Home Owners must take responsibility

A startling fact was provided to a small group of home owners in Goodwood and surrounding suburbs at the wildlife preservation presentation at Goodwood Primary School on Thursday night.

That was the revelation that it is us, those who own property in the area known as the City of Unley, who are responsible for the loss of native fauna and flora. As the map below shows very little is owned or under the control of governments, whether Federal, State or Local. The remaining 61% is owned by you and me. And before you say it does not add up to 100, roads account for the other 23%.

The areas in pink on this map are you and me.

After the original settlement of Unley most of the blocks were built on only to around 30%. In recent times the larger blocks have been carved up and we are covering regularly 50%, 60% and even up to 70% with housing stock.

This invasion is long before the recent invasion by DPTI of the electrified rail corridor.

DPTI, to their credit, were a key stakeholder in the recent wildlife project along the corridor. Before the project started they listed the expertise of Zoologist James Smith (see previous Wildlife post) with their concerns about wildlife degradation.

Council has information for anyone who wishes to do their bit to help our local environment. Or ring DPTI on 1300 443 198

Attracting Native Wildlife to YOUR garden

Goodwood Primary School students gave a presentation along with James Smith, Zoologist and founder of fauNature, as to how we might not only protect our native fauna and flora but increase it within the boundaries of the City of Unley.

The presentation was at the School and was most informative. The students of this school, and indeed nearby Black Forest primary School have been leading the way in nature preservation. We can all be proud that our little neck of the woods are so proactive.

Part of the promotion covered how both schools have been helping to reduce the impacts of habitat loss along the rail corridor. This project was done in conjunction with DPTI, City of Unley and the Toys workshop at the Clarence Park Community Centre.

This project fits neatly into Councils Greening component of our Strategic Plan (from the Community of Possibilities).

Our future is in the hands of these young people, which is encouraging. I jut hope we don’t blow it before they get to influence directly.

The message has to get out there that we (you and me) are responsible for the future. We cant blame governments. Look for my next post on this.

Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep

Last night I heard my momma singin’ a song, cooee, chirpy, chirpy, cheep,cheep.

Where’s our trees gone might be the song we have been singing for the last 12 months. But now we can sing and rejoice the birds are coming back, thanks to DPTI, Council and our local school kids.

While we await replanting of lost trees (on a three for one basis) and aware of the impact these works of the impact that the Rail Revitalisation Project has had on flora within the western suburbs of the City of Unley, DPTI and Council have worked collaboratively on a Community Wildlife Project to provide nesting boxes through neighbouring streets, schools and private properties adjacent the rail corridor. Fundamentally the aim of the project was to provide alternative nesting sites for fauna that may have been displaced by the loss of vegetation, specifically trees from the rail projects.
DPTI worked with a Zoologist (James Smith) who teamed with schools within the area to build nesting boxes. This Community Wildlife Project was enthusiastically embraced by the community. This includes the kids of the Black Forest and Goodwood Primary Schools, Clarence Park Community Centre T.O.Y.S. Workshop (who provided the workshop for the kids to make the nesting boxes) and numerous other volunteers have all been valuable contributors, ensuring the environmental and educational outcomes sort have been achieved

The boxes have been placed in trees near the rail corridor (Goodwood Primary School, Forestville Reserve, Black Forest School, Devon Street & Railway Terrace, Lyons Parade, Cromer Parade and Goodwood Oval). The Council has supported this project and agreed to take on board the longer term maintenance of these boxes. In total 42 fauna boxes are located in trees near the corridor as part of this project.

Council already has 52 boxes located throughout the rest of the City (predominately to the east of the City). With the additional 42 provided from this project we are now close to 100 fauna boxes throughout the City.

What will Black Forest look like in 20 years

With DPA 2 going out to public consultation early next year the focus will be on what form the housing stock will take.

