Divorced from our Local Community by Messenger Press

The bastion of local news the Eastern Courier is divorcing 1/3 of the residents of the City of Unley. City of Unley residents living west of Goodwood Road will be divorced from our local community. All thanks to a faux pas by the Messenger Press.

The Eastern Courier, which reports on the affairs of the City of Unley, will be no more for these residents. It will no longer be delivered to the doors of any resident living west of Goodwood Road. They have removed Clarence Park, Black Forest, Forestville, Everard Park, Goodwood, Wayville and Millswood residents from their circulation.


The Messenger Press have determined that it is in their best interests and the interests of their readers to change the distribution of their free weekly papers. If you live west of Goodwood Road you will now be considered a beach goer. You will be part of the circulation of the Coast to City News.

Coast to City News will take over the area previously covered by the Guardian Messenger. It will also be our paper.

This paper will keep us up to date with what is happening at Richmond Oval rather than Unley Oval. It will keep us up to date with events along Adelaide’s beaches rather than the parks near where we live. You will miss out on hearing about an upcoming film event at Page Park at Clarence Park. We will hear not about flooding in Brownhill Creek, but rather damage to the jetty at Brighton.

We will get to know about opportunities to have our say about the initiatives of the City of Marion, the City of West Torrens and curiously the City of Holdfast. But not the City of Unley.

We in the west of Unley will become part of Adelaide’s greater west and we will therefore be divorced from our local community.

Are you happy with being divorced from our local community? If not I suggest you lodge your protest with the Messenger Press.



Lack of Compassion motivated by Compassion

The headlines on tough new rules on Road Side tributes/shrines paint Unley Council as lacking in compassion for the grieving families of those of us who have unfortunately lost their life in traumatic circumstances.

So is Council demonstrating a lack of compassion or is their new policy based in compassion?

Last Monday night Council debated and passed a new Memorials Policy.

Until now Council has not had a policy to guide Elected Members and the Administration in the management of ad hoc memorials. The new policy was intended to promote fair and consistent management of both temporary and more permanent memorials.

downloadOur Administration felt a “Memorials” policy would provide guidance for the public and Council re the type and placement of memorials. Much of the policy focuses on the management of permanent memorials. The Policy examines what form a permanent memorial in and around Council property (parks and gardens, ovals etc) may take and where and how it may be placed.

Council has always been empathetic to the grief that has prompted a temporary shrine or memorial. We have however had to deal with those in our community inconvenienced by a memorial. Often the memorial has overflowed onto footpaths restricting clear access for pedestrians.

Council does have a legislated responsibility to maintain the amenity of the area and public safety. We are obliged to maintain the streetscape and parks etc to a standard which is acceptable to the majority of the community.

The intention then of the policy is to keep a balance between allowing the public to express their grief or enjoy a celebration whilst respecting the right of people who live or work adjacent the memorial site and to enjoy ready access to their property. Having clear guidelines about what may be permitted including time frames for roadside memorials addresses this balancing act and actually provides guidance to Coucnil officers when dealing with this conflict.

There is therefore in my no pinion no Lack of Compassion in the making of this policy. Far from it. Compassion indeed I believe was at the forefront of developing this property. I applaud our administration in developing the policy and Coucnil for approving it.


This is a copy of a media release today from Council.


We are pleased to announce, that following Monday night’s August Council meeting, Peter Tsokas has accepted a new 5 year contract as the CEO of the City of Unley.

City of Unley Mayor Lachlan Clyne welcomed the good news.

 “Peter has now been Unley’s CEO for the four years since 2011” says Mayor Clyne “and he has been a very important contributor to shepherding the City of Unley into the safe and secure position it now finds itself in.”

“Whilst the return of all 11 Elected Members who re-nominated for their positions at the last election was a clear indication of the Unley community’s confidence in our direction,” he said, “the announcement of this decision offers incredible stability to our organisation and our community for these coming years”.

With this announcement Lachlan believes Unley is now very well placed to meet future challenges and can offer strong and respected leadership to the local community and the Local Government sector.

“Peter’s positive leadership and strategic vision will provide a strong platform for achieving our goals and meeting our community’s needs with confidence” Mayor Clyne concluded.   




I concur with Lachlan’s comments. Peter has provided great leadership, not only reducing the operating budget by well in excess of $ 2.0m but creating a synergy within the administration that sees staff working together in harmony and respect.

He has a great vision for the future of the City of Unley.

From memory the vote taken on Monday night was unanimous.


