DPA2 Clashes with our Greening Policy

Goal 4 of our Community of Possibilities Strategic Plan is Greening…Our Path to a Sustainable City. DPA2 sets out to accommodate the desire of the State Government to densify the inner suburban councils.


The community of possibilities is a 20 year plan to create a sustainable city. It recognises we need a green city. We need lungs that only green space can provide. We need areas were our people (you and I) can get out and enjoy the open air, commune with nature.

Unley Councillors are acutely aware of this given that we have the least green open space of any council in the greater metropolitan area of Adelaide. Our proportion of green open space is only 2.1%. I understand the next best is Burnside with around 9%, a big difference.

In the first 4 years of the plan we have identified among other things that we should:

1   Develop and implement the Environment and Sustainability Plan to reduce Council’s environmental impact,
2   Develop and implement a new open space strategy,
3   Develop Capacity and awareness of community greening and sustainability initiatives.

We now find ourselves deliberating over a Development Plan Amendment in the far corners of the Council. This development plan is all about intensifying development including, as readers of this blog are aware, in Goodwood South.

I have blogged extensively on this plan and have formed very definite views of what the plan is and is not doing. And I can tell you it is not only not working with our greening policy it is directly contradictory of this policy.

So here we are trying as a council to improve the lungs of this city area, to provide an environment that will improve the lifestyle of our residents. We then go out to increase the density of buildings, chopping down the fauna we should be trying to protect and indeed extend, as noted in my two recent wildlife blogs about what the students of Goodwood and Black Forest Primary Schools are trying to achieve.

Sure we need to increase our density if we wish to save our farm lands north and south of the city. We can do this at the likes of Brompton which is regenerating land that has reached the end of it economic life (the land owner having walked away) and can be designed as a whole an complete precinct. A precinct with its own open space built in and all the other creature comforts in a stand alone community; like Mawson Lakes.

We are achieving the government’s expectations too in Unley and I will comment on that in another post.

I cannot reconcile that what has been proposed is the appropriate way to go in Black Forest and Clarence Park. It is a community that is already established. It is a community that is not run down, with the land owner vacating. It is already without significant open space and a community that cannot stand alone.

A community that cannot handle the loss of it’s stock of trees, shrubs and grasses, a community that will be less than desirable to live in as it potentially could be all house and no lung to sustain us. This is in direct contrast to our Greening Policy. It is BAD planning policy as it does not address the balance required for a sustainable community.

Unless we plan for creating extra open space within walking distance (recognised in the criteria being used in DPA2 to assess streets as 200m), we are looking at a plan that will prove the worst fears of those who have spoken to our community consultation. It is a plan that will achieve little extra in population growth at maximum cost to the community and the environment.

And if we are to do the right thing and purchase property within the area to increase green open space in keeping with our greening policy, and as we have recently done as reported by me 2 days ago in Catherine Street, Fullarton), what would result. I say we would be obliged to do this if the DPA were to get the green light just to counter the environmental loss, let along improve on what we now have.

The result I suggest would be the net population growth for the Government would be even less than the minimal that I believe the plan will provide in ti’s current form, if not negative.

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.

Council’s 4 Year Plan Approved

After a powerful engagement with our community last calendar year and much work by our management, staff and of course the elected members we have now approved our new 4 year plan at last nights council meeting.

This is an extension of the Community plan 2033 endorsed in January of this year. It has evolved from the Community of Possibilities, a project being used as a model by Councils Australia wide for their strategic planning.

This plan will guide our administration and assist them in undertaking activity that is aligned to the 2033 Community Plan. It will also guide Council decisions and future Annual plans.

For those of you who don’t remember the Community plan was derived around 4 key initiatives

Goal 1   Emerging…Our path to a Future City
Goal 2   Living…Our path to a Vibrant City
Goal 3   Moving…Our path to an Accessible City
Goal 4   Greening…Our path to a Sustainable City

The 4 Year Plan will be posted soon (if not already) on our website for your edification.

Community of Possibilities becomes City of Unley Community Plan 2103

The biggest community engagement carried out by the City of Unley, the Community of Possibilities, has progressed with Council endorsing last Tuesday night our Community Plan 2033.

