Next stage in the Unley Oval Improvement Plan

Council is requesting input from ratepayers and users of Unley Oval for the next stage in the Unley Oval Improvement Plan.

Unley Oval Pirate Ship playground

Unley Oval Pirate Ship playground

A forgotten component to the plan is reconfiguring the hill in the north west corner. This is where the oft visited pirate ship is located. The equipment is quite old. We have allocated funds in the current budget to upgrade the playground.

Since the commencement of the improvement plan the focus has been on how improvements to the ground will favour the Sturt FC. It is time now to bring the focus back to our kids.

Council does not have any firm ideas on what the playground might look like.  We are seeking community feedback to help us develop a great new space.

Whilst the ‘hilltop’ playground is not aimed at any particular age group at present, the upgrades will consider play opportunities for age 5-12 years. The playground on the other side of the Oval caters for children younger than this.

Things you might consider include ideas from the following list without being limited to it:

  • Replacement of the existing pirate ship and woodchip softfall with new play equipment and softfall, aimed at age 5-12 years.
  • The existing seat/table be retained or maybe relocated.  The existing ‘daisy swing’ may or may not be retained.
  • New play equipment (specify type) be installed in (generally) the same location as the existing playground (top of the hill).
  • The view of the oval and Adelaide hills will be maintained.
  • No change to the hill/mound
  • Other

We have determined that a shade structure will not be installed as part of this project and the existing natural shade will continue to be used.

Please give us your thoughts on the next stage in the Unley Oval Improvement Plan via one of the following methods:


Unley Oval Grandstand upgrade ready for public engagement.

The next phase of the master planning process for Unley Oval took the next step today. Concept designs for the Unley Oval Grandstand upgrade have been completed and ready for the next round of consultation.


Unley Oval Grandstand

This is a necessary step so that we can be what you might call “shovel ready” if and when funding from outside sources ever become available. In today’s financial climate that does not look like being around the corner but we need to be ready if and when it does and in time in will.

Community engagement on the Future Grandstand Upgrades at Unley Oval has commenced today and will close on Friday 13 November.

Hard copy information is displayed at the oval, and in the civic centre foyer, libraries and community centres.  Feedback forms are also available at these sites.

The online ‘Your Say Unley’ portal will be the primary source of information (including FAQs) and for receiving feedback, however hard copy forms may also be posted or handed in at the civic centre.

The online link can be viewed here –

We have also written to local schools and the Unley Oval clubs to promote to their networks.

Can I encourage you to contribute to the process.

Unley Oval Grandstand Upgrade

A key component of the recent Unley Oval master planning process was to consider upgrades for the ailing health of the Unley Oval grandstands.


Council had previously resolved that it would be appropriate to have “shovel ready” plans for the redevelopment of the grandstands, in the event that a grant funding opportunity presents itself in the short to medium term. Whilst both the State and Federal Governments both have tight budgetary concerns currently we resolved that it is prudent to be ready for whenever grant funding may become available.

As part of the process of being shovel ready Council last night considered a proposal to take concept designs out to consultation. These designs focus on what council have previously indicated is their preferred option for upgrade.

If completed, the grandstand upgrades will provide a significantly enhanced experience for users of Unley Oval.

Whilst the upgrades will not mean any significant visual change to the oval vista when viewed from anywhere on the playing field or surrounds, they will deliver facilities much more closely aligned to the AFL Preferred Facilities Guidelines for State League competitions. They will also provide much improved facilities for all other users of the oval besides the footballers, in terms of amenities, canteen access, and community function facilities.

The key features of the nominated upgrade option include:
McKay Stand
• Small extension on northern end containing Umpires Rooms and possible Property Store on the ground floor, and a new public canteen on the upper level which is directly accessible by the public from the mound in front of the stand
• Interior fully upgraded for use as ‘away team’ rooms with locker room, warm up room and replacement amenities
Oatey Stand
• Ground Floor – new public toilets, new ‘home team’ rooms
• First Floor – office accommodation
• Second Floor – function rooms
• Lift to be installed

The total estimated project cost is in the order of $8.25 million, and it is anticipated that grant funding and contributions from the Sturt Football Club (perhaps via the SANFL Football Park distribution) would comprise a major component of this amount.