Section 41 Committees are now set and ready to go

It seems like it has been a long time coming but we have now settled on the make up of our section 41 committees. The independent members have now been inducted and the first meetings have been scheduled.

Membership of the committees is as per the table below.

Development Strategy & Policy Community & Culture Infrastructure and Sustainability. Unley Business & Economic Development
Presiding Member Cr Don Palmer Cr Peter Hughes Cr Michael Hewitson Cr John Koumi
Independent Members Doug Wallace John Hill Rod Hook Doug Strain
Grant Pember Lynn Arnold Peter Croft Orren Pruncken
Stephen Yarwood Elizabeth Bleby Gavin Brennan Alison Snel
Lloyd Roberts Heather Barclay Jodie Gaffney
 Representatives from the street trader associations.
Elected Members Cr John Koumi Cr Mike Hudson Cr Rob Sangster Cr Don Palmer
Cr Jennie Boisvert Cr Michael Rabbitt Cr Peter Hughes Cr Anthony Lapidge
Cr Anthony Lapidge Cr Bob Schnell Cr Bob Schnell Cr Luke Smolucha
Cr Luke Smolucha
Cr Rufus Salaman


The first meetings of these committees will be as follows:

Development Strategy & Policy   Committee Monday 20 April
Community & Culture Committee Wednesday 13 May
Infrastructure & Sustainability Wednesday 6 May
Unley Business & Economic Development Wednesday 29 April


Expressions of Interest – Council Committees

If you believe you can contribute to one of Council’s Section 41 committees here is your chance. You have but one week to make up your mind and let is know.


The City of Unley is seeking expressions of interest from suitably qualified individuals regarding membership of four (4) Section 41 Council Committees in the roles of Independent Members. The four (4) committees are Community & Culture Committee, Development Strategy & Policy Committee, Infrastructure & Sustainability Committee and Unley Business & Economic Development Committee.

In addition to Independent Members, each committee will include a number of members selected from the Elected Members of the City of Unley.

Applicants who have expertise relevant to the Committee in which they are interested are encouraged to submit their interest. Terms of Reference are available on the website via the link below.


Normally it is expected that the Committees will meet for approximately two (2) hours, every three (3) months. Independent Members will receive a sitting fee. Having said that the Development Strategy & Policy Committee, who I have put my hat in the ring to chair, is likely to meet as much as 9 times this coming year such is the workload ahead of it. That will include a number of public forums.

Please submit your confidential submission outlining your qualifications and experience to:

Carol Gowland
Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer
City of Unley
PO Box 1, Unley SA 5061
Applications will be received until 5pm Friday 30 January 2015.

Where to from here for the City of Unley

The Mayor and Councillors have now been sworn in and we are ready to kick start the next 4 years. And the next four years should be an exciting time as the City of Unley continues to shape itself for the future.

Swearing In

Swearing In

I look forward to what this term holds for us and sharing it with you as it unfolds.

Our first meeting will be next Monday night. At that meeting the focus will surely be on committee structures and which councillors will be on which committees. The next couple of weeks we will also be welcoming the two new councillors onto our team and making them feel as comfortable as possible.

Will we see the continuation of the committee structures set up in our last term, will we do so in modified form or will we revert back to our previous structure. Or will we come up worth something entirely new.

We have much in the wings as we start this term, no greater than the Brownhill Creek Flood Mitigation project and DPA2. Both of these impact in some part on the residents of Clarence Park Ward. Both are likely to come back out for public consultation by I reckon March.

Also on the Agenda is the master planning (or improvement planning to some) of the three significant sporting venues of this City of Unley. Unley Oval has been elevated as a priority as far the Mayor is concerned.

I see Goodwood Oval and Millswood Sporting Complex as having a need for focus as these two precincts I believe may have a greater chance of governmental funding when the State & Federal purse strings are loosened. I say this because there is more chance of contributory funding from the users of these two facilities than might be the case at Unley Oval influencing Government empathy.

We will see soon work commencing on Goodwood Road to underground the power lines. The Council of the City of Unley will need to consider that this provides an opportunity for other upgrading along this strip sooner rather than later.

And then there is possibly the most exciting project of all and that is the one we are affectionately calling Unley Central. Regenerating that area of Unley along Unley Road including the shopping on both sides of the road, the area around the memorial Gardens on the west, the City of Unley Offices, Civic Centre and St Augustine’s Church and through to the Village Green on the east.

