DPTI continue to confuse and confound Residents

With the rail revitalisation projects seemingly finished – well not really – residents continue to be confused by comments from DPTI staff that contradict previous undertakings. And of course the standard trick used from day 1 to confound … they are still blaming or duck shoving it to council.

It is no wonder there is an anti DPTI sentiment out there. 

I have to say I have had a gut full representing residents in the negotiations and unfortunately their fights with DPTI on the group of rail projects in my suburb. This is a state government project, always has been. DPTI is a state government department.
And yet DPTI keep blaming Council for their stuff ups and misgivings. And residents feel, rightly or wrongly, that their only course of action they have is to seek the help of their local government representatives.
There has been a long drawn out fight along the greenways bike path in Black Forest with admissions and then denials from DPTI. They argued for months that they were not responsible for replacing residents fences backing onto the bike path, except where the works has damaged the fences or caused privacy to be lost. 
The argument was if they did this there they would have to do it along the whole 32 km length of the rail corridor. Wrong the bike path is not the rail corridor it is a unique stretch of land that does not set a precedent for the rail corridor. And the fences in this area fitted both criteria they indictated warranted action on thir part.
Continued pressure from residents in this area have seen DPTI finally relent and provide new fences to 4 of houses. Why. Because they were caught out by the fact that they had lifted the finished levels in this location by some 400 mm, meaning the fences now had to retain filling, which they did not have to before and which is illegal.
Picture of fence done, complete with retaining wall under (covered with plastic)
Of course this was only after intervention from above, I think from CEO Rod Hook. And as part of that process retaining walls were placed under the fences.
That means they gave the commitment. And they gave it as I understand it, and according to the residents involved, to all of them.
But guess what. There are three other houses in this strip with the same problem. Did they get a retaining wall. No! Did they receive the same undertakings. Yes! 
Pictures of fences not included 
(showing depth of fill to be retained, and the low (non privacy height))
Why. I don’t know!
I wonder if it is because these residents did not voice their concerns loudly enough. Surely Not. Well maybe? Why else would DPTI do 4 and leave the other 3.
And what is the response one of these residents received in the last couple of days from ringing the DPTI 1800 number to find out why. “Council is doing the landscaping, not DPTI so go and ask them.”
If I had $100.00 for very time I have heard that spoken in the last 9 months starting with “Council will be building the Greenways bike path” (and that from one of their senior project managers) I would be a rich man. In hindsight perhaps we should have offered.
This means of course that DPTI is responsible for 4 and council 3. I ask DPTI. How does it work this way? Please DPTI stop buck shoving and treat these last residents with respect.

Canterbury Terrace Options Progress

Council staff presented three new options to Jennie and I yesterday at our monthly Ward Briefing. All three options allowed for cars to travel 2 ways. Safety concerns surrounded two of the options however.

Staff have responded to the overwhelming concerns about the East Avenue intersection being restricted to one way for cars in order to save the trees. They put forward three options.

Two of the options had cars competing with bikes which all at the meeting felt was a safety risk we should not take. One of these options allowed parking along the rail corridor but no landscaping. The other allowed landscaping but prevented parking.

The third option allowed for the bike path (greenways) to extend all the way to East Avenue. The greenways of course is a State Government project and we find ourselves looking at an option for the sake of road safety that we would not have had to entertain had it not been for the Government’s greenways project.

Of course finding a solution to joint road use and this is one road that does present that way is something that fits the 30 year plan we developed out of the the Community of Possibilities Public Consultation last year.

Unfortunately this 3rd proposal reduces parking along Canterbury Terrace. I say unfortunately because parking in and around the Community Centre on the corner of Canterbury and East Avenue is another major concern identified by residents at our recent public meetings.

To address parking concerns we have asked staff to look at Parker Terrace to see if we can convert the current parallel parking in Parker Terrace to angled parking. Initial investigations suggest this is possible but a full review is needed to see if it is indeed feasible.