Living Active in Unley

Last night Council endorsed the draft Living Active Sport and Recreation Plan 2015-2020. This is a policy that has been in the making now for a while and is related to the Healthy and Active Community component of The City of Unley Community Plan 2033.


Known as the Living Active Plan it has been shaped by other related projects, including the Active Unley research project, the Unley Oval Improvement Plan, the Goodwood Oval and Millswood Sporting Complex Improvement Plan, the Community Asset Review (2011-2013) and the development of Council’s new Open Space Strategy.
A summary of key actions is as follows:
• Develop and implement a Healthy Communities program, which includes innovative and relevant activities that promote participation in physical activity and healthy living in the City of Unley.
• Investigate the establishment of an active travel education program to provide information, awareness and training and to promote the benefits of walking and cycling.
• Identify and secure opportunities to implement the Improvement Plans for Unley Oval, Goodwood Oval and Millswood Sporting Complex.
• Support the development of an ‘iconic’ play space in the City of Unley.
• Actively work with the Adelaide City Council to provide guidance and advocate for the development of the Adelaide Park Lands to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes. Priority projects include a regional dog park and the investigation of new hockey facilities in the South Park Lands. This is page 5 of the Council Agenda Reports for 13 July 2015
• Support our local sport and recreation organisations to remain financially sustainable and implement governance frameworks through advice, forums and information.
• Encourage and support local sports clubs to adopt the Good Sports and Star Clubs initiatives, and continue to recognise the volunteers of these clubs and the contribution they make to the community.

This is in my opinion a well considered plan that accurately identifies what we should be considering in the next decade in order to ensure you and I and our neighbours are kept active and healthy.

Of significance not only does the plan recognise the need to redevelop Unley & Goodwood Ovals and Millswood Sporting Complex, it recognises that we should actively pursue opportunities with our neighbouring councils and in particular Adelaide with better using the South parklands.


Councillors taken off Ovals

The headline reads Councillors taken off Ovals and this has me gobsmacked.


Tucked away on page 5 of this weeks Eastern Courier is another article that has me wondering if I should rely on them for knowledge of what council is doing. For the third time this week their take on what council has or has not or is or is not doing differs from my understanding.

From where I sit Councillors taken off Ovals could not be further from the truth, let alone that staff would no longer be attending meetings.

I fervently hope that readers do not rely on the Eastern Courier to know what Council is doing. I find myself again this week saying this is my take on what has occurred.

Given legal advice received on the way our numerous advisory groups were constituted under the requirement of the Local Government Act we needed to make some changes to allow those who wish to continue to so do.

Yours Truly moved a motion that was accepted unanimously and which included


1   That Council no longer coordinate the following reference groups:

• Unley Oval

• Goodwood Oval

 2   That the Reference Group members be advised of Council’s decision and be encouraged to continue under their own leadership

3   That elected Members be encouraged to communicate with the community groups as required.


So I question do I rely on the Eastern Courier to tell me what I am doing or do I rely on my own I suggest intimate knowledge having been the prime mover.

As a matter of interest and as a postscript. Members of the current Reference Group will be meeting next week to determine how we constitute ourselves for the future. Yes Ourselves, elected members included!

The motion did not make any reference to staff involvement and I can assure members of the Goodwood Oval Reference Group that if they wish the attendance of our staff at any of their meetings Council will respond positively.

Sturt to share in the proceeds of the Sale of Footy Park

The following transcript is an article on the SANFL website. Seems the league will be bailing out all their clubs over the coming years as a result of the pending sale of Football Park.

As  read the article it seems also that some clubs and Sturt, after their particularity intense effort to solve their own debt problems, may by in line for  grant that will assist in the redevelopment of Unley Oval.

SANFL announces debt relief payments for clubs

SANFL clubs will share in additional game development payments over the next seven years under a commitment from the SA Football Commission to help clubs retire debt.

The eight SANFL clubs – Central District, Glenelg, North Adelaide, Norwood, South Adelaide, Sturt, West Adelaide and Woodville-West Torrens – will each receive an additional $2 million in game development payments between 2016 and 2022 inclusive.