After the extensive public consultation, Council’s elected members and senior management met at Victor Harbor many months ago to pull together the wide number of fantastic ideas that our community provided us. Our administration has compiled the results of that session into a draft Community Plan which went out again for further consultation between September and November.
The elected members at our last Council meeting endorsed this plan.
This has been an enormous effort by all. Our administration has performed extraordinarily well and as previously reported the response from our community was beyond expectation.
The process undertaken has been hailed in the local government industry and held up as a model for all to follow.
Proud to be Unley.

Community of Possibilities evolving into Council’s Strategic Plan

The great response from our community to our recent “Community of Possibilities” program was used by Council this weekend to inform our new Strategic Plan.

Yes! Your elected members met with our CEO and his new senior executive of 4 General Managers to work through the results from the Community of possibilities. We rolled up our sleeves and got stuck into planning what the City of Unley should look like in 2033.

Strategic Planning is as hard as it sounds but we have a really good team of people, both elected members and management. We worked well in pulling together not only our own thoughts on where Unley should be in twenty years but in taking on the hundreds of great ideas we got from you during our Community of Possibilities.
Rome was not built in a day however so the best of your thoughts and ideas and our considerations over the last two days will need to be re-drafted over the next month by our administration. This will allow us to make adjustments (in one or more workshops at the Civic Centre) to the draft before going back out to you for your edification of the draft.
It is expected we will be able sanction this at our council meeting of 24th September.
The following eight weeks have been set aside to allow further input by you because, let’s face it, it is your plan. The plan will guide our decision making into the future, so you have a vested interest, in making sure we get it right.
Once we have your feedback it will be reconsidered by Council, hopefully at our Council meeting on 10th December.

Shebang, Shebang

What a great exercise Unley has just embarked on. The first Council in South Australia apparently to involve its residents and ratepayers in such a way to gather the information needed to move forward with a new Strategic Plan.

The community engagement of inviting ideas is coming to a close with the Shebang being the last forum. For those who are interested there is still time this weekend using electronic media.

Over 250 community members attended the ‘Shebang’ at the Town Hall between 12noon and 8pm yesterday to see the ideas that had been extracted from the community during an intensive six week engagement program. Before the Shebang the number of respondents involved and the emans by which they contributed is shown in the chart below.

Thank you everyone and well done.

Soon Council will have a weekend sabatical to take all this wonderful information and put it together to form our strategies for ther next 10 years. In other words our chance to show we listened. Wish us well.

Community of Possibilities-Final Forum

The Community of Possabilites Public Forums come to finality this week with a “Shebang”.

The Shebangwill be held on Thursday 19 July 2012, between 12pm and 8pm in the UnleyTown Hall – Cnr of OxfordTerrace and Unley RoadUnley.
The Shebang will feature colourful displays, presentations, films, discussions, kids activities and Mayor for a Minute! in a bright interactive environment.

This public session will give you the opportunity to review and comment on all the possibilities that have been gathered from our community so far.

We have talked to people in our shopping centres, sporting clubs, schools, aged care facilities, community organisations, businesses and with individuals with an interest in the future of Unley.
A Community of Possibilities has been one of the largest community engagement initiatives Unley Council has ever undertaken. It continues to be an opportunity to capture all the great ideas people have to enhance, enrich and change Unley in the future.
Your participation in this event is vital in our broad engagement to reach out and hear about what you would like to see in a future Unley.
Please come along anytime between 12pm and 8pm, have your say and view what our community has already been saying.  I thank you for considering this offer and hopefully also, in advance, for your contribution.
I intend to be there most of that time, apart from short periods where I have other Coucnil commitments.

Kate Ellis at Dora Guild Playground

No Council issues raised for a change at Kate’s latest street meeting. Federal issues (as they should) took centre stage.

Federal issues are more prominent on our rate payers minds than local issues judging by the conversations at yesterday’s meeting at Dora Guild Playground. I understand it was a similar situation at the meeting prior, at Forestville Reserve.

An number of issues evoked some powerful emotions. These include on topics such as the boat people and off shore processing, carbon tax, rail freight diversion, water resource management and power pricing.

The meeting was unlike others I have attended and whilst I sense from the meeting that Kate is still well respected by her constituents, they have a problem with the performance of her colleagues. Clearly there some issues for Kate to take back to Canberra.