This option will allow a narrow verge between the cars and the bikes which can be planted with trees similar to those you have all had an opportunity to comment on.

The other obstacles with this option will see the gum trees (two maybe three by my reckoning) at risk of being removed and there may be an issue, having just walked the road myself, with off street parking for residents.

So progress is being made but we are far from able to present workable solutions for further comment from you. This means that nothing will happen for a while except the ash trees, which we all know are dead or dying, can be removed.

When we have something we will go back to you and seek your further feedback because the best option needs all of us to contribute to.

Re-vegetation Node Meetings to occur soon.

The 4 Node meetings with residents along the rail corridor to discuss how council may re vegetate the areas along and/or adjacent the corridor are about to happen. This is Councils opportunity to give the residents an amenity, in many cases destroyed by DPTI as they carried out their various projects within the corridor.

Council identified 4 “nodes” that have particular circumstances requiring particular solutions rather than try to come up with a generic solution along the entire length of the corridor within our City boundaries.

Residents in the Cowper Street vicinity will have a meeting with DPTI this week. If this goes well Council will take the opportunity to turn this meeting into a node meeting.

Canterbury and Parker Terrace residents will be next, maybe later this month. The date will be worked out between Council and DPTI at a joint admin meeting this week. The Cromer Parade node and the Goodwood Junction (Devon Street, Richard Street etc) node will follow.

Addressing part of the LATM for Black Forest is part of the Canterbury, Parker Terrace “node”. A mid week meeting is being planned, and it is expected we should be able to conduct this at the Clarence Park Community Centre in Canterbury Terrace.

Solutions on the table for Black Forest LATM

Black Forest Residents will be asked shortly to attend a public forum in the Clarence Park Community Centre to discuss options that have been designed by our staff to address the various issues identified in the recent Local Area Traffic Management survey.

Central to the design options will be the treatment of Canterbury Terrace which will now be part of the Greenways Bike Path. This will also impact on the residents of Parker Terrace because we have combined the solutions for the re vegetation of the Rail line between Canterbury and Parker Terraces.
Three options will be offered for this .
A full copy of the report can be found at http://www.unley.sa.gov.au/webdata/resources/news/20121294FR1C_Black%20Forest%20LATM%20Draft%20for%20Consultation%20-%20reduced.pdf
The highlights, apart from addressing the future needs of Canterbury Terrace, include but is not limited to:
1   The traffic data did not back up concerns about excessive speeds.
2   A number of options for addressing Bryon Road are included in the report.
3   One option, limiting parking for the Byron Road bend (at the playground)
4   A half road closure (see in the report) for the Canterbury East Avenue intersection to allow bikes to cross east Avenue
5   Kerb build outs are suggested in lieu of pedestrian refuges along East Avenue
There are some issues identified that require more input before offering solutions.
This has been a great combined effort, residents and council working together but the party has not finished yet. We have some more discussions before we can reasonably believe we have addressed hat needs to be addressed.

Thank you to everyone who participated, and who will again at the forum. Invitations will go out shortly for this.

PS       The Leah Street speed cushions (not in Black Forest of course) were identified as a major concern.  

Canterbury & Parker Terrace Re-vegetation moving closer

Council and DPTI officers have been working on options for the re-vegetation of the Canterbury and Parker Terrace region of the Rail Corridor, the Clarence Park Railway Station precinct.

I expect that maybe as early as next week residents will be contacted to meet with us at an open forum, possibly at the adjacent Clarence Park Community Centre, to view and provide observations on two, maybe three options for the re-vegetation of the rail corridor environs.

Keep an eye on your letter box. This is possibly the single most impactful thing that has or will occur in our little strip so I trust we will all make a point of coming along and contributing.

I have had a briefing on the options and I am happy to say the foundations are there in my opinion for a solution that, with your help, will make our area a good one. The options have I might add been influenced (in Canterbury Terrace at least) by Council’s recent LATM of Black Forest.

