Don Don Palmer

All articles by Don

 

Informed Decision or a Popular Decision on the Norman Terrace Vote.

Making an informed decision or a popular decision is one of the challenges facing those in leadership. This is what I and Council was confronted with last night. Our City Strategy & Development Policy Committee was faced with making a recommendation to Council. The topic, a development plan amendment of an aged care precinct. The...
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Planning & Design Code is now up to the Government

The South Australian Community has spoken. Our local (Black Forest & Clarence Park) community has spoken. And boy did we locals speak. The Planning & Design Code is now up to the Government.   I am proud of my local community, my neighbours. We have taken the trouble to understand how the draft Planning &...
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Weekly Green Bin Trial

A Weekly Green Bin Trial has been approved by Council.   Take the Pledge The weekly green bin trial will be targeted to the collection service for Goodwood 500 residents and up to 40 businesses for a period of six months. This initiative progresses one of my election promises and is unanimously  supported by Council....
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Page Park Turf Turmoil investigated ahead of two major scheduled reviews

Users of the Park would be well aware of the Page Park Turf Turmoil. In recent years the turf in the much loved and much used park has deteriorated. This has been evident in the dormant growth season of the Kikuyu grass.   It has, over that time, deteriorated to a point that I believe...
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City of Unley is Leading the way and speaking up.

My last blog showed how the Black Forest/Clarence Park community responded to the Government’s Planning & Design Code (PDC). In numerous other posts, while I have trusted the Government’s intention I have questioned their ability to get the Planning reforms right. In this blog I wish to highlight what Council is doing. I can say...
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Black Forest & Clarence Park speak up.

Watch as the rate payers of Black Forest & Clarence Park speak up against a false promise by the Minister for Planning.   The Minister (Stephan Knoll) and the Chair of the State Planning Commission (Michael Lennon) have publicly suggested by inference that their current Council Development zone RB350 will be transitioned with little or...
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If You Don’t Speak Up Suffer the Consequences

Suffer the consequences if you don’t speak up. That is what is facing you right now if you live in Black Forest. It also applies if you live in Clarence Park west of East Avenue or a small section fronting Goodwood Road.   From you ask. From the possible replacement of current housing stock with...
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Goodwood Oval Clubroom is Set to Proceed in January.

The Goodwood Oval Clubroom is set to proceed in January with temporary fencing scheduled for January 17. It has been a long time coming. Council has been working on this project since before I joined Council way back in 2010. Nothing happens fast however in Local Government. There are too many vested interests for it...
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Tell the Government what you think of the new Planning & Design Code.

It is your turn, and it is important and urgent you do, to tell the Government what you think of the new Planning & Design Code.   Much has been said about the Planning & Design Code (PDC) in the last 12 months. To keep you informed, I have posted numerous blog posts on the...
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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...
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New Planning & Design Code is Introducing Environmental Initiatives

The draft Planning & Design Code is introducing some environmental initiatives or controls but there is no detail yet. At least I am struggling to find them.   Pilots licences aside, the author of the Code and now the Minister are on record as sprouting that the Planning & Design Code is introducing some environmental...
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Council’s tree Strategy Should Recognise Nuisance Trees

Having a strategy to deal with nuisance trees was one of my many election promises. Placing a weighting on the nuisance a tree represents must surely apply to any responsible tree strategy. . It is timely, as we lament the loss of significant trees as blogged last week in Black Forest, to remember that some...
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Is the new Planning & Design Code simpler?

Is the new Planning & Design Code a simpler, easier to use code or a document of complexity that will require a pilot’s licence to navigate.   The core of the Planning & Design Code is the data base that will sit behind it. This data base will allow anyone, not just those with a...
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Draft Planning & Design Code Errors & Ommissions that need Correcting

The draft Planning & Design Code errors and omissions are many. As it is a complex document it is proving hard to identify them.   To start the conversation that Minister Knoll has invited, let’s look at some of the more essential. At least from a City of Unley community point of view. The Minister...
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Call me Naive with the new Planning & Design Code

Call me Naive but I do believe we need to get on board and work with the Government on the new Planning & Design Code. Naïve maybe. Focused on outcomes definitely. Minister Knoll continues to give assurances, that they will listen to us during the current 5 month long consultation period. Assurances that we have...
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Have you experienced Walking Footy? I have! And I loved it.

You might well ask what Walking Footy is. It is an opportunity for those who would love to participate in the game we love, even though we may have reached or passed the age of 50.   Launched this week, the program was organised in partnership between the City of Unley, the SANFL and ECH....
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Are the Trees in Black Forest Going Missing. And Clarence Park.