The funds will become available to the SANFL for distribution to the clubs as part of the staged redevelopment of the AAMI Stadium precinct, with the first payment of $125,000 per club scheduled to happen in October 2016.

“The fact that the SANFL is moving into a position to be able to further assist clubs is obviously a good thing,” SA Commission Chairman John Olsen said.

“However, this should not be misinterpreted as largess to help the clubs run their businesses.

“The funding comes with a strict series of conditions to ensure the focus is on reducing debt and building savings.

“This is a once-off opportunity. We are realising the value of what is our biggest asset and we must therefore do so in a way that maximises the outcome. For many clubs, this will not be a panacea. They will need to continue to commit to debt and expenditure reduction to ensure they can all emerge stronger for the future.”

The SANFL clubs will receive staggered payments subject to conditions that include extinguishing any outstanding tax or employee superannuation commitments and reducing both secured and unsecured debt.

Only once a club has paid its outstanding debts can it commit any of the funds to savings, and it must do so by investing in such a way as to preserve the capital amount.

It can then – with the approval of the SA Football Commission – potentially use those investments as security against future borrowings.

“The redevelopment of our asset at West Lakes delivers some critically important short, medium and long-term benefits for South Australian football,” Mr Olsen said.

“In the first instance, the initial $10 million up-front payment from the developers enabled us to immediately pay off our debt with the AFL,” he said.

“Over the next seven years we will retire the League’s remaining debt and, with these additional payments, assist the SANFL clubs to significantly improve their viability.

“From 2022, we will then be able to commence contributions to a future fund for South Australian football which will further underpin its financial security.

“This is all part of a wider SANFL strategy to ensure football in this State is as strong as possible for generations to come.”

Buy A Picket for the Unley Oval Fence

With their Buy a Picket campaign the Sturt Football Club have secured the 1/3 rd contribution they were hoping to get from the SANFL to secure the installation of picket fencing around the Unley Oval.

I have received word that Sturt, after failing to get a contribution from the cashed up SANFL (if recent reports about their recouping an extra $3 plus million from the success of the Crows and the Power at Adelaide Oval this year are accurate), have by copying the buy a picket program of Adelaide Oval may well have succeeded in getting the pickets around Unley Oval.

The motion I moved at Council for the Picket Fencing contained a condition that Sturt who had promised to contribute 1/3 the cost of the fencing would have to find someone else to contribute likewise because we (the Council) would only contribute 1/3. The initially felt they had a good case to put t the SANFL but no grant was forthcoming from them. This is in spite of the rumoured gold mine for the SANFL in the form of the Adelaide Oval.

Unley Oval Pickets



So the Double Blues figured they could copy the buy a picket campaign at the Adelaide Oval. And as I understand it this has been a successful campaign. They have sufficient pledges, perhaps with supporters of the Sturt District Cricket Club also putting their hands up, to cover that final 1/3 cost.

If this is the case then I expect they (Sturt) will be providing Council with the evidence very soon and we could see tenders called as early as before Christmas and work commence early in the new year, in time fr the start of the next footy season.

If Sturt FC can be as successful on the field as they are currently showing off the field a premiership is probably just around the corner.

Unley Oval. We can make a decision

Unley Oval’s picket fencing around the perimeter of the Oval gets the go ahead after a marathon session on Monday night.

My motion, an improvement on an option suggested by our Administration, was carried 8 to 4.

Concerned that the motion suggested by our Administration did no go far enough I opted to be the mover of an alternate motion, albeit an extension of their suggestion. In lieu of  gates being spaced at 50 metre intervals I felt it more desirable and truly representative of our stated aim to keep the oval as open as it is possible by adding a condition that the final design allows for gates to provide access to all key features of the facility as far as is practicable.

I am proud to have taken the lead on this. Being personally non political I did my homework to make sure that whatever decision I made would be the correct one. That entailed being fully aware of what the public said in our consultation by reading all submissions.

As I indicated on the night it was interesting to note that those for and those against used the same argument. It will improve the look and feel of the ground vs it will destroy the amenity of the ground. It will be safer vs it will cause safety issues.

