Canterbury Terrace comes before Council this month

Our administration has confirmed today that Canterbury Terrace WILL be coming to Council this month.

The final detail is being finalised as we speak. It will be submitted for edification to management by the end of this week, which is the timeline in order for it to be part of this month’s agenda.

I expect the report may include information on the number of cyclists using the Greenways path and therefore the number of cyclists using this intersection. This will obviously inform the final recommendation put to Council.

Council meets net on Monday 28th April. The agenda for the meeting is due to be posted on the Council website the previous Thursday. This is the same day it is becomes available to elected members.

With Friday being Anzac Day I expect this will be bought forward to the Wednesday.

I invite you to check it out and let me know your thoughts prior to Council considering it.

PS   And I confirm I still expect the two way solution to be recommended.

The Fight Continues

The Greenways project may be complete but the fight is far from over as DPTI talk the talk but have yet learnt to walk the walk.

Jennie and I received a communication from DPTI this week. In that communication they advised that:
1.      Fencing along the Greenways and electrified line will be repaired only if they are considered to pose a safety hazard.

2.       Where the Greenway route is a path within the rail corridor, there is a 1.8m high spear top rail fence already located between the path and the railway corridor

3.       Fences are not required between private properties and the greenways bike path. Indeed we are told “one property along the Greenway, located between Clarence Park and Emerson, actually has no boundary fence and wants to keep it this way”.
Being blisfully unaware of the condition of the fences in this area myself notwithstanding I have walked the strip a number of times I ventured back there on Friday and again today to pay more specific attention and this is what I found:
1.      A number of fences ARE clearly in my opinion unsafe and surely should have been addressed before the pathway was made open to the public.Any fence whose sheeting is pulling away from the framework and/or leaning is in my opinion unsafe.

2.       The Greenway path between Emerson and Clarence Park Rail Stations is chain mesh, and some of this, where Byron, Canterbury and the bike path meet (a gathering area of people from all directions), is but 1200 high. It is quite neat and probably does the job but it not what we are being told it is. Proof yet again of what I have been saying for a long time….DPTI will know what this project looks like, only after it is finished. Mind you this fence is up so maybe they won’t even then.

3.       Not only did I NOT find property between Emerson & Clarence Park that has NO fence I challenge that people would be happy for the rear yards to be exposed to the bikeway. I just cant see that. Indeed it would mean that these properties would have no private open space. Unless there is a quaint little regulation stuck away somewhere that overrides the Development Regulations all residential properties are required to have private open space which is defined as behind an 1800 high fence. Not many of them along the corridor.
Did not take a picture of any low height fences for reasons of privacy
Of course I knew all that anyway, living just around the corner. It is a bit like talking to a call centre from Mumbai, they simply don’t know Adelaide.

Victoria Street Open to cars

The rail grade separation and electrification works are coming to an end with Victoria Street, Millswood open to traffic.

There is still much to be done to be finally complete and while workers will  frequent the area there will be safety guards present at the crossing.

I noticed when visiting the site early this afternoon that sound attenuation walling is yet to commence and the Greenways bike path from the crossing back to Cromer Parade has yet to be bituminised. Of course electrification works  are well short of finished.

There are of course a number of resident concerns yet to be resolved with DPTI. Jennie & I will be seeking another audience with Rod Hook if we feel resolutions are not forthcoming in the near future.

DPTI presents Community Wildlife Project to Neighbourhood Watch

At the invitation of Clarence Park Neighbourhood Watch DPTI presented their proposals to re-establish the local wildlife disturbed by the recent rail revitilisation works through Unley.

This project, in partnership with the City of Unley and the NRM Board, will provide an opportunity for people to work them to return wildlife habitat to where it has been impaired or destroyed as the rail project rolled out over the last 9 months.

DPTI have undertaken to fund and facilitate community wildlife project information centres and nesting-box building workshops with students from surrounding schools. Examples of the boxes where available at the presentation. They showed video of the students of Black Forest and Goodwood Primary Schools enthusiastically committing to protecting their local environment.

This program, as reported before in this blog, is an extension of our very own nesting-box program; a program that has seen from memory some 30 boxes located mainly in the eastern parts of the City of Unley. This brings it out west.

