

Let’s get one thing straight from the get go. It is not true the terrible Council is killing King William Road. They are transforming King William Road, giving it its best chance of survival.

 

The project was conceived because of the doom and gloom that has surrounded the street over the last (say) ten years. Many a long term business along the street have left the street during that time. New businesses have also come and gone.

The facts were clear. We needed to act. The street needed transforming. Transforming the street is precisely what we believe we are doing.

We are doing what we have been asked by our community to do. We are also doing it in then manner they requested. For details explaining this check out my next blog post, “Transforming King William Road”. Try also getting the facts from the Design King William website.

King William Road is 2.5 times over budget – That is news to me.

The recent headlines in the Advertiser and now the Eastern Courier that King William Road is 2.5 times over budget has shocked me. It is news to me.

King-William-Road-Concept-IllustrationAny suggestion that King William Road is 2.5 times over budget is completely wrong. It continues the agenda they (the media) have set for years now that it (King William Road) is all about pavers v bitumen.

Our Mayor and our CEO have sent a letter to the editor to set the record straight. Hopefully we will see a retraction in upcoming editions.

Mind you, such inaccuracies really should not shock me. There are times, as I have previously blogged, when I wonder if I would know more about the inner workings of Council by:

  1. not participating in the decisions of council and,
  2. simply reading the printed news.

This is another case that prompts this thinking.

The media is reporting that our original budget to upgrade the high street section of King William Road was $ 6.0 m. The final cost of $ 15.5 m calculates at 2.58 times.

We have never had a budget of $ 6.0 m for the high street redevelopment. Never.

Our budget was closer to $ 10.0 m. Added to this there will be ‘budgeted for’ work being done that is being bought forward. Works too, in conjunction with SA Water, that will surely be preferable now rather than later. These extra works has lifted our budget, including a contingency sum to cover the unforeseeables, to $ 15.5 m

The contract we have let for the project is a smidgen under $ 12.0 m. It takes into consideration the programming of works to avoid as much as possible interfering with our traders, and their need to continue business while work proceeds.

King William Road Contract let

After years of investigation, research, design, community consultation and deliberation work will commence this month on King William Road. With the King William Road Contract let, we can now see it all come to fruition.

Following unanimous approval at last Monday’s council meeting we have awarded a contract. Accordingly, we have engaged civil contractor, BMD Constructions Pty Ltd.

BMD Constructions is an award-winning construction company. They have delivered a portfolio of high-profile community upgrades in the South Australian market. Projects that include the recent Henley Square and the current Gawler Place upgrades.

King William RoadThe aim of the project is to return King William Road to its pre-eminent position amongst Adelaide’s premier main street retail precincts. This will lead, as I have said in previous blog posts, to make it Adelaide’s most loved main street.

It has been a long time coming. We have spent much time listening to traders and community members. Building on this and with the King William Road Contract let to BMD and their proposed construction methodology, we should see minimal community and trader disruption. Both BMD and Council are committed to ensuring the dialogue will continue.

In so doing, we expect the construction process will achieve a respectful balance between

  1. the access required for construction and the need for ongoing community and,
  2. traffic access and strong trading in the popular precinct.

Early works associated with the upgrade of the Park/ Mitchell Street intersection have already commenced. So too, investigation works to enable the relocation of an SA Water pipe. Once complete, the major Construction work will commence. This is set to commence this month.

The project will also establish a more active destination for our community. A destination where we can meet and congregate. A destination with shade, trees and infrastructure to support flexible outdoor dining and community events and activations.

For more information about the King William Road redevelopment, please visit designkingwilliam.com

Can’t wait to see the final product.

Providing Local Leadership: Outside Clarence Park Ward

Providing local leadership in Council does require an elected member to consider all the Council area, not just their own ward. I have taken a leadership role outside Clarence Park ward in a number of key initiatives.

 

Projects Outside Clarence Park

In the last 8 years I have contributed to, if not driven, many initiatives outside Clarence Park. I intend to replicate this in the next 4 years. Indeed, I have several initiatives as listed below that I particularly wish to promote.