I found I had to determine for myself what was correct and I saw the use of a low level picket fence with appropriate openings as improving the amenity. I also saw, after a member of the public provided a photo of a child, supposedly belonging to one of the coaching staff at a recent training session out on the Oval with the playing group.

Whilst that may have been a common place practice when I grew up we know much more about Work, Health, Safety and have legislation drawing us to ensuring safe work places; as this must be seen to be.

This ultimately tipped my hand to being in favour of a fence because it addresses in my opinion the landlords obligations toward providing a safe work place. This WILL assist in avoiding injury to children of other parents during matches (at all levels, not just league) and training sessions.

If coaches allow their or players children onto the playing arena that becomes solely the responsibility of the Sturt FC. As I indicated on the night in my talking to my motion the President and the CEO of the club I am sure will take action against the offender and to ensure all personal are more conscious of safety in their workplace in the future.

Of course the fence cannot and will not be erected unless we can secure funding of 2/3 rds of the cost of the fencing from outside, a key component of the motion. So as I am tending to say with many of my blogs….watch this space.

Pickets “point” to failure to communicate

The “official” Unley Oval Picket Consultation has now ended. Based on responses I have personally received I am concerned the public are not aware of what we are proposing and seeking their feed back on.

As identified in my other blog today we (the elected members) are getting direct feedback from some. When I read this feedback I am convinced many, both for and against, do not know what they are being asked to comment on.

Given my penchant for identifying where we might be lacking in communication skills I was disturbed by this.

My reading of the responses I have received indicate to me that many believe that the fencing will be permanent around the “full” perimeter of the oval. I also read from those that were speaking against the fencing that they were most unimpressed that the oval would be cut off and isolated. Those speaking in support were highlighting that kids and dogs could now be separated or that kids would now be stopped from running away from mum and dad straight out onto the street.

Having not seen our communication because I have been focused on matters home here in Goodwood South I checked our Have Your say website to find out why.

In putting the motion to go out to public consultation I spoke that I wanted to know and I wanted you to know where the openings would be,  how many openings there would be, and how big they would be. My theory was let our people know exactly what we are proposing so they can provide informed comment.

The only reference to openings on the landing page was a photo showing a very small gate through which the picture is focused and white around  the entire boundary shown in the photo. So first impression is the openings are going to be quite small, big enough only I trust for disabled access, prams etc but essentially personal access only.

I then went looking to see if there was information answering these questions. Nope! not on that page.

There was a FAQ list but it did not present what I was looking for until pressing on “more”. What I found then was openings would be 50 m apart but not located. We could not determine how wide they would be, yet?

For my money I reckon a significant percentage of people would not have looked that far and therefore would have only been guessing when responding.

I had expected to see a layout showing the where, the how big etc. I also expected that the openings would be larger requiring lengths of temporary fencing to still be required on “game” day. Apparently not, meaning I also don’t know what is being proposed and this means there exists a communication gap between me and our staff.

As the mover of the motion I can only say that this serves again to highlight to me that communication remains our most important challenge to solve in the next term of Council and going forward.

The new way for the public to respond to Council consultation

Unley Oval Picket Fence consultation has now closed as my email inbox is being inundated with responses direct to me and my fellow councillors.

We may be seeing the start of a new means of people responding to our public consultation processes.

I have received a dozen plus emails on the Unley Oval Picket fence consultation, both for and against. As I read these emails I get the feeling that many do not know what they are responding to. Again I find, when checking our communication, we have failed to properly communicate what is being offered. That is another storey however for today’s separate blog.

Advice from a member of our staff indicated to me not that long ago that there was a particular trend to the responses they have received and that is on the side of supporting the proposition. The trend from my inbox is the opposite however, with the majority against it.

This raises the question to me whether or not the people emailing the elected members have put their thoughts in through the designated channel or simply choosing to by pass the official channels and influence elected members direct.

I will find out soon enough of course in this case when our admin prepares their report and I compare their list of respondents to that I have received from.

So, as I push my campaign for better communication skills from within Council, I wonder if we will have to review how we receive responses and what credence we put on emails direct to elected members.

A Picket Fence Around Unley Oval? Have Your Say before 25th July

Council is now ready to implement one of my successful motions at the February Council meeting concerning the redevelopment of Unley Oval. 