More information can be found at

Update on confusion and confounding

Further to my post of last week it seems another fence in Black Forest along the Greenways will now be replaced.

I believe only 1 however, and this as a result of applied pressure by that resident.

This means 5 of the 7 have been down now rather then 4 from 7. By my calculation that is 2 to go.

Wonder if and when we will hear of these being done and whether or not the resident concerned has to be as persistent as the previous ones have had to be.

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.

Outside the Meeting

Whilst we had a successful meeting with Rod Hook today other issues were surfacing as we met.

I came into possession of the DPTI submission to the Development Assessment Commission (DAC)
just prior to the meeting with Rod Hook (see earlier post today), courtesy of our planning department, who have been asked to provide comment on the submission. I gave Jennie a copy so she could present it to the CAG meeting tonight.

We did not have time to discuss it with Rod Hook and we did not have time prior to the meeting to pick up on the detail to allow us to discuss it. Suffice it to say Ray Broomhill (member of GRAG) and Jennie will be raising it as we speak at tonight’s CAG meeting. Jennie is bound to report on this in her next blog post.

I understand that DPTI have indicated to the DAC that widespread public approval has been received from the public. It seems there has been some good consultation with various residents on each section of fence but widespread approval I doubt has been achieved.

At the end of the day the solutions may have been widely discussed and it may well be that the solutions offered may be the best available. I am sure residents will not be impressed however at not seeing let alone being able to comment on the final designs before they are approved by DAC.

It does look like that they have agreed with resident concerns in a number of streets with solutions that appear to address sound attenuation issues. The occupants of the flats in Lyons Parade for instance are due to get double glazing. The house on the corner of Lyons and Victoria will have a special one off solution.

Not sure everyone will be pleased however.

Meeting with CEO of DPTI

Today’s meeting, my second with Rod Hook, this time with Jennie and with our own CEO and our General  Manager Infrastructure, shows the value of talking with decision makers.

The meeting was arranged to discuss a number of issues still alive and needing direction on the rail corridor projects. We scored a number of wins for our residents courtesy of a CEO who wants to not disadvantage residents, and who is quite open to providing choice where this can be done without compromising the project profile set by the Government.
The major win today was confirmation of the latest saga to beset the project, and which was the subject of a public meeting last week. THE PEDESTRIAN CROSSING AT MILLSWOOD, Arundel to the Bowling Club, WILL NOT BE CLOSED.

We also queried him on what is going to happen with Graffiti not just at the end of the rail revitalization projects but by way of ongoing maintenance. Whilst we (Council) indicated we might be able to contribute through our volunteer program, Rod indicated they will be letting a contract similar to that being used on the nearby Gallipoli Underpass.

This involves regular observance and removal within 24 hours. Seems to be working on my experience on the Underpass.

The walkway between Cranbrook Avenue and Victoria Street will be retained which will be well received by residents in that Millswood pocket between Goodwood Road and the Belair  rail line.

He will also look into why there is only a 1200 high mesh fence along Canterbury Terrace, agreeing with my observation to his staff a couple of weeks back that is was not safe.

All in all it was a successful meeting and i look forward to the fruits of our discussions on location.

DPTI running true to form

The headlines online today from the Eastern Courier read “Residents to hold meeting tonight to protect crossing at Millswood.”

This was in response to DPTI finding out only after the Belair trains were back in operation that their redesigned turn out bay to allow Belair trains travelling in opposite directions to pass have cut the line of sight for pedestrians crossing the corridor from Arundel Avenue to the Millswood Reserve. This means it is not safe for pedestrians to use the crossing.

This is a direct result, as I have oft claimed in the ongoing saga of the various rail revitalisation projects, of DPTI simply not having the resources to complete the projects in the time requested by the State Government. The State Government have their own agenda of course and that appears to have stuff to offer the electorate as examples of what they can do ready for the next sate Election. This may well backfire on them given the amount of angst along the rail corridors.

The problems we (residents) have experienced and their (DPTI) lack of consultation with affected residents can be simply attributed to this. They could not consult over that they were not aware of until ready to construct or have constructed (as in this case).

And again as I have been saying all along, the method of project management that DPTI use ….”Design & Construct” …. leaves little room to consult anyway because how can you when you don’t know what your doing before you do it.