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King William Road

As a small business person, I have been probably the most consistent advocate for the redevelopment of King William Road. Readers of my blog would know how frustrated I was on occasions as the media portrayed what we were trying to do was to decide on whether to keep pavers or bituminise the street. The same readers would know it is much more than that. Indeed, they would know that the final design was something I had envisaged from the time I became your councillor.

The project will commence earlier next year. It still needs strong leadership as the construction process will be challenging for traders, customers and the local residents alike.

Village Green

As a member and a previous Warden of the Parish of St Augustine’s Anglican Church I am intimate with the village green. This is the lawned area behind the Church and the Council Civic Centre. It is in the heart of Unley.

I was a key driver of the paved courtyard area that separates the Village Green and the Civic Centre and Church. The courtyard is now a much used and loved area. It provides a pedestrian access from Rugby Street through to Unley Road. A lovely stroll many take advantage of.

Our last Mayor, Lachlan Clyne, thought so highly of it he used it for his wedding reception after marrying in the Church.

Unley Oval Redevelopment

Like Goodwood Oval I have been integral to what has been achieved so far at Unley Oval.

The picket fencing and the redevelopment of the Jack Oatey stand I proudly have been a major instigator for. Providing local leadership is necessary to see the heritage (McKay) stand redeveloped.

Invigorating Oxford Terrace

I have always seen, since long before getting on Council, an Oxford Terrace that is pedestrian focused. The same as we are now doing to King William Road.

This is a project that has yet not received sufficient support from my colleagues. It has fallen  agonisingly short on a couple of occasions to get to the chamber. I will continue to fight and urge consideration of this being part of our long-term strategy.

Civic Centre Improvements

The Unley Civic Centre remains an inward focused architecture with no reference to the surrounding streets. Now that I have been able to access the inner sanctum as it where, I can also say it is a most inefficient building.

Like Oxford Terrace, by providing local leadership, I am keen to work for you to have us continue explorations that have commenced albeit in a small way. This starts with being re-elected of course.

Authorised & printed by Don Palmer. 19 Kelvin Avenue, Clarence Park.

Providing Local Leadership: Local Economic Prosperity

To achieve local economic prosperity there is much a Council can do. In my time the City of Unley has always been conscious of being alert to ways it can stimulate economic activity.

 

Economic DevelopmentWe have done this via a body called the Unley Business and Economic Development committee (UBED). I have been a member of this committee for most of my time on Council. As a member, I am proud of our commitment to our businesses.

This committee has evolved over time, from a committee whose membership was mostly representatives of the various street traders associations and a couple of Councillors. During the life of the current Council the membership grew to include some independents, people with business and economic background but not associated with the traders. The number of councillors also grew. I promoted both of these changes.

The committee was a reactive committee, responding to initiatives considered either by Council or Council’s administration. The independent members of the current committee did however look to bring their own initiatives in a proactive approach. I had been advocating for similar since I joined the committee.

If returned to Council I will look, in seeking increased local economic prosperity, to encourage this committee to evolve even further. I will seek for this committee to become a more proactive committee, with members representing all our businesses.

 

Unley Business & Economic StrategyOur business and economic strategy is due for review. As part of the review, we need to recognise that our local economic prosperity goes much further than just assisting our local street trader businesses.

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The majority of our businesses are not the shop front businesses of Goodwood, King William and Unley Roads. They are the mum and dad businesses and the start ups operating out of home.

In my opinion, these businesses have been ignored for too long. Ignored simply because we did not know who they were. We now know how we can identify them.

I will be promoting that the UBED committee be a committee only made up of independent members and councillors. A committee looking to promote ways of helping all our businesses. A committee charged with bringing recommendations to Council rather than and in addition to Council bringing ideas to them for their input.

I will be seeking that Council recognises the value of UBED input into a wider range of  issues than normal. In other words to utilise UBED to provide economic insight into a wider range of Council initiatives. Issues not necessarily recognised as contributing to our local economic prosperity.

To advance this, it is my intention to seek election by Council as the presiding member of this new community.

With your support I will get this opportunity.

Written & authorised by Don Palmer, 19 Kelvin Avenue, Clarence Park SA 5034

Please tell us whether we have understood your Design King William Road wishes.