After a rescission motion in April failed we are now ready for public consultation over the use of picket fencing around the Oval.

We have obtained quotes for fencing and in the process determined where and how large openings should be to maintain the openness that the oval provides now for ease of use for the whole community.

That means we now have a firm proposal for our community to consider, not something we all have to imagine.

Installation of the fence will provide safety benefits and enhance the “English village green” feel of the oval. The fencing will also provide comfort to other users of the oval knowing that the public is protected from their activities. The oval would remain available for community use during times that no structured sporting activity is underway.
A proposed concept plan is available to view at:
– the area between the McKay grandstand and the Oatey grandstand at Unley Oval;
– the foyer of the Unley Council Civic Centre
– the Goodwood and Unley Libraries
– the Goodwood, Unley, Clarence Park and Fullarton Park Community Centres
You are invited to provide your feedback on this proposal by completing the feedback form; writing toUnley Oval Picket Fence Consultation, PO Box 1, Unley SA 5061; or by emailing[email protected](External link).
This consultation will conclude at 5pm, Friday, 25 July 2014.

I have yet to see the plans showing this and will provide them on this blog site as soon as I can obtain them.

For further thoughts on this you might check out our Mayor’s blog post.

The Opportunity to increase public space at Unley Oval still alive

After a long and exhausting process we are now getting to the pointy end as I said in an earlier post today. And the great bonus is that we have identified there is an opportunity to provide extra open space for use by the general community.

This would be by extending the facility north partially into Frederick Street. Frederick Street is as wide a street as we have in Unley so if any street could be reconfigured to provide us with extra green space this conceivably is the one.

Will it work? Don’t Know!

Will the Community back it? Don’t Know!

Will it provide value for money? Don’t Know!

Who will pay for it? Refer my second last blog post!

Is it worth investigating? You bet it is!

The beauty of last night’s motion, as with all the others, is it will provide us all an opportunity to answer those questions and to see what can be done. By providing a detailed design we can all value what is proposed because we can see it; in all is glory.

I look forward to seeing what is ultimately proposed. I look forward to it being suitable in the eyes of elected members to then put to our community.

This potentially could be the single biggest achievement of all the propositions being explored, so long as it does not interfere with traffic flow or foot traffic using Frederick Street. I suspect that it is achievable and in all likelihood desirable, but let us wait and see.

A big bonus too is that including this in a suite of initiatives once again could improve our chances of securing outside funding.

Watch this space.

Stand Upgrade

No-one I have spoken to is against the Grandstands at Unley Oval being upgraded, particularly the McKay stand.

This has been given the green light to proceed to detailed design and formal costings after last nights Marathon sitting of Council. But we have gone much further.

In already recognizing from investigations (resulting from my motion on Unley Oval I think last October) that we cannot comply with the AFL preferred guidelines for facility accommodation for a State based Competition in just the McKay stand we have taken advantage of the need to consider work in the Oatey Stand as well.

The McKay Stand can only accommodate the home team requirements under the AFL guidelines. The Away team therefore needs to be accommodated in the Oatey Stand.

Last nights motion now allows our administration to now proceed to preparing detailed designs and to have these formally costed. They can then provide us (once again as with the items blogged on earlier today) with something concrete to consider.

What we have done however with last night’s motion is to provide ourselves with an opportunity to reduce the financial impact of proceeding if we ever get to that point by extension the design process to cover as well the provision of additional community facilities in the Oatey Grandstand.

How is this you ask? Because by extending the project to the wider community we improve our chances of grant funding to cover all the work. And that surely is a no brainer.

And because this extends the scope beyond internal upgrades the public gets to contribute which is surely a good thing.

And for those who are acutely aware that this ground has probably the worst facilities for persons with disabilities I will be keeping a close watch on the design work to ensue that this is addressed.

So Just who is going to pay for all this

Before I post on other initiatives that will now proceed to next stage it is timely to address the funding of whatever might occur at Unley over, whether in the near future or the distant future.

The motion that Council pursue funding opportunities for Unley Oval Grandstand redevelopment components and the balance of the lighting and picket fence costs was approved last night.

It is one of only a couple that I did not either move or second but it is the most crucial. Without funding there will be nothing happen at the ground.