The saga of trees in Black Forest going missing continued yesterday with a tree in Byron Road being felled.   I found myself cutting my shopping short early yesterday. A distraught rate payer rang me concerned that a lemon scented gum on the property next door was being felled. The third tree in the adjacent...
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Option 5 No Change A Winner Highlighting Unanimous Approval for LATM 3.

Option 5 No Change a Winner as Council unanimously supported the the final recommendations on the recent Clarence Park LATM 3.   A resolution by Council that is owned by everyone. That is the result of the recent Clarence Park Local Area Traffic Management Survey LATM 3. The big news last night was: Option 5...
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Is the New Planning & Design Code Undemocratic legislation

Communities from across the state attended a forum last night believing the New Planning & Design Code is Undemocratic Legislation. Held at the splendid heritage listed Norwood Concert Hall, the forum was conducted by Protect Our Heritage. Protect Our Heritage is an alliance of local community organisations whose primary aim is protecting our heritage. Their...
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Food for thought. Green Waste v Landfill. It’s up to us. You & Me.

Here is some food for thought for you. Are you helping to keep the amount of waste going to landfill or not. Are you aware of “if it grows, it goes”. Can I encourage you to undertake to understand the need to put your food scraps into the green bin, not the blue bin. If...
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Community Engagement Reform a Necessary Local Government Reform

Community Engagement Reform, the 4th area of the Governments Local Government Reform proposals, is necessary.   Many in the community consider community engagement is something that Councils are poor at. The Government’s local government reform package must therefore include a look into community engagement. Much of the problem with community engagement is that council’s hands...
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Local Government Reform Area 3 – a positive change in the main

The State Government’s Local Government Reform Area 3, one of 4 reform areas, focuses on efficient and transparent representation.   This Reform Area attempts to provide a range of proposals aimed at improving the local government elections in South Australia.   During the earlier call for reform ideas, the most popular idea received was to...
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Your worst fears won’t be realised in the new Planning & Design Code

YOU will get a say in the Planning & Design Code. YOUR worst fears should not be realised. The SA Planning Commission has listened and understands. your concerns.   Expect the new Planning & Design Code to capture many of the things you want to see. Expect also the fears of what may be lost...
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Lower Costs and Enhanced Financial Accountability for Local Government.

Lower costs and enhanced financial accountability for Local Government. A noble 2nd area of reform in the Government’s program of Local Government Reform.   The Government went to the people in March of last year with a promise to lower the cost of running local governments. A noble ambition. Eleven recommendations have been put to...
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Productivity Council Publishes Draft Report Ahead of Time.

The Productivity Council has released the draft report I recently blogged about. They have done this ahead of time to maximise the Local Government sector’s opportunity for an informed response.   As the Productivity Council’s report will feed into the Government’s Local Government reform agenda, I interrupt my series on the reforms to include this....
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Elected Member Conflict of Interest an Area in Need of Reform.

Elected member conflict of interest is the last of the areas of concern in the Government’s 1st Reform Area. I agree. It is absolutely an area in need of reform. The ‘elected member conflict of interest’ model in the Local Government Act is unnecessarily complicated and confusing. As a result, many councillors do not participate...
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Unley seeking to liaise with the Government on the North South Corridor.

What is happening to South Road through Black Forest and Everard Park. Don’t know? That is why the City of Unley is seeking to liaise with the Government.   Residents & property owners are desperate to know what Government’s plans are for our section of South Road. That includes the section that runs through the...
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Matters of Integrity, behavioural Matters and the Role of the Mayor.

Matters of Integrity must be dealt with outside of Council and include consequences for breaches.   Who should deal with matters of integrity I am not sure. The Government is proposing some options. No matter what or who it will come at a cost, just as we have now. It may not matter in the...
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Poor Page Park. In Need of Love and Attention

Much loved Page Park is today a poor park. A park in need of love and attention. A well used park, as are all in the City of Unley, it has seen some dramatic change in activity in recent years. Corresponding to this change in activity the condition of the turf has deteriorated.    ...
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Stronger Council Member Capacity and Better Conduct

Stronger Council Member capacity and better Conduct is the first reform area in the Government’s Local Government Reform Agenda. This is indeed the area of highest priority.   Accordingly, stronger Council Member capacity and better conduct is the first area I also am giving thought to. As I noted in my blog post of 21...
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Local Government Reform Recommendations are a mixed bag.

Local Government Reform Recommendations are a mixed bag but fail to address the Government’s core objective. That is my in initial observation as I endeavour to review each of their 72 recommendations.   As I revealed in my last blog post the Government has made 72 recommendations to inform a new Local Government Act. 72...
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Goodwood Oval Clubroom a Goer after 2nd CAP approval.