Back to Millswood. Residents rightfully are aggrieved at yet another broken promise and more so when met at the meeting with verbal advice from DPTI that “they will not rule out closing that pedestrian crossing” which flies in the face of brochures at the crossing from DPTI saying “they have no plans to close the crossing”.

I congratulate residents on their civilized and considered presentation to Liberal Candidate for Ashford at the next election Terina Monteagle, Liberal member for Unley David Pisoni and Deputy Leader of the Opposition Vicki Chapman. A number of good observations have been made about how to solve this State Government created malaise.

Vicki and Terina will be taking these to DPTI management and we all thank them for that and await the results.

In the meantime I have a suggestion for DPTI’s management. If something has gone wrong and it will affect residents:

1   Don’t hide it from them. Admit it. Let them know as soon as the problem is discovered with a commitment to work with them to solve it.
2   Offer to go away and look at solutions that can be bought back to the residents, noting the need to recognise such essential things as safety etc.
3   Provide multiple solutions and seek input from residents on those solutions.
4   Implement the best option, after that process has been completed.

That may or may not be what residents prefer for sound engineering reasons or for safety but at least they will feel they have contributed rather than being lied to.

This is an approach I have long held in my business dealings. I have found that not only does it cost my business less in the long run but your client appreciates your integrity, which has other positive influences on your bottom line, repeat business or favourable references. Gee they stuffed up but you know before I could pick on them they had fixed it.

This is an approach I am actively seeking Council to adopt. We (Council) indeed have matter coming before us shortly that I will be speaking to in like terms.

It may be fair to say people in the past could not care but we are a new breed now. We do care. And while there may still be a lot of people out there who simply want the government to make decisions and get on with it, they are more who want to feel they are contributing and that the Government cares for them and how a project may impact on them.

The 21st Century solution as it where.

It is now finally Councils turn on the Rail Corridor

After months of residents being told by DPTI representatives that Council is or will be responsible for this and/or that we now will be involved.

Beginning this week Council and DPTI will begin a community engagement process with residents and property owners along the Greenways aspect of the rail corridor works that are occurring through Unley for the purpose of re vegetation.
Council has identified ‘Nodes of Opportunities’ along the route where we believe positive outcomes can be achieved from the completion of these projects.
We will be engaging with residents through a feedback form process and also offering opportunities for residents to meet on site through to the end of July. These letters identify the background, opportunities to contribute and meeting opportunities with Council staff and DPTI.
In summary the meeting locations, dates and times are as follows:
·         Cromer Parade Node – Cnr Cromer Parade and Meredyth Avenue – Thursday 18th July 2013 – 4.00pm to 6.00pm
·         Black Forest Node (Emerson Crossing to Byron Road) – Off Road Path – Thursday 25th July 2013 – Cnr Byron Road and the Path – 4.00pm to 6.00pm
·         Richards Tce, Nairne Tce and Lyons Parade Node – Wednesday 31st July 2013 – Cnr Nairne Tce and Nichols Street (at Forestville Reserve) – 4.00pm to 6.00pm
Council has also identified the Parker Terrace and Canterbury Terrace area by the Clarence Park Station as a specific Node that we are consulting on traffic design and Ash tree replacement. Option plans will be provided to residents seeking their input and comments.
An opportunity has been offered for these residents to meet with Trevor Stein (our Sustainable Landscape Specialist) and DPTI staff on Wednesday 24th July 2013 at the Clarence Park Community Centre between 4.00pm and 6.00pm.
Three of these nodes are within Goodwood South Ward and I will attend each. I am looking forward to your observations. Jennie is due back shortly from her sojourn and i expect she will also be attending I expect 2 of them.

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.

Will interception by Minister Koutsantonis save the day

That is the question in Black Forest after a meeting with residents who believe they are not being listened too by DPTI.

Firstly; thanks to Minister Koutsantonis for spending his Saturday afternoon with these residents and for the approach taken to try and broker some negotiated solutions, one by one with residents, also one by one. He tried hard to listen and to assist.

