Rail Separation Update

When I posted a blog a week ago after Kate Ellis’s street meeting I expected to report some facts resulting from a briefing promised to Council by DPTI.

My previous post was my intial reaction to the briefing. As you would deduce I was not impressed at what I saw as the potential for the residents of Goodwood South paying for the wishes of people wanting to save the Brownhill Creek from the Dam because we wan’t get a say what happens in our back yard via teh rail separation project that is impacting on the Brownhill Creek project.
This blog is an attempt to pass on what I did understand about what the Government is proposing for the rail separation.

The focus will be on the Noarlunga line as it is seen as the line impacting most on Victoria Street and Leader Street at Goodwood. The Belair train and the Freight train will not impact as much they are claiming in as much as when the Noarlunga Line is electrified and goes to Seaford (now the Seaford line) there will be many more train trips as part of the service.

This being the case the Seaford Line will be undergrounded prior to the Goodwood Station and the Beliar and Freight lines will remain at ground level. The undergrounding will commence somewhere between East Avenue and SASMEE Park and return from memory after Victoria Avenue. Notwithstanding this an elevated crossing from Fairfax Avenue (south of Goodwood Oval) to SASMEE Park and Millswood Crescent will be required but they dont know what form this will take.

The recenlty upgraded East Avenue crossing will need further upgrading.

They are promising enhanced landscaping within the project but then recognise that the diagrams provided suggest a corridor width far greater than what actually exists so I am less than convinced about “enhanced” landscaping. I fear the opposite to be true.

Public Information (not consultation) will commnece next week with door knocking followed by as yet to be announced public forums.

Tenders for (I think) design and construction will open on 21st June (that’s last week???) and close on 31 July. Construction is due between Januray and June next year.

The section of the project at Leader Street is yet to be funded so this is not due in the coming year’s budget.

Watch this space and/or watch the public notices if you want information or want a say.

Dam It and Railroaded!

While we have signed up on the 80% of the Brownhill Creek that can be done without the dam and await the “real” feasibility into the non-dam options we find the Federal & State Governments come along with what might create a dam in the middle of the Goodwood South Ward of the City of Unley.

You might well ask, what are you trying to tell us.
In a briefing from DPTI on Monday night before our Council meeting we were informed about the joint Government initiative to provide grade separation of the Noarlunga, now Seaford rail line, from the Belair line and the Freight line.
What was revealed has left this elected member in a quandary and concerned about us being railroaded into a scheme that it appears will impact totally unfairly on the community around Goodwood and Millswood.
If I understand correctly the rail grade separation will impact on the culverts that are required as part of the Brownhill Creek stormwater project. It will impact in as much as the culvert will now be diverted to allow for the Seaford line to go underground near the SASMEE Park and that these lines are to go now straight through the Millswood Sporting Complex.
The rail corridor in this area is very narrow and the combination of these two projects may impact significantly (excuse the pun) on the significant trees in the area.
And while the 5 Councils involved in the Brownhill Creek have already had extensive consultation with the public, and listened I might add to the public feedback we have the State Government telling us via their project team that they will be informing local residents in the weeks to come on the details of the project.
You heard me, informing us, not consulting with us. In other words it’s a done deal.  This will be by way of door knocking which is due to start next week, forums which are yet to be announced and by access to a web site and a 1300 number.
And in my opinion they do not yet know the detail so they are not going to be able to inform with any depth of substance.
If I came even close to understanding what they are proposing I see Goodwood South paying dearly for the No Dam option on the Brownhill Creek project because the rail project is going to impact significantly on the design parameters of the proposed culvert system in this area.
We have been promised a copy of the PowerPoint presentation used but are yet to receive this.
Anyone in the affected community and with any interest in their community needs to take time to find out what the government is proposing and if they are not happy to voice this as loud as they can.
I suggest you also watch this space because if I learn anything more and can understand it I will post it here.
PS  The presenter did confirm what I reported recenlty that both Kate Ellis and Steph Keys said at a recent street meeting were not aware of the detail. Interesting!

U-Turn on Mills Street

The much heralded (by me) removal of the ability of drivers to complete a U-Turn at the junction of Goodwood Road and Mills Street appears to have been completed.

Not so. It appears to me that the project is not yet complete even though it looks like it is.

By my inspection I believe the U-Turn is still possible, indeed maybe even easier than it once was.

I have passed on my observation to our administration.

If anyone witnesses U-Turns in the next period of time please let me know.

East Avenue pedestrian refuge awaits approval

The East Avenue pedestrian refuge has yet to get past our Road Safety Committee after an alternative proposal, suggested by our Administration, was not accepted.

After two public consultations, one originally at the current location and one recently adjacent Dunrobin Street, we now await some finessing on the design and advice from admin on what further public engagement will be legislatively required.

The Road Safety Committee should be in a position to make a recommendation to Council next month. And then the original aim of providing safer access across East Avenue for school children heading west to Black Forest Primary or east to Goodwood Primary or St Thomas will have been addressed.