As I indicated in my recent Design King William Road Blog Council has listened to what you wish the future King William road should look like. We are pumped too that you see it as more than pavers v bitumen.

Unlike the picture being painted in the media, it is about

  • greening;
  • better access across the street;
  • more outdoor dining and meeting and seating spaces;
  • sanitary conveniences;

This paints a picture of a pedestrian environment more than a vehicle dominated space.

With this information we have put together several design options. These options we are presenting are our interpretation of what you have asked us for.

DesignKingWilliamThey test the structure of the road, the surface of the road and the profile of the street. The options can be seen by visiting our shop front on King William Road or by visiting www.designkingwilliam.com

The first and I suggest most important in designing King William Road is the structure of the street. We offer three options. They are increasing to different degrees greening elements, pedestrian crossing points, outdoor spaces with a commensurate reduction in on street carparking.

The second is (yes) the surface. We offer three options again. They include variations of the extent of and areas to be paved.

The third is one I encourage everyone to understand. It focuses on kerbing between foot traffic areas and vehicle access areas. The options include keeping the traditional kerb and water table kerbing we have now. The other options include an alternative of a roll over kerb and a no kerb option.

The no-kerb option is surely (if I can prompt) the one that provides the safest and more inclusive crossing the street options we can provide. People using mobility scooters and chairs or parent s pushing prams will find this the best option. It will be the best option to for a safe event environment (just like Rundle Mall).

We are inviting you to put your views to us again. You can do this, once again by visiting the ship front or on line at www.designkingwilliam.com

Please do this. It is your street after all.

Have we understood your input into Design King William?

Over the last month many of you have inspired us with your insights into what is required to make King William Road the most loved main street in South Australia. Thank you for that.

We now want to know, have we understood your input into Design King William.

DesignKingWilliamThe majority of the feedback we have received to date highlights your desire for a more beautiful, active and accessible main street. To design King William Road with more greening, spaces for people, with safer points to cross King William Road. A desire balanced with the need for on-street parking.

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What I have seen inspires me. It re-affirms my own vision of how it can become the most loved main street in South Australia. Thank you.

In response, our design team has prepared three demonstrations of how these elements could be included in the street to varying degrees.

As a result, we need your help again. From Monday we are seeking your input again. This time, to evaluate these 3 designs.

In addition, we will also have three approaches to the road surface. This includes from fully paving the roadway, parking spaces and footpaths, to a bitumen roadway with pavers limited to parking spaces and the footpaths.

Each option is a different look for King William Road. They also carry different construction timelines and levels of disruption for visitors, traders and motorists.

We’re keen to understand what you consider is the best solution while maintaining the charm and character as we re-design King William Road.

From next Monday, this new material will be on display in the shop front, as well as accessible online. We will record your preferences to help inform the eventual design outcome.

My colleagues and I will then be able to make as informed a decision as is possible. Together we can make King William Road the most loved main street in South Australia.

Design King William Road. The Most Loved Main Street in Adelaide.

That is our aim. To design King William Road to be the most loved main street in Adelaide.

King William Road is already seen by most as unique. A Council owned main street that is covered with brick pavers rather than bitumen. A street much loved already.

most loved main street in Adelaide

It is a street, a precinct, though that has lost much of it’s magic. A street looking aged and weary. A street that has a road structure and surface that is in urgent need of replacement. Once, the most loved main street in Adelaide.

Council has had a vision since 2014 to return the street to its former glory. To ensure that the unique brick paved road is truly the most loved main street in Adelaide.

This means looking at far more than just the paving. The paving is considered by many as the reason the street is seen as unique. But focusing however on the paving must not limit the scope of the project.

To be the most loved main street in Adelaide we are looking for your contribution. To be the most loved main street in Adelaide we need your input.

Whether you are a property owner or business operator in the street, whether you are a shopper, a visitor, or otherwise use the street. We need to know what you see as important to achieve our aim of making it the most loved main street in Adelaide.