The use of the road network within Black Forest, the subject of the current Local Area Traffic Management review, will likely change well beyond anything the review will identify if the consolidation envisaged for the housing stock, and the Governments plan for South Road both proceed.
There is a high chance that there will be a significant increase in density along Aroha Terrace and near environs. The Emerson area is likely to be similarly impacted. This is a good reason for residents to get involved in the public consultation; to help influence what will happen in these two areas.
Of more significance however is the plan by both parties at State Government level to make South Road a non-stop highway. Check my earlier post today on the announcement by the Feds that South Road, south of Anzac Highway will proceed as promised.
Two things are likely if this does occur.
The first is that a solution must be found for the Black Forest Primary School South Road pedestrian activated crossing. The second is there will be extremely limited access to and from Black Forest onto South Road.
On the latter I encourage all Black Forest residents to acquaint themselves with the State Government’s Transport Plan so they can understand the access/egress challenges they will face. There arguably will be benefits by keeping outsiders out of Black Forest but equally getting in and out will require a change in current methods used by residents.
As far as the crossing is concerned I attended a meeting today with Jennie, and with Deputy
State Liberal Leader and Shadow Minister Transport and Infrastructure Vicki Chapman, Liberal candidate for Ashford Terina Monteagle, Councillor and deputy Mayor of Marion Tim Pfieffer, and  parents of Black Forest Primary School. The meeting was arranged by one of those parents to discuss concerns about child safety for children living in Glandore (west of south road) accessing the school (east of South Road).

DPTI apparently have preliminary investigations into a possible solution, dismissing an underpass as too difficult given all the underground infrastructure in the area. An overpass then becomes an obvious solution to investigate. Investigations, community consultation, detailed design etc does not happen fast on Government however and it may take 5 – 8 years for it to become a reality. Better start looking now if that is the case.

Of course with a possible increase in population density on Black Forest and indeed west of the road in Glandore (adjacent the tram line etc) it may be feasible to consider a new school west of the road.

With a state election around the corner this is a cause likely to gain some momentum in the new year.

Funding Approved for Darlington Interchange PLUS.

Federal Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Jamie Briggs today confirmed today the Federal Government will hold good to their promise re the Darlington Interchange, with a bonus. The good news for residents of Black Forest is the funding covers the section of road from Darlington through to Anzac Highway.

This may include an overpass at the Black Forest Primary School because it (the crossing) will stop what will otherwise be a continuous non stop road.
The initial funding is $ 8.5m out of their full $ 500 million package for the whole of South Road covers the interchange and they are working with the State Government to ensure the project starts as soon as possible. The Darlington Interchange will be the clear focus of the project but work is expected in time on making South Road a 6 lane highway as it were with some 63 current intersections removed. This will mean the incidence of southern rat runners will reduce when completed because access into Black Forest will be available only for locals.
Not sure how that will be accommodated and I wonder if DPTI do either, yet. Yes, whilst Federally funded it is a State Government Project and therefore DPTI will design and project manage  the project.
For those with an interest in the northern end of South Road planning of the Torrens Road to Torrens River will continue using funding provided by the last Federal Government.
Jamie Briggs indicated he is looking forward to working closely with the State Government to plan and deliver this vital piece of infrastructure for the benefit of all South Australians.  And my understanding is that the design and implementation will not vary irrespective of which party wins the March State election.

Black Forest Pedestrian Overpass

If you are concerned about the safety of the Glandore residing students of the Black Forest Primary School, if you believe an overpass is required across South Road, Black Forest to accommodate this then I encourage you to attend this community meeting tomorrow morning.

You might also wish to subscribe to the facebook “Black Forest Pedestrian Overpass” page https://www.facebook.com/groups/227742700655074/

See you there.

Black Forest Primary School, the leader when it comes to things horticultural had an Open Garden last night.

I dropped in to have a look and was immediately impressed with the work of the children at that school with their garden. One young lad, as I arrived, was excitedly trying to explain what he and his mates had been doing in the garden to his grandmother.
It was a good night and everyone was clearly enjoying themselves, and learning at the same time.
And there was entertainment as they always should be at school events.

Black Forest Primary School Fete

Black Forest primary School held their Annual Fete today and it certainly looked like it was successful.

There were big numbers of people there while I was there. I saw many people leaving as I was arriving as well, along with many people arriving when I left.

A huge number of stalls attracted attention from everyone there. Possibly the most popular while I was there was the $ 20.00 soft drink stand as the temperature conditioned as for the oncoming summer.