This new Council has the responsibility of providing the vision and the leadership to allow the business community, future Councils (and Government) and the general community to regenerate this area of the City of Unley into a precinct the envy of all other inner suburban district centres.

I will be able to report more on this in the months and years ahead.



That is the title given to a report put before Council last night. The report was the culmination of our Administration’s research into improving our communication with you.

Some of my early day blog posts identified that while I always, as a business owner engaging with various councils, felt that Unley was one of the best I recognised a lot of internal problems once on board that indicated they could improve immensely. I identified problems in the processes and procedures that were of a concern.

Our administration under the new management set up 12 months later have clearly identified likewise, possibly with a little nudging from me. There were no formal followup procedures for instance, meaning a member of the public would not necessarily know what we did about their concern.

There were a number of similar concerns I had. We were doing the work but not communicating we had done the work. A sort of our job is to execute the task; you should know its done without us telling you.

There is much to like about the report. It has taken initial procedural changes implemented a couple of years back now and formalised them a lot more. It includes a new system wherein elected members for a trial period and then you (if it works) can log a concern and then check the progress yourself on line.

I am encouraged by this but as I indicated last night in moving the motion to receive the report I see this as but one small step in the right direction. This gives me confidence that what I want to bring to council in the next term is achievable.

Achievable because our management recognises our need to improve our communication. Achievable because I saw acknowledgement in their faces when I pushed that it is not only procedures that need to be changed and formalised but we need to develop a cross council skill set in communication.

In keeping with recent posts on this topic our staff, our management, and yes the elected members, can all do with some training in communications skills.

And achievable because I heard a number of the elected members also recognising that this is needed.

The council of the future should be one that hears what you are saying and talks to you in a language you understand, not in council speak.

Making Deputations and Petitions to council easier

A number of people have wanted to make a deputation to Council recently. I have assisted these people prompting how to go about it. 

Council has now provided on our website the tools to make it easier. The advice and forms to assist in makig an appropriate deputation/petition are available.

They can be found at:

Deputations:      http://www.unley.sa.gov.au/webdata/resources/files/Deputation%20Information%20Sheet%20and%20Request%20form-%20June%202014.pdf


If there is something you wish to bring to the attention of the elected members these two options are a great way of doing. You have our undivided attention, in the chamber.

And for maximum impact I recommend you d it on the night your issue is on the agenda.

Hard Yakka between now and Caretaker mode

I posted yesterday that July would be a big month for Council, with two full meetings of Council scheduled.

Well we aren’t going to get any rest for a while. Looks like we will have two full council meetings for not only July, but August and September.

Caretaker mode can strangle our administration if they don’t have the necessary direction form us, so here we go.

And Now it’s our turn to go to the Polls

2014 Council Elections

2014 Council Election Enrolment

Enrol Now

Local government elections are held every 4 years, with the next one to be held in November 2014.

If you are already on the State Electoral roll (in this Council area) to vote in State elections then you will automatically be on the Council voters roll and will receive voting papers by post.

However, if you are a landlord, business lessee or resident non-Australian citizen you will no longer be automatically included on the Council roll.  If you have been previously enrolled in that capacity, and are still eligible, you will need to re-enrol after 1 January 2014.

Enrolment for the 2014 Council elections closes at 5pm on Friday 8 August 2014.

Resident not on the State Electoral roll or a Sole Owner or Sole Occupier
(where owner or occupier is a person)
Click here for Enrolment Form

Business or Organisation, Sole Owner or Occupier
(Body corporate)
A designated person is required to vote on behalf of the body corporate.
Click here for Enrolment Form

Group of Owners or Occupiers
(Property owned or occupied by more than one person and/or business/organisation)
A designated person is required to vote on behalf of the Group.
Click here for Enrolment Form

Further information for voters and candidates is available on the following websites
Local Government Association
Electoral Commission South Australia

Unley Council Wards
To view Ward information and maps click here

And this is bon-voyage for Goodwood South. As I have reported previously and as you will see from the lower of the two maps this ward will in future be known as Clarence Park ward.

DPA2 Galvanises Community

The community of Clarence Park and Black Forest has been inundated with Government & Council intrusions that have tested many recently but also galvanised us and help to build a stronger community than the one we believe we had before the train corridor upgrade.

Never before has this one small community had to deal with so much over a prolonged period and its still happening. I trust this is not my ding because it has coincided with my time on Council. Maybe this is why I was lured into taking on the role, to be there with my community to get the best deal we can from all being thrown at us.

This time it is Councils DPA2 that is galvanising the community. When I say Council’s DPA I really should say the State Government’s DPA via the Minister for Planning.

