Budget 2019 to be work shopped

Budget 2019 to be work shopped as that time of year in the life of Local Government approaches.

Rate CappingA new Council, a new year, a new budget. That is Unley in 2019 as we prepare for a budget that will set the scene for the immediate future. The result will be budget 2019.

Your new Council will deliberate on and workshop a number of initiatives in the coming weeks before settling on a short list. A short list we will then seek your thoughts on.

The challenge (as always) will be to provide for our community what we believe they need at a cost they can afford.

At our last Council meeting we resolved that we seek to limit the rate rise for budget 2019 to within 1% of CPI. While the last Council achieved this during their term it remains a challenge for the new Council.

There is much we will be seeking to absorb into this Budget 2019 target.

New Goodwood Oval Clubroom

New Goodwood Oval Clubroom

DesignKingWilliamAll in our community would be aware of our commitments to the Goodwood Oval Clubroom upgrade, to the redevelopment of King William Road and to Brownhill Creek. Not to mention the next stage of the Unley Oval redevelopment. All big ticket items, with a possibility I suggest of Goodwood Oval maybe going over budget.

How about advancing planning for the replacement of the Millswood Croquet Club. This is an initiative that Jennie and I are promoting as an elected member initiative.

We should see a project for improvements around the Village green precinct come into consideration too.

What about the multitude of environmental initiatives we strive for in Unley. This includes continuing and even increasing projects like the verge greening I have championed in the past. Water sensitive projects and what about the conversion of our street lighting to LED.

It includes also the same for our 2nd generation tree program. A responsible approach to removing trees that may be causing a nuisance to some in our community while increasing the canopy cover long term.

We will also be looking at the what recommendations will come out of the recent Clarence Park LATM.  East Avenue, like we have already identified with Leah Street might require some structural repairs in the very near future. We will also consider beautifying Leah Street given the need for extensive repairs.

And much more I suspect.

Please wish us well as we juggle all this into budget 2019.

 

 

It’s all in the Timing

It’s all in the timing we often hear. And that is the case when it comes to reporting on matters health in the City of Unley.

Active Ageing

Active Ageing

I blogged yesterday on the City of Unley having the highest risk of heart attack. I had planned in lieu to blog on Council receiving a grant for our new “Daily Moves” program. But with the headlines of the media focused on the negative….well.

On the good news.

We are one of 27 organisations to receive a grant from Sport Australia. A grant moreover of over $ 590,000.

The grant will fund the Council’s new Daily Moves program. The program aims to engage about 800 participants aged over 65 across the eastern region of Adelaide. A program we will be conducting with the Eastern Regional Alliance group of councils.

We are joined by the Cities of Burnside, Norwood-Payneham-St Peters, Campbelltown, Prospect and the Township of Walkerville. On their collective behalf, we will co-ordinate the program.

We will assess participants for physical health and to develop personalised exercise plans. The assessments will include a number of health factors. Most importantly, they will include balance, sleep quality and grip strength.

Such assessment will guide a personalised physical exercise plan. A personalised plan which as a result will include recommendations about local activities in fitness businesses, clubs and community settings or a home-based program.

Specific needs of individuals will be supported through modified fitness activities.

As I noted yesterday, the City of Unley was the first council in South Australia to become a World Health Organisation Age Friendly City and Community. Winning this grant is recognition of our leadership. It is in other words, all in the timing.

This is just one of our many projects to promote active and positive ageing. Similarly, programs that should impact on our collective risk of heart attacks. We look forward likewise, to making a positive impact on older people’s lives.

 

City of Unley Community at Highest Risk of Heart Attack.

What a shock for me yesterday. Fresh from a clean bill of heart health from my Doctor I find the Council region in which I live has the highest risk of heart attacks.

Yes. I get a clean bill of health and that I am at low risk of a heart attack. But I live in a community with a high risk of heart attack.

Having been diagnosed a year earlier as pre-Diabetic I actively pursued a healthier lifestyle. Watching the carbs I eat and walking most places within my ward when helping my rate payers has paid dividends.

Whether it was my weight, my blood sugars, my cholesterol, all looks good for me. Then to find my neighbours according to the article below are not so healthy is a concern.

That said the City of Unley has a fantastic active ageing program. A program that saw us become the first Council in Australia to be recognised by the World Health Organisation.

Seems many of you (my good neighbours) may need to know what we are offering to help you age. And we do offer much.

So. watch this space.

Fish Tank 2019 now open for budding young Entrepreneurs

Council is fishing for future entrepreneurs.

Fish Tank 2019 could be your (or your sons or daughters) greatest opportunity. Because of the success of Fish Tank 2016 and Change Makers 2018, we are confident that there will be those in our community who will benefit from Fish Tank 2019.

 

Fish Tank 2019

Fish Tank 2019

We are aiming Fish Tank 2019 at our young people. People aged 12 to 25 years and who live, study, work or play in the City of Unley. More appropriately, we are aiming at young people who have a business idea they want to take explore.

By participating in Fish Tank 2019 they could win a prize package that will help grow their business.