The options all attempt to address not just re-vegetation , but providing parking for the Community Centre and safe use of the road (Canterbury) for both cars and bikes.

The only thing holding up progress right now, as can be seen in another of my posts today is confirmation of the mast locations for the electrification of the line. I had expected they would be available by now but?

I don’t know about you but I am keen to see our little neck of the woods take shape. The sooner the better.

Baptism to Celebrate Princess Margaret Playground Upgrade Completion

The upgrade of the Princess Margaret Playground has been completed and my family celebrated with a baptism party. The upgrade includes the installation of a BBQ which was an election promise I have pursued.

The playground is one of the smallest in the wider metropolitan area of Adelaide but is is one of the most used. Tucked away from main roads this playground is the envy of most. And yet, as with all things today, it needed upgrading.
With our greater understanding of safety issues, the needs of children, and with improved product technology, playgrounds around the world have been undergoing change. princess Margaret has joined this change and the end result is it looks great.
I am pleased to report that, as part of the upgrade process, we have been able to provide the BBQ facilities that I have championed since asked during the election campaign in 2010 to pursue.
My own family had the privilege of taking advantage of the upgrade as we celebrated our youngest grand daughter’s baptism today.
Mum & Ivy (baptised today)
Sister Zeva using the equipment

The playground has more work to finish it however. The heritage listed arbour needs restoring and this will occur shortly.  And I noticed today we already have some maintenance to do. The entrance gate is no self latching right now. That clearly needs fixing and there is some broken beer bottle glass that needs removing.

Black Forest LATM Update

Jennie & I have had a briefing on the results of the recent Black Forest LATM survey. 

The overall speed and volumes measured during the survey period have been viewed from a raid traffic engineer’s point of view as acceptable. There is therefore no pressing need for any speed control restrictions or awareness of addressing volumes.

Some specific Issues were identified and will be looked at in the report we will receive in due course.
Responses on the Byron Road speed control devices showed 4 different types of measures being nominated and a roundabout at Gordon Road for was proposed discussion.
The Canterbury Terrace bend from Byron Rd, where it interfaces with Greenways project was another area identified as requiring a solution, recommending extending the no parking restriction.
The survey indicated a wish for no change to parking restrictions to Aroha Tce, Emerson Road, Grey Street and Selkirk.
Leah Street concerns regarding the recently installed speed cushions were also identified will be acknowledged in the final report.
Our traffic engineers will complete a report with recommendations. Jennie & I have stressed that we are expecting on going consultation with you, before presenting to council for consideration and implementation.
As part of this process the interface with the Greenways bike path, and its impact on the east end of Canterbury Terrace will be considered. The replacement of trees in Canterbury and Parker will also be considered, along with the re-vegetation along the rail corridor will be considered for a holistic solution.

Aroha Terrace Treescape

Concerns expressed earlier this year by a resident near Aroha Terrace are close to resolution.

This resident correctly identified a number of trees along the tram corridor were looking structurally unsound. This prompted our staff to review all the trees along Aroha Terrace.
A  number of trees were found, after an arborist assessment, to be suspect. Residents in this street were then asked for their observations before proceeding further.
As two of the trees were classified as Regulated or Significant Trees they had to be approved for removal via a Development approval. This went before our Development Assessment Panel this week as there were unresolved representations against removal.
I am a member of our Development Assessment Panel. As the local elected member, who was involved in the process of assessment and who has a commercial relationship with one of the respondents, I did not participate as I declared I had a conflict of interest.
The panel approved removal of the two trees in question, conditional on the trees be replaced by the planting of 5 new mature trees within 12 months.The attached DAP minutes refer http://www.unley.sa.gov.au/webdata/resources/files/DAP%20Minutes%20May%202013.pdf

LATM Update 2

Further to my update earlier this week I thank the 20 or so people who attended either of the two forums held this week in the Town Hall.