The kids looked like they had a great day.

Well done BFPS. You are a leader in your industry.

Black Forest Road Safety Finally on the Agenda

An election issue raised as I pounded the streets in October of 2010 is now on the books.

I am happy to report that a Local Area Traffic Management (LATM) survey is about to commence in Black Forest. Looking at traffic safety in this area was raised by a number of residents and it became one of my election platforms.

At last months council meeting the LATM was approved to proceeed iun this years budget.

Our road safety committee meeting, which I attended as a spectator, discussed it last night and all is ready to proceed. Our Road Safety Committee wisely have determined that while we proceed with this survey that it would be prudent to delay construction of the East Avenue Pedestrian Refuge (refer previous posts this year on this one). Whilst I was looking forward to seeing this proceed it makes sense to delay it just in case the LATM reveals reasons to reconsider where it is most needed.

Amongst issues identfied that need to be investigated include school traffic generated in side/suburban streets as a result of the construction of the South Road/Anzac Highway underpass and the Tram Overpass. Also to be looked at will be the concerns experienced with the speed reduction strategy in Byron Road.

With the State Government’s Rail Electrification project set to commence in January of next year it would be prudent to have the survey completed by the end of this year. It is envisaged that will have a number of street meetings and that we might form a working party including resident representatives to work through the information gleaned from those meetings.

When I know more about when those meetings will be I will post appropriately.

By the way….on the East Avenue Refuge. Once it becomes apparent where is the best location for the refuge it is likely we will proceed with it because it is in our budget.

Pedestrian Crossing – South Road, Glandore

Could we see a pedestrian overpass on South Road opposite Black Forest primary School in the future?

Whilst Jennie and I have been canvassing for money in the budget to examine the impact on our local streets around the school resulting from the dual constructions of the Gallipoli Bridge and the Glenelg Tram Overpass the Marion Council have recognised the issue of school children from Black Forest crossing South Road to get to Glandore and beyond.

The Government has improved traffic flow along this section of South Road by virtue of those two projects. Unfortunately it has created problems elsewhere. I have posted about the issue around our streets a few times now and hope to have good news for you shortly.

In the meantime the call by the Mayor of Marion, Felicity-ann Lewis, is timely. The current crossover is dangerous according to the school with traffic monitors not trusting vehicles obeying the red lights by holding a rope across the entrances to the crossing.

South Road is a high traffic volume road and cars now are looking at there being NO stoppages with the works recently completed meaning the school crossing is an accident waiting to happen.

Felicity-ann Lewis has indeed suggested that much of the problems we have inherited in our streets is resulting from parents of the 50% of kids that attend the school from Glandore are using cars and using therefore our roads as there is no safe crossing for them to use.

Jennie I believe is proposing a motion to put before our Council in the near future.

Black Forest Primary School in the News again

Hot on the heals of a successful community garden birthday celebration we see our very own Black Forest Primary School back in the news again.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard visited Adelaide yesterday to launch the construction on the $535 million Adelaide Oval redevelopment in preparation for the return of football and bury a time capsule at the ground.

Students from Black Forest Primary School participated in this program by leaving messages in the capsule.

This school continues to be a leader in primary age education. The City of Unley is proud of their achievements and congratulate them on participating in this historic event.

A Celebration for Black Forest primary School

While we at Council are out there looking for opportunities to set up community gardens we have one in our own back yard that was clearly ahead of it’s time when built would you believe 30 years ago. Yes! Yet another storey of outstanding achievement in our own back yard.

This garden may actually be Australia’s oldest community garden.

I recently received an invitation to attend an open night at the Black Forest Primary School to celebrate the 30th birthday of their Community Garden.

This garden is an inspiring organic food producing garden that received in 2011 from the KESAB Sustainable Communities and Sustainable Cities Awards, an award for “food garden and outstanding school”.

 The celebrations will be on the 30th of this month, between 5.00pm and 8.00pm.

Come and see how well one of your neighbours is going. Come and see the:

Vegetable Sculpture competition
Presentation by the National Resource management (NRM) DVD celebrating the gardens history
Craft Activities in the garden
The cutting of the Black Forest Cake

Food and Drinks are available to purchase.