Fish Tank 2019 is designed to engage, support, celebrate and invest in Unley’s young people. Designed for those young people who have an entrepreneurial bent. Young people with a business idea.

Participants will have the opportunity to ‘pitch’ their business ideas to a panel of industry judges.

Applications are now open for the opportunity to pitch your business idea to the Fish Tank 2019. By applying you could win a prize package that will help grow your business! Applications close 18 March 2019. Visit www.unley.sa.gov.au/fish-tank to submit your business idea.

 

FREE ENTREPRENEURSHIP WORKSHOP

Saturday 9 March 2019, 1pm – 4pm, Fullarton Park Community Centre.

Learn from business leaders and young entrepreneurs, and develop your own business idea. As noted above, applications are open to all young people aged 12-25 who live, work, study or play in the City of Unley. Registration is essential and should be addressed to Laura De Bono, [email protected] or (08) 8372 5111 by Wednesday 6 March 2019.

 

Visit www.unley.sa.gov.au/fish-tank for terms & conditions, FAQ’s, prize package details and further information. Alternatively please contact Laura De Bono, Community Development Project Officer-Youth at [email protected] or (08) 8372 5111.

New look for Councils runs deeper than you might think

Most of us recognise that there is a new look for Councils. It runs very much deeper however than is being recognised.

Yes. As my last blog post undoubtedly shows, the new City of Unley will consist of 8 women and 5 men represents this new look for Councils. We all know this is a gender turnaround of significance. It redresses a historic gender imbalance.

This is a trend across local government. Complimenting this trend we see also many Mayoral positions now occupied by women.

There is no doubt that this will changes the dynamic of Council.

A more significant dynamic, as yet not recognised, is the spread of ages on this new Council. This Council has representatives, by my judgement, in each age decade from under 30’s to over 80’s.

This to me is a much bigger shift than the gender shift. The previous council had but two members under the age I suggest of 50.

The contribution to any debate is going to be much fuller than it has been in the two terms of Council I have been a member of. As my co-councillor has oft said the last Council could be describes as a grey haired, retired, gentleman’s club. That is a far cry from this new Council.

Cross gender input will provide depth to the debate. Cross generational input will provide even greater depth. A clear new look for Councils, at least this one as I predicted in my blog post of October 9.

Further than this the age demographic shows up yet another dynamic.

This Council and possibly the next Council history may show as transitional Councils. Councils leading to a generational change.

The final observation I believe with this Council is that those of us remaining from the previous Council/s have a significant obligation. It will be incumbent on us to provide leadership in helping the new members to develop into the Unley Communities next generation of leaders.

Your Clarence Park Ward Councillors provide this.

City of Unley 2018 Election Results

The provisional results for the City of Unley 2018 Election results are now known.

 

The following is list of the elected candidates for the City of Unley 2018 Election.

Mayor:                                            Cr Michael Hewitson

Ward Councillors:

              Clarence Park                  Cr Don Palmer & Councillor Jennie Boisvert.

              Goodwood                        Emmy Wright & Nicole Sheehan

              Fullarton                           Cr Peter Hughes & Jordan Dodd

              Parkside                            Cr Mike Hudson & Kay Anastassiadis

              Unley                                  Sue Dewing & Jane Russo

              Unley Park                       Cr Michael Rabbitt & Monica Broniecki

The results are provisional as we await a final declaration by the Electoral Commission. This will occur after the expiration of the period allowing challenges. This, in turn, I believe would be unlikely but??

Subject to the declaration this then will be your new Council. The Council you have elected.

This is a brand new council. It has 7 new faces, all female. The council itself has a gender balance in favour of female 8 to 5. This is also a council with a wide age range, with members spread evenly through all decades, 20’s through to 70’s.

Watch out for a subsequent blog about this changed dynamic and the opportunities it presents in the future.

Modified Goodwood Oval Grandstand to go before CAP

The Council is to submit a development application for a modified Goodwood Oval Grandstand. We will present it to Council’s Assessment Panel in November.

 

Council receives an information report on Monday to advise the current status of this project. As we are in caretaker mode we can only receive the report.

The report confirms that a modified design is ready to be presented to Council’s Assessment Panel. The Panel of 5 (with but 1 elected member) is an independent panel, created under the Development Act.

They are duty bound to determine if it be approved or refused, based on Planning principles. As it is a cat 3 public notification application they (the panel) will hear representations from the community.

The design has been modified. It takes into account observations earlier this year from the community.

It also takes into account a need to reduce the scope of works to meet tight budgetary constraints. I would venture to suggest too, a more efficient design.

There are two key features of the modifications as I read the drawings. They cover two of the major concerns raised by members of the community.

The first is the building footprint will again be not much different to the existing building. The second is the clubroom area is being reduced back to a seating capacity of (in theory) 120 people. This, down from the 200 last proposed. This is not much more than the seating capacity of the existing clubroom.

Assuming development approval is granted, the new Council will have to determine how to best address the budget pressures. Among their choices will be;

  • reducing the scope of the project even further,
  • seeking additional funding (perhaps this time from the Federal Government), or
  • funding the shortfall ourselves.

With all this, onsite construction of the modified Goodwood Oval grandstand (or other) is unlikely prior to the end of June, 2019.