Yes, we want your input into what the surface might constructed of. What we really need to know however is whether cars, bikes or pedestrians should have priority. We want to know from you whether the street should allow for outdoor dining and/or rest and recreation areas. We also want to know from you about how important on-road parking is, verses off-street parking.

Beyond that we want to know such as if you believe we should improve the tree and greening of the precinct. What about the use of smart technology.

Technology that would direct you to vacant carparking. Technology that would allow you to recharge your smart phones, or your disability scooter. What about technology that lights up your path as you pass a given location or directs you to what is available in the next block of shops.

Help us to design King William. Help us to make King William Road the most loved main street in Adelaide.

Visit our website at https://www.designkingwilliam.com/ or find the link on Council’s website. You can subscribe to stay updated if you love the street already.

Check us out on Social Media.

Come and visit us at Shop 4, 183-185 King William Road Hyde Park, SA 5061. Email us at [email protected]

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.

Is the Gourmet Gala too expensive to run?

Should we disassociate ourselves from future TDU’s. I ask everyone a separate question. Is it the TDU you have a concern with or the Gourmet Gala with its cost of $ 266,000 per event?

In other words, is the Gourmet Gala too expensive to run? Should we continue to run the Gourmet Gala?

The Gourmet Gala is held the night before a stage start for the TDU. It certainly does compliment the race start the next morning, making for an extended celebration.

 

But again, is it the TDU?

The Gala does require an investment by council of some $ 266,000 to stage. This is a significant investment.

But is it? It is actually in the order of just $ 10.00 for every rate payer, whether residential or commercial.

Some see this as focused on an elite group, others just a big party that we can do without. Others, a party we could hold at another time, at another venue, at far less cost than $ 266,000. A solid argument.

If it is all about party time in Unley we certainly can look at doing it at less cost. The Unley Way to go held many moons ago on Unley Oval is evidence of this.

The gourmet gala many do not realise goes well beyond this however.

The Gourmet Gala attracts people from within and from outside to King William Road as a destination. Up to 30,000 at a time which is far from an elite group.

This, in turn, must be economically good for business in King William Road. We are told by qualified experts that it has provided an economic benefit to the strip of over $ 5.0m to the City of Unley between 2011 and 2017. An average of close to $ 730,000 per event.

Some traders disagree, losing money on the night. These traders I suggest do not see the marketing potential of such an event. That is a debate however for another time.

So, when this comes up again, let us focus on what we are actually debating. Is it the TDU or is it the Gourmet Gala? Or is it both?

The above is far from an argument justifying the Gourmet Gala.

There is much more to consider as we consider any future commitment to the Gala. This conversation I think needs to expand into at least a 4th post just to explore alternatives to the Gala.

So watch this space.

The City of Unley and the TDU go hand in hand

The City of Unley is recognised for being the most cyclist friendly City in all of Adelaide. Adelaide in turn is Australia’s home of the Tour Down Under (TDU). Truly the City of Unley and the TDU go hand in hand.

 

Unley is recognised for it’s extensive bikeways. An inner suburban Council, we have been proactive in finding alternate forms of transport other than single occupancy cars.

For this reason, the City of Unley and the TDU go hand in hand.

It should be expected therefore that the Tour organisers see Unley’s bid to host a TDU start as a no-brainer. No surprise then that we have been awarded a Stage 2 start for the 2018 Santos Tour Down Under.

Santos Tour Down Under Race Director Mike Turtur said the race was thrilled to be returning to Unley for the start of Stage 2. “The location of Unley as a stage start is one of the iconic start locations throughout the history of the event and never disappoints,” he said.

“The support from the community in Unley and its surrounds is terrific. Next year the race will start on King William Road and the peloton will parade through the city from Unley and take a route down Melbourne Street for the first time.”

Stage 2 will be held in the morning of Wednesday 17 January.

As always, we will hold our Gourmet Gala event on the night before. An event that often attracts 30,000 people or more. The Gala has become one of Adelaide’s iconic events, seen by many as integral to the whole TDU experience.

There are however some within our community, indeed on Council, who see this differently. Please stay tuned for my take on that shortly. When I do, just remember that the City of Unley and the TDU go hand in hand.

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.

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.