Jennie and I attended both and we were impressed with the quality of the contribution provided by you. Issues were identified and a number of solutions suggested, which is appreciated. Submissions have been received by mail including electronic. I also have received 2 submissions, which I have passed onto staff for evaluation.

The submissions by and large have grouped in the southern section of Black Forest, centering around Byron Avenue and Cowper.

We have also, resulting from that exercise, had some of those people volunteer to be part of a resident representative group.

Whilst we await the last of the submissions you have for us we look forward to working with these people as move into the next stage of the program.

An issue has been identified that is a future challenge and that will concern the amount of cycle traffic on Canterbury Terrace. It will be interesting to see how we determine what the impact is likely to be and obviously the solutions to manage what will obviously become a shared road.

LATM Update

By now you should have received advice from Council regarding input from you into the effectiveness of the street network that is Black Forest.

I encourage everyone to participate in this exercise as this will be our best chance to get the best out of our Black Forest Streets. While they should be directed to our administration I have personally received one response and have passed it on.

There are two forums, one this afternoon (2.00pm at the Unley Civic Centre) that I will be heading off shortly to attend and one tomorrow night, at the Unley Civic Centre between 6 and 8.00pm.

As I noted in my last blog post on this topic Jennie and I have put a budget request forward so that we can implement the most urgent things that come out of the review in next financial year. So please take the opportunity.

Local Area Traffic Management Survey-Black Forest

The long awaited, as far as I am concerned and I know likewise some residents in Black Forest, LATM for Black Forest has commenced.

Our administration have been active this year obtaining traffic counts (speed, numbers of cars, accident counts etc) for the entire Black Forest network of streets. The will happen shortly – perhaps in the next two weeks send out a survey to residents to gain a feeling of the issues you have in your streets.

This will include a public meeting perhaps in mid march at a yet to be determined venue where we will reinforce the communities thoughts.

The resulting proposals will be put before you again before being put to Council for a decision. If the process moves smoothly I expect Council may see it at its May meeting.

Jennie and I are putting a budget submission forward to implement at least the highest priorities in the next financial year.

A chance to preserve the history of Black Forest

We have a chance to save a part of the history of Black Forest when Council next meets. If you want to be part of this come along and let Council know you care.

Kate Hubmayer cares. She is asking to present a deputation to Council at our next meeting, which will be on Monday 25th February at the Unley Civic Centre, commencing at 7.00pm.

The deputation will be early and I expect the item for decision will likely be early too.

So what part of the history of Black Forest are we focusing on. We are looking to heritage list at least one of the two Grey Box trees at the rear of a Winifred Avenue property abutting (at the southern end) the Black Forest Primary School Forest Avenue Reserve.

These two trees are both classified regulated trees under the Development Act but they are more than just significant. They are Eucalyptus Microcarpa trees and as far as I can make out they are the only remaining remnants of the species after which Black Forest was named.

The motion will be looking at whether or not the trees, or at least one of them, be placed on the heritage register. This would set a precedent as no tree has been added to the register since it was adopted over 30 years ago.

It has been suggested that our premier Jay Wetherill saw the trees on a visit to the school whilst he was still Education Minister and he commented that the trees ‘must be protected and incorporated into the reserve’. Incorporating them into the reserve is another issue to explore in the future but at the very least we should give them heritage status first.

Come along and provide support for Kate as she encourages Council to vote to save the trees.

Thank you to residents of Gordon (South), Dryden and Cowper Roads


This weekend Jennie & I met with a number of residents in these streets and discussed issues/concerns that some of them have.

It was great to see that there are still suburban streets where most people in the street know each other, like I remember in the good old days.

As your representatives we are happy to take up the causes discussed and advocate with the appropriate people in council on your behalf. I am framing the necessary communications to go to our management tomorrow.