Electricification of Noarlunga Rail Line Update

Nervously awaiting I am, the news that DPTI will consult more openly about the impacts of the electrification project along Parker Terrace, Canterbury Terrace and along Cromer Parade.

Council IS liaising with DPTI to develop a strategy for the consultation process. This is about all our administration can advise us of at this point in time.

Whilst negotiations are on going Jennie and I assure you that we will be looking after your interests and will be actively involved in any group representation that residents may wish to pursue if DPTI dont’ come to the party.

Let us hope they do.

Community Asset Review Update

The first stage of our Community Assets Review has been completed and the committee is preparing a report for council to consider. This report will advise Council of the results of the primary stakeholder consultation and the committees recommendations for going forward.

All the clubs have been consulted and we believe we know reasonably well how they see their future’s and their plans for the future. The clubs were invited recently to one of two BBQs we organised to thank them for their participation in the consultation. This was valuable exercise as we (and in particular the elected members of the committee, Mayor Clyne, Cr Salaman and myself) got to hear first hand the issues facing the clubs.

There will be a number of recommendations put to council directed at the use of our facilities by these clubs.

We will also be recommending a path forward for consulting the larger community who want and need to access our open spaces, and maybe our buildings. The larger community is you and me. We all need to get a benefit from our parks and gardens. This process will take us through August to October, allowing us to put a proposal to Council in November or December.

At this early stage it looks like we will be heading down the path of preparing master plans for both sites in Goodwood South; Goodwood Oval and the Millswood Sporting Complex. The same will apply in the eastern side of the City at Unley Oval. And yes that is likely to mean we will not see anything physically happening at any of the venues for some time, meaning leases to the various clubs should not be seen as in jeopardy.

Let’s face it, we are looking at how our assets may be employed not next year but 5 years from now, 10 years from now; indeed 20 years from now.

Millswood on the World Stage.

The Millswood Croquet Club, a small club nestled quietly and neatly away form view of the world in in suburban Millswood, is about to co-host a world event.

Adelaide is the host city for the 13th WCF AC World Championships in Adelaide from April 28th to May 6th, 2012. And yes, little ol’ Millswood will be one of the host venues.

The Championship will be a spectacular event. The top 80 World-ranked players from 24 countries will compete for the title of World Champion. The Championship is held every 2 years and is the most prestigious event on the World Croquet Calendar. So we about to witness what must be seen as a once in a lifetime event.
Croquet, especially in Australia, is the quiet achiever in the sporting world. Fiercely competitive, we are the largest croquet playing nation in the world with 8000 players. Croquet is a totally non-sexist and non-ageist sport and the game itself has been likened to a mixture of snooker and chess on grass.
Australia has a proud history of producing champions and this event will see the cream of the Australian croquet community turn out to fight it out with the very best including current champion Reg Bamford from South Africa for the right to be named The World Champion.
Spectators from all over the world plus a strong contingent from Australia will converge on Adelaide for this very special event, with the final being streamed live on the internet for the world-wide croquet community.
I am proud to have played a small part in preparing the club for this tournament. One of the first things I did early last year as a councillor for the Goodwood South Ward of the Unley Council was to ensure the club received assistance from Council to make some important renovations to a very quaint clubroom. We all would have been embarrassed to leave it as it was.

Goodwood Saints show why they are one of the real success storeys of the City of Unley’s Goodwood South Ward.

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the Guernsey presentations for the junior teams of the Goodwood Saints Football Club. They are truly a great club and an icon of the local community.

It was a tremendous night where some 250 young lads received their Guernseys for the 2012 season. 250 kids mainly from the Millswood, Clarence Park, Black Forest area and attending local schools like Black Forest Primary School, Goodwood Primary School and St Thomas Primary School.

                                                                          Not only is it exciting to see so many kids at Goody Oval, it was great to see the army of volunteers (mums and dads and others) supporting the development of young minds, helping them to progress into adulthood as part of a structure that knows and is success.

And Mums and Dads and others just supporting by being there.
We can all believe what we see and hear from our media that the kids of today are lazy, that they don’t get outdoors and don’t get exercise other than their thumbs on play stations etc. Or we can get outside ourselves, go along to the local oval and see what IS actually happening. 250 kids using Goodwood Oval….I rest my case.

Well done Goody Saints. I congratulate you; and may you continue to get the success you deserve. As an elected member of the City of Unley I will help any way I can to support a club that so clearly supports the local community.

PS           Is what I saw because of their success or is what I saw why they are successful?

They know!