 

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

Influencing the Accredited Professionals Scheme and Assessment Pathways

While the local government elections proceed and we are in caretaker mode, I am still out there working for you. In particular, I am contributing to Council’s response to the Government’s proposed Accredited Professionals Scheme and Assessment Pathways.

As the Government’s reform package does not wait on Council elections it becomes difficult for elected members to have influence over the debate. That has not stopped me however.

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I am offering opinions in two current planning areas that impact on you.  They are the Accredited Professionals Scheme and Assessment Pathways.

Accredited Professionals Scheme

In my opinion, the Accredited Professionals Scheme is sadly lacking and is fraught with danger. The proposed accreditation appears to be quite liberal.

The level of experience for assessment panel members is surprisingly limited. It flies in the face of the previous ministers’ assertions the involvement of Council elected members. He believed elected members largely had an insufficient skillset. The proposed qualifications however for future panel members would curiously allow elected members easy access to the panel.

Likewise, as a retired building inspector, I am concerned that the Level 4 accreditation for building inspectors requires only 6 months experience. It seems we may be moving to a system which allows what I would consider less competency than now. Surely a backwards step.

Assessment Pathways 

I am pushing that Assessment pathways for any development that has variances to the plan such that they impact on the neighbourhood, even if only “minor” should have a public consultation component to them.

We must continue to fight for this. This is because developments invariably will sit outside the parameters set in a development plan.

Assessment must remain with Council rather than with private certifiers when public notification is a requirement. This is because councils are the only body with the availability of being transparent and accountable.

Private Certifiers will never have the level of accountability that Councils have. Even with the number of elected members sitting on assessment panels reduced to one, accountability is only possible with Councils being responsible.

Two extremes of public notification need to be addressed. I am promoting accordingly.

Obviously larger developments must include public notification and this must extend beyond just the immediate neighbours. Rear of house developments regularly however do not impact on other than the immediate neighbour/s. This includes neighbours who live on the other side of the street and cannot see the development. Those not impacted should not be invited to make representation.

If re-elected, I will remain in a position of working for you and providing local leadership on the Accredited Professionals Scheme and Assessment Pathways and all subsequent planning changes.

 

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

Providing Local Leadership: Giving Time and Passion.

As a retired businessman I can offer you something that none of the other candidates can. That is an abundance of time and passion that comes with being free.

 

Time and passionFree from the hassles of holding down a job. Free from having to commit to training for a future occupation.

 

To provide local leadership and to work for you it is important that your representative is giving you time and passion.

In my opinion you need to find 20 hours plus each week to be an effective elected member of council. Balancing family, work, social and play and the demands placed on you as an elected member can be most challenging. Anything less than 20 hours per week will mean you are not getting value from your representative.

Why would an elected member need to devote that much time you may well ask? Isn’t it just one meeting a month?

 

Working for you requires a commitment to the management role as a “board of management” contributor. The Local Government Act requires this of your representative.

This entails attending at least one full council meeting each month, plus at least one briefing. Attending these and (more importantly) preparing properly for these meeting is time consuming.

Then there are committees and we have many. Ideally they should be spread around. It tends not happen however. Some of us may be members of multiple committees while others may choose not to participate. I am one who contributes to multiple committees because I have the time and the passion where others don’t.

Then there is the need to give time to the various community groups who appreciate your support. The local sporting clubs, the community centre, the neighbourhood watch group etc.

The ultimate time commitment though, is the time devoted directly to you. The Local Government Act requires a person elected to council to represent the interests of residents and ratepayers, to provide community leadership and guidance, and to facilitate communication between the community and the council.

Time is something I have previously and still can offer you (more so), and wish to. In abundance. May I ask, can the other candidates?

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

 

Providing Local Leadership: Working for better local government (LGA).

The City of Unley has not taken full advantage of their membership of the Local Government Association (LGA). Many other Councils likewise.

 

LGA LogoThey all willingly take advantage of services such as the discounts available on Insurance or lower finance costs in taking out loans. Likewise, other services such as these are on offer and utilised.

We all also gain a benefit from the significant research and advocacy that the LGA provides. Research and advocacy that Councils individually simply could not afford to do on their own.

Councils who contribute to what to research or what advocacy to undertake are the ones who receive the greatest benefit. By this I mean the LGA will research what the Councils who take an interest ask them to research. Likewise they will undertake advocacy roles asked of them by the majority of Councils. Unley has not recently contributed t this.

Some Councils who also have been inactive here have complained they don’t get the service they should from the LGA. Murmurings similar to this have echoed from time to time in Unley.

I have always been a firm believer that an association is only as good as its membership. Active members make for a strong association. Passive members don’t contribute and this is when a feeling of disassociation occurs. Not because of the executive however but because of the members themselves.

To avoid the City of Unley being caught up in this I have put my hand up to become our representative on the Greater Adelaide Region of Councils (GAROC) Committee. Council has endorsed my nomination.

If elected to this board by the LGA members I need also to look for your endorsement as one of your two local councillors. If you elect someone else, no-one from Unley will be providing local leadership to the LGA.

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