We have a range of individual projects to look at now task to the decision we made last night. Some are comparatively inexpensive, others are major by any expectation, requiring significant funding. The more significant projects we, or should I say our ratepayers, simply cannot afford.

Those in the community who have been opposed to anything happening at the Oval because we cannot afford it please be assured that, with the passing of this motion, we are locked into seeking funding for all the projects, not just the larger ones.

Remembering that Unley Oval is considered by both State and Federal Governments to be a regional sports centre projects that may be undertaken at the facility have the potential of significant grant funding. To be eligible for any grant funding that may be available at any given time we have to be project ready. And that is what we are doing with all the motions passed last night, putting ourselves into a position to be project ready.

Campbelltown recently received $7.0m for redeveloping by being project ready. Why not Unley?

Will a Picket Fence Enhance or Destroy the Ambience of Unley Oval

That is the question I hope to see answered once our Administration has responded to last nights motion by myself to proceed with the calling of tenders for picket fencing around the perimeter of the Oval proper once funding has been obtained and public consultation has been completed.

As I indicated in my presentation to the motion last night I want to see where the fencing would go, what it would look like, how high it would be, where the openings will be, how wide the openings will be, what gates would be used and how they would operate. Not only do I want to see this but I want everyone with an interest in Unley Oval to see.

I have struggled during the master planning process to accept the debate (for and against) fencing around the perimeter of the Oval when we have NOT had a design put in front of us, when we have not had something concrete to look at and debate.

Only by proceeding to a point where we can see what might be possible can we adjudicate on whether it is suitable or not. Only then can residential and elected members alike know whether or not the Unley Oval amenity will be enhanced by the addition of a fence OR whether it will detract from the amenity.

This does not need a lot of work in detailing and can be bought forward quite quickly I would have thought.

For my part, what is put in front of us WILL enhance the amenity of Unley Oval it will get my vote. If it detracts it WILL NOT get my vote.

So bring it on, let us all see for ourselves how it will present.

The Lights Shine on Unley Oval

The first initiative at last night’s Council meeting is to proceed with calling tenders for the design and construct of new oval lights once funding and development approval has been obtained. Sturt Football Club be requested to contribute 1/3rd of the funding of the light installation.

This gives Admin the direction to proceed with bedding down the technical specifications sufficient not only to be able to obtain quotes for the work but sufficient to both prepare a development Application and to go out to the public for their input. It means that this can be project ready once development approval has been obtained and the necessary and obligatory public consultation has taken place, and funding has been secured.

This is a good initiative that enhances the facility for all who may wish to access it during the evening or night hours. The general understanding is that these lights will not only improve lighting for activity on the ground but reduce significantly the spillage of light outside the ground.

I would expect that what will be proposed and put back to us for approval will be similar to the very successful lighting recently at Goodwood Oval.

The lighting at Goodwood Oval has proved a big win with residents there. The spillage of light disappears but metres from the boundary line.

Whilst the Sturt Footy Club will be a definite winner here other groups will have access like other sports, maybe life trainers, dog walkers…..who knows.

It will provide lighting to Sturt FC for training purposes only. It will not be match suitable. As a major beneficiary they will be asked to contribute to the funding.

Unley Oval finally has some meaningful direction

Council last night voted on a range of motions designed to solicate what we can move forward on what we should not. These motions, all passed, provide finally an opportunity to bring the master planning process we have been conducting for some years now to the pointy end.