Anyhow, we (Council, acting on behalf of the Government to achieve accommodation for the expected population growth in the 30 year plan) have received numerous submissions. There have been many resident meetings and Jennie & I have met with many.

As a member of the committee that will receive these submissions I am expecting a lot of reading. I expect too a long night on the 16th June at the Unley Civic Centre when we hear verbal submissions in support of the written submissions received.

I have seen one or two submissions already be having been copied into them. And what i can say tho those who prepared them, well done. They have been well researched and they have been constructive and helpful to finding solutions.

There is one thing that I am keen to find out as we move toward that public hearing and that is what population numbers will this plan provide the Government. During this whole period of public consultation I have not seen what the numbers are that we are trying to accommodate.

I will be looking to find out how many the new R zone in our Ward will generate. Separately I will be looking to find out what numbers the RR zones might generate.

I don’t know about you but I quite frankly suspect this DPA will make very little contribution to the Governments targets . The more I look at the R zone the more I wonder how much the DPA is different enough to create the numbers, particularly when the reverse has occurred in part of Black Forest where property ratios have actually increased.

Interesting times ahead as this one moves forward to maybe a conclusion before Council goes into Care taker mode before the next election.


Don Palmer. St Augsutine's

The City of Unley has developed a self-guided ‘walk down memory lane’ to rediscover its complex history and stunning architecture through the ‘Discover Historic Unley’ initiative. 

From the Cremorne Hotel housing a small zoo, including an elephant, to Unley Oval hosting the English cricket team in 1903, participants can expect to capture fascinating glimpses into Unley’s rich past. It is amazing stories such as these, all based around historic sites near Unley Road that will truly ignite the inner historian in everyone.
City of Unley General Manager Community Megan Berghuis said ‘Discover Historic Unley’ aimed to educate people on how the area came to be and key sites that are embedded in Unley’s ‘DNA’.
“The catalyst for this incredible trail was a project that was started over four and a half years ago, which revealed a number of intriguing historical sites,” Ms Berghuis said.
“The self-guided walk takes in eighteen key sites around Unley including the oldest site of Mornington which took shape in 1853, to the Unley Shopping Centre built in 1966, and everything in between.”

The tour will uncover the ‘inner historian’ as it delves into how Unley first separated from Mitcham and formed a Town way back in 1871 with the villages of Unley, Parkside, Goodwood and Fullarton. From this time on, Unley Road grew into a corridor of commercial, social and cultural life. By 1906 there were more than 20 000 people spread across 15 villages and Unley became South Australia’s third city after Adelaide and Port Adelaide.
The tour will officially be launched on Wednesday 21 May as part of History Month, but will continue as self-guided walking tour. Signs are in place at 11 sites and a brochure is available from the Unley Libraries, Unley Museum and Civic Centre from May.
“We are really encouraging people to come and take a tour to learn about the uniqueness of this area and how it got to where it is today,” Ms Berghuis said.
To download a brochure please visit our website

The City of Unley Learning For Earning is seeking your local business support

The City of Unley is currently looking for local businesses to participate in our very successful Learning For Earning program.

Learning for  Earning, delivered by Workskil, aims to connect young people with the local business community, creating pathways to employment through training and work experience.
Learning For Earning provides 2 days of accredited Barista and Customer Service training followed by 3 days of work experience in a local café or restaurant.  We are currently looking for businesses to participate in the next program, coming up on June 4, 5 & 6.  Businesses receive support from Workskil staff who will attend the work place regularly to ensure on-going support to the business owner and young person.
The City of Unley will acknowledge your support of Learning For Earning on the Unley Youth Facebook page.
This short YouTube video is the best way to see the benefits of the program for businesses and young people:
If you would like more information or to participate in the program, please contact Workskil directly:
Jo Skanes: Youth Program Manager, Workskil 8172 6600  [email protected]

Council Rates-It’s that time of year again.

Yes! Its that time of year again, when councils determine the level of service and the projects it wishes to undertake in the next twelve months and therefore the rates that need to be collected. 

This year the services and programs we expect to approve will require rates to increase 4.95% and you can have your say about this.

The rate rise proposed is in keeping with what most councils appear to be determining, with a handful less than this and a few proposing more than this.

Unley Council has been deliberating for some time now and has had difficulty in determining the budget for this coming year. Expenses in some areas, like rubbish collection, water and electricity (all of which are significant contributors to our expenses have increased dramatically. Wages have risen under our enterprise bargaining from memory over 3%.