He unfortunately found that hard for two reasons.
The first was, as the residents will confirm is the absence of engineering solutions being offered as options by DPTI and the old escape clause “Council have agreed” that this is the way to go. The second is some residents standing on their digs believing they have superior or at least other solutions and that DPTI have not bothered to investigate other than what they have, providing preferred one off only solutions rather than provide options.
In the finish he was backing away from helping residents in my opinion because he perceived were coming on too strong and I suspect he was thinking they (the residents) weren’t considering the rest of the public with their solution.
I have to say I got frustrated with the continual reference for the last 6 months to Council agreement and that Council will decide. 
In other words while progress was being made today I think ultimately it was a stale mate, with a group of residents complaining to me after the entourage left.
I pushed two things and quite adamantly with things appearing to go nowhere.
First I forcibly put a stake in the “council” excuse by saying whilst DPTI will take instruction from a Council manager, they (the management) will not give that direction without seeking elected member input first. I then confirmed that Elected Member approval, will not happen without Resident input.
This I believe to be a fundamental difference between DPTI and Council. DPTI provides a preferred solution (one they can work with) and then seeks acceptance from the public. Council seeks to have options that the public can choose between and/or influence.
The second thing I pushed was providing the residents with some goal for when the node meeting will be, given DPTI’s representative was unable to suggest when it could be so I pushed and the residents accepted an agreed time. 
This means design work by DPTI or ourselves now has a timeline rather than a meeting waiting on DPTI and council being ready.
PS           I am convinced that DPTI, after many dealings with this organisation, believe they have to present A or THE solution rather than options as they should be determining and then seeking acceptance rather than approval and this limits their thinking of possible solutions because they wind up focusing too narrowly. Indeed this approach often means they fail to see the real problems in the first place.

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.

DPTI’s past dealings a legacy for the future

As the rail revitalisation through the City of Unley moves to its next phase, mast installation, communication with the residents about keeping a n environment they would wish to live in has become harder.

A marathon meeting with local residents in Cowper Road Black Forest a couple of weeks ago (as I posted at the time) I thought was a very positive meeting and the man charged by DPTI I believe was receptive, unlike his predecessors, to the needs of the residents. Council’s senior staff attended the same meeting and confirmed my long held position that the best possible solution must be sought for the residents.

The next phase which is mast installation is about to commence. Coupled with this in one area at least will be lighting for the greenways bike path that has taken over part of the corridor. Likewise re vegetation (which council is taking on with DPTI being responsible for cost) can then proceed.

We had an undertaking that the final location of masts, which will be non negotiable after DPTI has taken all issues impacting on the location of each mast into consideration, would be available last Friday. We still await this and this holds up the on site progress because nothing can proceed until this is obtained.

Trouble is there is evidence of workers wanting to proceed, clearly with documentation that is not final. It appears that the man now in charge has yet to have the whole construction team on side. Must be hard for him right now. But that is DPTI from my experience.

Kerb Construction where Cowper Road meets the rail/greenways  corridor

Of course the residents have reached a point from many previous negotiations with DPTI where the do not trust what is being promised right now. So much so the Minister is now involved.

This history they are struggling to shred which is a shame because I believe a solution is forthcoming that will provide them a result that should work for them.

I understand he (the hon. Tom Koutsantonis)  has met with some of the residents already and will be meeting again on site this coming weekend.

His involvement, along with concessions I believe DPTI are making (based on conversations I have had behind the scenes), I believe will see a good result.

 What I can also say is, where Council has an involvement or a say in the end result, we WILL BE, working for a solution that addresses the residents true needs. And Council officers and elected members are on the same page, something that appears not to be the case on North Terrace.

Clarence Park Comedy Capers Continue

Two weeks since the fence was re-erected and the gate remains. Reminds me of another no. 39 that does not go away….Warwick Capper.

Yes that fence to the rail corridor and adjacent my street (Kelvin Avenue) has been up for two weeks now. And yes the gate still remains.

From what I hear and what I have seen for myself is a number of contractors have still tried to re-enter the corridor from this gate but …. well …. hmmm.

And the other day two guys in orange jackets came and took photos.

Wonder whats next?

PS    The bobcat in the picture is NOT in the corridor. It is on the other side of the corridor, on the being constructed greenways bike path in Canterbury Terrace.

Trust has to be earnt

After months of broken promises residents along the Noarlunga (Seaford) railway corridor are having trouble accepting the promises of the man who has been commissioned by DPTI to complete the electrification and associated projects along the corridor.