The Council Assessment Panel this week supported a compromise recently reached between the Clubs, Neighbouring Residents and Council.   The ERD Court however must ratify the decision. I understand that, rather than go to the Court, this will be done administratively by the Court. Expect therefore, confirmation within the next week. . The detail of...
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Local Government Reform recommendations out for Public Consultation.

Local Government Reform recommendations are finally out for Public Consultation. The Government now wants to hear from you.   Local government reform and cutting the cost of local government was one of the election platforms of the State Government. They lost out to the Opposition and the Minor Parties with their blunt rate capping strategy....
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The Ultimate Council Conflict of Interest. The role of Councillor itself.

We hear much these days of conflict of interest. I have written about it. The media often have a feature on it. But what is the ultimate conflict of interest.   Following on from my blog post yesterday questioning who am I let us examine the role of an elected member. Not so much therefore,...
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Who Am I? Ever Played that Game. Sometimes I feel I am playing it now.

Have you ever played the game who am I. It has always been a fun game.   Remember putting a notice on your head and asking people yes/no questions and trying to whittle down to find out who you are. A game I remember playing as a kid. It was a game too, I recall,...
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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...
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Councils Overlooked Heritage for Decades, according to the ‘Tiser.

The Councils Overlooked Heritage for Decades, according to the ‘Tiser. This is a headline suggesting Councils have been derelict in their heritage responsibilities. Is the ‘Tiser’ correct with this article? If you have a subscription you can read it here. The article in today’s Advertiser has included the City of Unley in it’s list. Consequently,...
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Draft Clarence Park LATM awaits your final input

The Draft Clarence Park LATM, which is in response to your observations last year, awaits your final input. Please therefore, let us know your thoughts.   You should have received a letter from Council seeking your response to Draft Clarence Park LATM recommendations. To ensure we have the right solutions to the problems you identified,...
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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. . Improved parking will result from the redevelopment of King William Road. The media however is correct. We are reducing on-street parking. This is...
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Why Pavers on King William Road

Why pavers on King William Road. The current public conversation is asking that question. Why 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....
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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....
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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...
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Budget lifted 0.15% to cover Waste to Landfill Levy

Budget lifted 0.15% to cover the Waste to Landfill Levy was the decision last night by Council. A unanimous decision made after much reasoned and considered debate last night. Deputy Mayor Peter Hughes presented Council with an alternative budget position at our traditional budget meeting.  An alternative to the one we presented you just a...
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Recycling Industry Inquiry Underway

Parliament’s Environment, Resources and Development Committee is about to conduct a recycling industry inquiry. They will investigate and report on the current crisis in waste management that exists in South Australia. They will obviously consider how China’s National Sword Policy has impacted on us.  Accordingly, they will explore how South Australia has responded to China’s...
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Clarence Park LATM comes back to you for your final input

The Clarence Park LATM comes back to you for your final input. A complex suite of initiatives and numerous options as solutions awaits you if Council endorses the next step on Monday night.   That is the decision awaiting Council at our next full Council meeting this coming Monday night. While Council’s budget and therefore...
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Hypocritical State Government Deals Savage Blow to Local Government

Our hypocritical State Government has dealt Local Government a Savage  Blow. They have done this by raising the waste levy by 40%. Compounding this, they do it in the week Councils are due to bring down their budgets. Yes! The same hypocritical State Government who claims we (local government) are incapable of keeping council rates...
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Serious Local Government Reform

Serious Local Government Reform is about to commence with an inquiry into local government costs and efficiency. The State Government has asked the South Australian Productivity Commission to investigate local government. They have asked them to examine the trends in council costs and the efficiency and the drivers behind these trends. In order to get...
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A rate rise of 2.1% is set to be approved by the City of Unley

The City of Unley will approve their 2019-20 budget at this month’s formal Council meeting. I expect us to approve a rate rise of 2.1% at this meeting. A 2.9% increase would have applied under the Government’s proposed rate capping. This demonstrates, with many councils following our example, that councils are responsible and able to...
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Valuer General to cause stress to rate payers in Unley

Many City of Unley rate payers will be distressed when they receive their first rates notice for 2019-20.   Not I must say because of anything Council has or has not done. Their grief will be due to changes to the way their properties are valued by the Valuer General. . While Council looks set...
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Ombudsman Code of Conduct Concerns focuses on the trivial not serious.

The State Ombudsman, Wayne Lines, has spoken up this week on a topic that goes to the heart of one of the central reasons for Local Government reform. His code of conduct concerns is one area that the Local Government Industry is pushing hard to see changed.   We need tougher sanctions against those who...
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