At the local level I took the opportunity to encourage our rate payers to participate in the Community of Possibilities survey currently in progress (refer my post of earlier today). A couple of rate payers with issues they wish looked into stayed behind to air their concerns. The issues raised I am happy to investigate.

Community of Possibilities-Public Forum

Over the last few days the young staff of our swimming centre have been out in the streets of Unley soliciting your views.

These young guys and girls put in a great effort. They have obtained some good observations from the people who responded to them. The ideas obtained will feed into our new strategic plan and I look forward to seeing what passions our people have.

I spent some time at the Goodwood Road session yesterday and some time again today at the Farmers Market at the showgrounds. It was great to see the enthusiasm of our younger staff and the passion they put into the exercise.

And a big thank you goes to those people who gave their time to answer the four questions these young people put to you. Your input is highly valued.

Community of Possibilities-Public Forum

As part of our efforts to find out what sort of future you want for Unley we have adopted a number of initiatives.

These include posting on our web site and in Facebook.It includes a mail out with a questionnaire to every household.

On the website our will also be able to view a short film that has been produced which stars our Mayor and CEO – along with various community members promoting the opportunity for all to get involved and have their say about the future of Unley.

We have also planned to meet you out in the villages as per the schedule below:
  • Unley Shopping Centre – Saturday 16 June – 11am to 1pm
  • Goodwood Road Shopping area – Saturday 16 June – 10am to 1pm
  • Highgate Mall – Thursday 14 June – 3pm to 5pm
  • King William Road – Saturday 16 June – 2pm to 5pm
  • Farmers Market – Sunday 17 June – 9am to 12noon
  • Sturt Football Club (Panthers Game) Saturday 16 June – 12pm to 2pm
I intend to be present at both the Goodwood Road and Farmers Market as listed above, with a short break away to join Kate Ellis’s street meeting at 11.30 at Dora Guild Playground when we are at Goodwood Road.

Community of Possibilities-We want your View

That’s the challenge being put to Unley residents, businesses – even visitors – as Unley Council looks to redraw its Community Plan for the city.

“We’re asking the Unley community to think about the possibilities, the smart ideas we could bring into our city’s new Community Plan; A Community of Possibilities!” said Unley Mayor Lachlan Clyne.

“We’re proud of what we already have in Unley, but we know there must be things we could do better – and maybe we can find some incredibly smart ideas that could be really inspirational for our community.”

Mayor Clyne said Unley had an innovative council with a strong commitment to cultural transformation both inside and outside the council.

“This is all about drawing on the collective imagination of our community, giving the bright sparks in our midst a chance to fire up the city,” he continued.
Every household, business and community organisation in Unley will receive a “Community of Possibilities” brochure that outlines four themes for consideration:

  • Emerging: How to stimulate economic development and take advantage of innovative trends;
  • Living: Finding better ways of community engagement and participation, main street planning and better community services;
  • Moving: What local government might do to ease traffic congestion, how it might improve footpaths, roads and bikeways, and how it can make things more accessible to all; and
  • Greening: About environmental renewal, creative open spaces, Unley’s parks and gardens, water and energy conservation, and how Council can plan for these things.
 Check out this video link to hear from our Mayor
……… and our CEO

It all starts on Wednesday 6 June and over the following weeks Council staff will be at shopping centres, schools – even Sturt Football Club games at Unley Oval, distributing brochures and asking people to fill in the survey.

They will also make presentations at places as diverse as schools, community organisations and aged care facilities and nursing homes to ensure as wide a community involvement as possible.

A series of four invitation only workshops will be held, targeting the “bright sparks” in the Unley community, individuals recognised for their community interest and involvement.

It will conclude with an eight hour community event; “The Shebang”, from 12 noon to 8pm on Thursday 19 July in Unley Town Hall, when members of the community are invited to call in for an all-in “ideas fest”.

“This will be a dynamic, rolling, everybody welcome event at which people will be able to comment and build on all the possibilities that have been suggested so far,” Mayor Clyne said.

“These are fast changing times, with new possibilities and opportunities that we as a Council want to seize and run with.”

Brochures will provide details of how to add new ideas to the mix and by going online to Council’s web page www.unley.sa.gov.au/acommunityofpossibilities and completing a survey form.