David Bartlett has been directed by DPTI CEO Rod Hook to co-ordinate both the electrification project and the Greenways project along the corridor, to oversee the two projects and to act as the community liaison on both. In words I used recently that makes him the go to man.

This all eventuated after two personal discussions I had with DPTI, firstly with Rod Hook and then with the Goodwood Junction Project Manager Luigi Rossi. At these two meetings, both attended by our own CEO Peter Tsokas, I availed Rod and Luigi with some cold hard facts about where the community sees their efforts at communication and consultation.

At the last of these meetings it was agreed there was a need to have one man (a go to man) to address these issues and to ensure that, as the various projects move to completion, resident concerns be channeled through David (as DPTI nominee) to the various team leaders. This way we might see one message go out to residents rather than conflicting messages coming from the different project teams.

I have had four meetings now with David, with fellow Ward Councillors affected by the projects, the whole Council, then at a recent CAG meeting and last Thursday night with residents of one of the affected streets.

David confirmed he was the man to liaise between the residents and the various project teams at those last two meetings. He also made commitments on local issues (relevant to that street) that would ensure the residents get a say in the environment they would inherit.

This included confirmation that there would be no gate at the end of their street, even though workers the previous day were operating off a plan that included a gate. The fence that WILL be installed there he indicated would be Council’s responsibility to design (with DPTI paying for it).

I then gave a personal commitment that Council would design this fence in consultation with residents, with our General Manager Infrastructure John Devine, and our Sustainable Landscape Specialist Trevor Stein (who would have responsibility for the design process) attending this meeting.

David then offered the expertise of a sound engineer to advise Council and the residents on what sound abatement options we/they have.

History might have residents wondering whether this is all going to happen. I am confident myself that David Bartlett’s intentions are honorable. The one stumbling block is the section of rail between Edwardstown (in Marion Council) and Keswick (just north of the City of Unley section) is the only section where mast locations are yet to be finalised. Until this is determined, Council and the Residents cant design the re-vegetation of their environment.

Having said that yours truly did manage to get DPTI, through David, to alter what was then considered the final mast positions given observations I made relative to the street in question that would have been the worst possible solution.

The level of trust, which I trust will now start to improve, may have been the biggest contributing factor behind the length of the meeting….. three hours. And I thought Council meetings were long.

Over to you David. I am looking forward to you vindicating my trust.

Is my house at risk?

Your home is not at risk of major failure as a result of the construction works being undertaken by DPTI at the Goodwood Junction, or elsewhere along the rail corridor as the rail infrastructure is being revitalised and electrified.
Does this mean your house will not suffer some form of damage? NO! The construction works can and will impact on your house to varying degrees. Cracks may appear, plaster may fall off the wall etc.
Whatever your understanding of what DPTI’s consultant said at last night’s CAG meeting I aim to bring some perspective to it for you here.
Referring to my earlier post tonight the question not answered by DPTI at last night’s meeting is what impact will the various rail projects have on my home and WILL DPTI ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY for rectification of the damage. In this earlier post I suggested this question was not answered by DPTI. The answer given was, the works will not impact significantly on your home.
Firstly! I am a building inspector when not fulfilling my obligations as a Councillor for the Goodwood South ward of the city of Unley.
As a building inspector, and with 44 years’ experience in the building industry I can say to you that the construction works being undertaken by DPTI, in my opinion, will not structurally compromise your house in any major way and that you do not have to worry that your house will become structurally deficient and collapse.
That said the construction works will more than likely be responsible for defects that may appear when certain construction activities take place.
Notwithstanding the comments made by DPTI’s experts last night about vibrations, buildings of different age, different construction detailing, and different engineering WILL react differently to the same level of vibration.
A home built 100 years ago with bluestone footings will react differently than a house built only 2 years ago with today’s engineering knowledge. A home with drummy plaster (which is common of older homes) will be more prone to plaster falling off the wall than a home with plaster that adheres to the wall as can be expected today.
Damage can and will occur to some homes. This is why DPTI have offered dilapidation surveys on some homes, homes they believe are likely to be impacted by the works. They would not have conducted these surveys otherwise.
The level of damage will not be structurally compromising however, so please, please do not panic that your home is going to collapse.
I have every faith that, once the project is complete, that DPTI will conduct further surveys and they will repair defects that, unless the defects that have appeared can be attributed to clear and identifiable outside factors, has appeared during the period of the project. I trust they will do likewise to other houses they did not conduct dilapidation surveys too.
That said, the repairs needed to your home, whilst they may be significant, will not at the end of the day be major, even though you may think otherwise. Major defects are those that will impact on the structural integrity of your home.
My advice to you is to ensure that DPTI do inspect your home at the completion of the project. In so doing be clear to them that you believe the defects are the result of the construction within the rail corridor.
Please note also that defects that may appear well after the project has been complete are unlikely to be as a result of the construction works. In my experience the defects will appear immediately or very soon thereafter.
If you wish assistance or advice with this I am happy for you to contact me via my business email [email protected].
And my advice to DPTI! May I respectfully suggest that you talk to people where they are and that means not blinding them with science. Last night I believe was a waste of time for you in public relations.