Another significant contributor will be the cost of running the upcoming council elections (budgeted at $172,000) which will consume approx. 0.5% of our total budget.

For a better understanding of where the funds we raise will be committed I suggest you check the Council Web Site. 

We have determined that we will maintain all existing service levels. Having said that we are examining all existing services to determine if they are still relevant today.

Continuing along from the initiatives we have seen over the last three years Goodwood South (soon to be renamed Clarence Park) rhave fared well again with some of the initiatives of what we will be getting for our rates, over and above the standard range of services including the following:

ü  Council contribution to the undergrounding of the power lines for Goodwood Road between the tram crossing and Mitchell Street $300k
ü  Development and commencement of implementation of the Customer Service Framework $77k, which I am sure many of you will be pleased to hear.
ü  Goodwood Oval/ Millswood Sporting Complex Improvement Plan-Design Documentation $50k
ü  Cromer Parade Landscape Reinvigoration Project $20k
ü  Forestville Local Area Traffic Management Study $40k. Not our ward but very much important for those in Goodwood South who travel through Leah Street, Forestville.
ü  Implementation of Local Area Traffic Management Studies recently held in Black Forest $50k
ü  Footway replacements in Cromer Parade and Lynton Ave, Millswood; Birkdale Avenue and Hammond Street, Clarence Park.
ü  Road resealing in East Avenue Clarence Park (from the tram to the rail line); Arundel Avenue, Millswood.
ü  Gym equipment in Page Memorial Park.
This is not final yet and can change. We are seeking your input to the development process of this budget through a public consultation process.
The process provides you with the opportunity to have your say on the level of service and the activities undertaken by Council before the final budget is adopted in June 2014.
I encourage you to take part and we look forward to your input.
You can make a submission by:
Ø  Visiting Your Say Unley on the council’s website at: www.unley.sa.gov.au
Ø  Writing a submission and sending it to: 2014-15 Budget Consultation                                       City of Unley. PO Box 1 Unley SA 5061
Ø  Emailing your submission to: [email protected]

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.

Eastern Metro Community Passenger Network

Eastern Metro CPN links people who require transport with those who provide transport.
Eastern Metro CPN is a central point of contact for transport information in the eastern side of Adelaide.
Eastern Metro CPN can coordinate transport options for eligible residents.
The Eastern Metro CPN provides information on transport services available to residents living in the council areas of Unley, Burnside, Norwood Payneham & St Peters, Prospect, Walkerville and Campbelltown. 
Residents who need help to access services and social activities can contact the CPN for information about public transport, timetables, private transport options and available community transport. 
Assistance with changing appointments and transport trips can also be arranged on behalf of eligible residents when needed.
For more details, phone Eastern Metro CPN on 8372 5472.

Time for your help again

The Cities of Unley and Mitcham are seeking your views on the key directions for the Regional Public Health and Wellbeing Plan

The Cities of Unley and Mitcham are working together to prepare a Regional Public Health and Wellbeing Plan for their communities.
This plan is aimed at ensuring that both Councils provide every opportunity for a “Healthy Community” – where each community and the region overall is active, connected, safe and equitable and embraces healthy living and wellbeing.
Have your say on-line at regional-public-health-and-wellbeing-plan or contact Pam Hocking on phone 8372 5108 or email [email protected] for a hard copy of the community engagement flyer on the project and/or for a feedback form.

Unley’s celebrations continue through to Australia Day

Australia Day traditionally is a big day on the Unley calendar, through our Citizenship Ceremony. This year will be much bigger though.


This year we will be doing more than conducting a citizenship ceremony. We will celebrate Australia Day in a fun, family-friendly atmosphere.

Celebrations include obviously the citizenship ceremony, an official Australia Day Awards Ceremony, free children’s entertainment and activities, cultural music, dance performances and a variety of gourmet delights. 

Bring your family, friends and neighbours and enjoy the 2014 Australia Day Celebrations!

Make it a package of celebrations, starting with the Gourmet Gala (refer earlier post) on Thursday night, check out the BUPA challenge (in fact register now and participate in it), attend the and the race start on Friday. 
The day starts at 11.00 am and will continue until 4.00 pm and will be held at the village green. While you are there check out the new Village Green Plaza between the green and the Church. This was a joint project by Council and St Augustine’s Anglican Church which was designed to open the area up for the community.
Find it on Facebook and register your intent to come on https://www.facebook.com/events/224194564435061/