Community Asset Review

Reviewing our assets to help our various community groups move forward is back on the Radar.
Council has endeavoured for a number of years now to complete a review of all our building assets, many of them having run down over time due to a lack of appropriate or programmed maintenance. Unfortunately the review stalled some time back.
A committee was reformed last year to and I volunteered to participate as a member. I have recently been asked to chair this group. This committee has, using data collected years ago form the various community groups using our facilities, supervised our officers going back out and consulting with these key stakeholders.
This process has all but been completed and a report is expected to be put before council in May or June to advise the findings of this key stakeholder engagement. We would then seek authority from Council to go out and consult with the wider community to seek their input into how we can best utilise the assets we have.
This has been a necessary exercise in that the City of Unley has a limited supply of green space when compared to other councils but we have a significant number of buildings and premises, some well utilised by our community, some not so well utilised. Our ultimate aim is to ensure that your rates are spent in areas that provide the greatest community benefit.
As we move forward and there is an expectation that our population will grow and recognition that our age demographic is heading north, it is time to plan now for the future so that we might leave a positive legacy for future residents and indeed future councils.

Two key sites in Goodwood South are included in this review; that being the Goodwood Oval complex and the Millswood complex located in Millswood Crescent. The clubs have all co-operated with the review and I applaud them for their understanding of the challenges council faces to provide for their collective futures. Having spoken with each club one on one, we will shortly mix with all of them collectively before finalising the report to council.

Mills Street Traffic Controls

The consultation to change the angled slow point to a plateau has closed and is currently being assessed.
I sense that there is majority support to proceed.

If this is the case construction would likely commence in April, along with preventing motorists making that dangerous U-Turn at the junction of Mills and Goodwood Road.

Looking forward to that as I know residents close to that intersection will also.

East Avenue Pedestrian Refuge Update

Well Done to our Road Safety Committee. They have requested more research not the best location for a refuge that our community consultation reveals is desirable for this precinct.
I attended last night’s Road safety Committee and was pleased at their approach to the question of where to put the refuge.
The location adjacent Dunrobin Street got the thumbs up from our recent public consultation. Trouble is locating it so close to a bus stop has DPTI concerned. The rightfully have pointed out that people may feel they can alight the bus and walk behind it and access the refuge without looking out for cars.
So after going out to consultation we find we have not done our research prior to consultation meaning we have egg on our face. Sounds a familiar storey for people in the Goodwood South Ward.
Two options are being looked at in light of this, one north of Fairfax and the other between Meredyth and Irwin (opposite Forest). Trouble is the design presented for the later (and preferred model) is schematic only and we cannot be sure it is workable.
So the committee quite rightly have sent it back for a more detailed analysis so we don’t go out again to the public and find we can’t do what we have promised and got approval for.

East Avenue Pedestrian Refuge Update

An alternative location is being proposed for the East Avenue Pedestrian Refuge after the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) expressed concerns with the proposed location because it would be placed in front of southbound buses and indicated they would not support it (this location).
The results of our public consultation were 13 in favour and 6 against, a total of 19 responses from 50 letters sent out.
Those in favour indicated it would assist pedestrians to cross East Avenue during morning and afternoon peak periods. Those against were concerned about the impact on private property access and the loss of 5 parking spaces. Two adjacent properties had particular issues regarding accessing due to the need to manoeuvre a caravan or trailer as the case may be into their respective property.
Whilst there was a majority in favour we will need to look elsewhere given the advice received from DPTI. As they would support a refuge south of the junction with Meredyth Avenue, meaning pedestrians would be clear of both north and south bound buses; our Road Safety Committee will have to consider when they meet next Wednesday recommending to Council that a new round of public consultation be commenced.
I hope this is not a repeat of Kelvin Avenue.
Goodwood South Ward could do with a project without enduring controversy.

SASMEE-Unley’s best kept secret

The secret is out. The South Australian Society of Model and Experimental Engineers (SASMEE) is being hindered by its own success.
Formed in 1927 and at its current site since 1947 SASMEE is finding it is gaining favour with young families using the facility as an inexpensive kid’s birthday venue. The venue, situated between the railway line on Cromer Parade and Millswood Crescent at Millswood, is growing in popularity because of the birthday cult.
And this is achieved purely by word of mouth. A volunteer organisation for those with a genuine interest in model engineering they are attracting regularly around 400 people to their “run” days, held once a fortnight. They have been known in recent times to attract up to 700 people, including adults.
The park is one of the only venues in Adelaide where a family of 2 adults and 3 children can have an afternoon’s fun for less than $ 20.00.
          waiting for a train                                                                                                      enjoying the day
In the current financial circumstances many parents express their gratitude for their pricing structure. These charges are for entry only, rides are free.
My co–councillor Jennie Boisvert and I were guests at the park today to see what they have achieved. We enjoyed a good day and we were impressed.
Your local ward councillors at work on a Sunday.
I must say I am impressed at how a group of volunteers can put together a facility with little or no help from others. There are many community groups and sporting bodies that can take a leaf out of their book. Well done guys.
And now for the challenge ahead. How do they grow from here with limited space.

Graffiti Management at work

Many people in Goodwood South Ward would be well aware we were attacked in a wide way two weekends ago. Tags were found all over the place in the near vicinity of East Avenue and into Goodwood Ward, Leah Street and Leader Street.
Our response was swift and full, removing all tags on infrastructure we are responsible for. It was all gone within 48 hours. Thanks guys.
Now we just await the efforts of DPTI to rid our stobie poles of this blight. Hopefully they are going to do their little bit?