Disillusionment Continues with DPTI on Rail projects

Residents continue to be concerned they are being “snowed” by DPTI when it comes to protecting their interests after a meeting with residents last night.

This was the latest of regular meetings convened to liaise between DPTI and their contractors and the residents affected by the rail works. This meeting focused on damage to houses resulting from the constructions works. The efforts to address concerns about damage to houses was not received well.
Experts in vibration who have been commissioned by DPTI or the contractors to monitor the construction activities spoke at last night’s meeting to help residents understand what is being done to avoid damage to their homes. The presentation was a technical appraisal of vibrations of equipment and how it might impact on surrounding ground and the methodology of recording it.
Unfortunately the information provided appeared to be above the understanding of most people present at the meeting. As I saw it graph after graph after graph only confused most present. As the presentation unfolded, the message being received by residents from what I could see was that cracking in their homes was not the result of vibrations by the various equipment being used by DPTI’s contractors on the series of rail projects, but other unidentified factors.
This inspired one resident to speak up before the presentation was completed indicating she was a simple person with a simple understanding. She identified that she did not have cracks in her house before work on the Goodwood Junction commenced and now she has. Her take is that this must be as a result of the DPTI construction work.
This announcement bought the presentation by the experts to a halt.
Unfortunately the lack of trust of residents towards DPTI has widened.
The presentation focused on what vibrations are needed to impact on buildings. The standards being applied are, in the absence of an Australian Standard, based on German standards.
These standards assume houses built 30 years ago, 50 years ago, indeed 100 years ago without any engineering input will not react differently to houses built today with the engineering input applied today. The German standard indicates apparently that heritage houses, which are more susceptible to damage from vibrations, are hundreds of years old whereas houses only 100 years old are equal in their ability to withstand vibrations as are today’s engineered houses.
This is an argument not accepted by the majority of those present.
I am sure, having said that, that DPTI will respond appropriately to claims for rectification of damage to homes that occurs during the construction of the rail upgrade. But given the message received by residents last night do they (the residents) think this will happen?
I doubt it.
For an opinion on the impact of the construction works of the rail projects on homes adjacent the line check my next post.

Canterbury Terrace and Parker Terrace Trees

I refer you to my previous posts today in writing this post and asking where to from here for the trees in Canterbury Terrace and Parker Terrace.

Residents of these two and nearby streets would be aware that a question was raised whether or not the tree replacements we at council are looking at for these two streets could happen. It was felt by some of us that they may actually be in the exclusion zone, per a brochure mailed to everyone two weeks ago explaining the vegetation no go zones for the electrification of the line.

You would note from my earlier post that the location of masts, and indeed what sort of masts is yet to be determined. Until this is done the final boundary between the corridor and council land is not certain either. I guess it is a case of watch this space.

In the meantime and assuming there is no issue, and I suspect there is not for a few reasons, the council survey on tree replacement types has now completes. The results are as follows:

33% of people surveyed responded

Of these:
82% were in favour of removing the ash trees (remembering the Gums in Canterbury are to remain).

The selection of tree you felt was appropriate were as follows:
Ornamental Pear             13
Crepe Myrtle                  12
Mixture of Two                 4
One species each street     4

A mixed bag.

This will be taken on board as we move forward, noting we have to finalise the LATM in Black Forest so that there is no clash between the two. We also need to await the electrification mast and corridor fence location which we trust we will know soon. It would appear the fence location (having said that) will not alter in this part of the corridor.