A number of residents expressed similar concerns about road safety in this area and I am pleased to confirm that we will be conducted a Local Area Traffic Management Survey shortly, having successfully lobbied for such to be included in the current year’s budget.

I expect to be able to report on the commencement of this study shortly.

Dunrobin Street Streetscape consultation.

The results of the consultation on the Dunrobin Street Streetscape are in.

There is a clear majority NOT in favour of removing the trees in this street and replacing them with a new species. Not that I was around way back but I believe this is in keeping with a previous survey some years back.

We have also received summaries of the independent arborist report on all the trees in this street and the building inspection report on cracking in houses suspected to be caused by trees in the street. These reports indicated

1    That two trees do need removal due to poor health and structure and some need pruning.
2    The concerns regarding cracking are ill founded.

Jennie and I will be discussing and reviewing this at our ward briefing later this week with senior management from Council’s administration.

Princess Margaret Update

If you are wondering what is happening about repairs to the Arbour at Princess Margaret Playground we have been awaiting a report on its historical significance first, noting that the measures reportde on at the beginning of last month at least have made it safe.

I can say that we have uncovered evidence of it’s historical significance and as a result we will investigating repairs that be sympathetic to this. Once this is done we will cal tenders for repair works.

By the way. We have saught with the Minister of Planning to have it added to our list of Local Heritage Places.


Dunrobin Street Street Trees

If you live in Dunrobin Street you would already know that residents have their chance to have a say after the receipt of an Arborists Report and a Building Inspection Report.

The aborist report I can say has identified two trees that should be removed. The Inspection report has indicated the adjacent trees are not causing structural interference to the houses that were thought to compromised.

Anyone in Dunrobin Street reading this post and has not sent in their response to our survey, please do it now because you only have until Friday of next week, the 2nd November.
To cut to the chase what we are asking people is three questions:
Would you support the removal and replacement of all (or the majority of) trees with a new species of tree, decided in consultation with Dunrobin St stakeholders?
If no then you don’t need t say anything else.
If Yes to above would you prefer:
A Staged approach to removal & replacement (potential 3 year program?) OR

All trees removed simultaneously in Year 1?




Dunrobin Street – Closer to a Solution

After an arbicultural assessment of all the trees in Dunrobin Street and a structural report on two houses in this street thought to be damaged by trees, we should soon be in a position to move forward on the issues raised with the trees in Dunrobin Street.

I had forgotten to write about a briefing Jennie & I had a bit over a week ago until talking with one of the residents in Dunrobin Street earlier today.

We were (Jennie & I) given a plan of the trees showing which ones needed attention, including only two who would likely be recommended for removal and replacement. We were also given a verbal briefing regarding the structural status of the two houses.

I expect we will soon be in a position to have a recommendation going forward that we can put to the residents in the street.

Princess Margaret Update

A quick note to let everyone who uses the Princess Margaret Playground that the temporary works to make the structure safe for ongoing use commenced today. We had hoped to have it available for the weekend but unfortunately it will be Monday before we can achieve that.

Princess Margaret Playground Update

I have just received news that the damage is extensive and a major. Repairs are likely to be expensive and approval the required from council as it is not included in our budget.

This therefore may take some time to be completed.

Temporary engineer designed propping will be provided in the meantime to allow the park to remain open and usable. Once done it will be safe for everyone to still use the park.

I have asked our depot if this can be done before the weekend.

Princess Margaret in news for different reason

While Council awaits the results of the survey mentioned in my last blog the Playground is in the news for a different reason.

Having been alerted that there is structural cracking in the concrete cross beams that support the shade structure and vines within Princess Margaret Playground and being a building inspector I have been around to check it for myself.


There is evidence of concrete cancer in one beam. The reinforcing in the beam is probably rusting and it is likely that repairs will be needed. Whilst it has been reinforced by external steel angles it is appropriate that the area be bunted off preventing public access.

We hope to have advice early next week in relation to repairs and timeliness and will keep you informed accordingly..