The Council, by voting as they have, have provided an opportunity for everyone, resident and rate payers, sporting clubs using the facility, elected members and the staff of the City of Unley to actually have something concrete to evaluate, consider and debate rather than the pie in the sky that we have been working  through.
We have spent much time and energy looking at all aspects of what the Unley Oval precinct provides and what it can provide going forward. We have seen a number of initiatives for creating more open space, looked into whether or not A Grade Cricket can return, whether the Bowls and lawn Tennis Clubs can be improved. We have looked at how we might consolidate all the sporting clubs into one club room facility and a number of other observations.
Much energy has gone into debating perimeter fences during this time and this has directed focus by all on just that aspect. This has at items got in the way of projecting all the other opportunities  forward to a point where we can look at some detail.
We have reached that point now though. A point where we can finally look at some detail design work that we can, if we believe it has merit once prepared, put to our community for their views. 
A range of something that have some substance, some shape, some form that people can see and visualize. Something that they can make informed observations about rather than guessing about something that remains abstract through the lack of detail. After that (public consultation) we will be in a position to decide whether or not to proceed and how and when.
The beauty of where we are is that we now, by having separate stand alone motions, can look at stand alone projects that can be considered in isolation or together if desirable. This means that if one project is not seen as warranting proceeding with, it will not stall or stop others we believe can proceed.
The motions in essence were as follows, noting that each will (as required under legislation) go back out to the community when ready:
  • The Design & Construction of new Lighting
  • Obtaining detailed designs and formal cost estimates for refurbishment of the McKay Grandstand and provision of additional community facilities as well as away team facilities in the Oatey grandstand.
  • Design and construct of an internal picket fence around Unley Oval
  • Obtaining detailed designs and formal cost estimates for creation of additional community open space at the northern end of the oval by encroaching into Frederick Street
Each are stand alone projects, but capable of being included in a one off redevelopment should suitable grant funding be available.

What was not proceeded with includes perimeter fencing of the facility and resurfacing of the Oval.

We also passed a motion, among others (check our website for further details to pursue funding opportunities.

I will being making observation on each of these by posting a separate blog on each separately.

Unley Oval to come back to Council soon

Elected members engaged in a robust workshop last night on the future of Unley Oval.

We scrutinized the many potential improvements that have been suggested in the exhaustive master planning process. In so doing I believe we feel we have an understanding of what initiatives should be further explored now, by the current Council.

In so doing I believe we also have a good feel about those initiatives that we consider are not worthy of proceeding with at this time, if ever. Of course that is a matter for future Councils if and whenever a need is ever demonstrated.

The workshop was therefore quite successful.

We have asked admin to consolidate what was discussed and prepare some potential motions for us to discuss at a future Council meeting. We feel that specific motions on individuals components of the planning carried out thus far is appropriate because it means we can consider individually whether to proceed to the next step or not on a given item and not allow an item we are not comfortable with hold up that which should proceed to the next stage. This will allow us approve which individual concepts to move forward, narrowing down the scope accordingly.

I expect the motions will be along the lines of Council directing Admin to conduct detail design concepts of elements we believe should be advanced. So there is a process till to go and no commitment can be made on any component until the process has been exhausted.

And that will include a public consultation on what we finally determine is a redevelopment worthy of taking out for all to comment on.

I expect also that the importance to the community of this that we are likely to call a special meeting of Council. That will be the Mayors call of course after consulting with admin as to how much business we may have to deal with at our next Full Council Meeting.

Unley Oval message continues to be distorted

Unley Council rejects another plan for the future upgrade of Unley Oval is the headline in the current Eastern Courier.

Members of Council have reacted with dismay and confusion and in some cases outrage at these headlines.

The observations made this week in the Eastern courier about the hour of debate we had at our last Council meeting will leave the public, who rely on the press for their information, having no idea what is going on.

As I noted in my last post on this subject, the morning after the meeting and which can be found at, we have stalled and only temporarily because the motion we had suggested to us last week was simply to receive the report.

How that can be interpreted as a rejection of the plan has got me beat?

As I indicated in my last post I have now met with a number of members to discern the detail in the report provided us and determine what information we still need with a view to developing a motion on notice that will move us forward.

We have a workshop scheduled, as agreed to at the council meeting, at which we will request information on those things we are short on information for. I am confident that I will have a motion on notice, or a group of motions on notice that will bring about a positive result. One that will be acceptable to members of council, to the public at large and which will help bring Sturt FC up to other clubs in the facilities they have available to them.

Unley Oval Improvement fails to take next step (yet)

Sparked by my motion on notice to Council back in October we received a report last night from administration that did two things. What it did not do is provide direction for us going forward.

The motion relevant to the report suggested by admin was that we simply receive the report. I understand that this was the case because Council’s administration are looking for direction from us (Us being the Council- the elected members).

The report provided us with insights as to how we might provide more open space for the citizens of Unley to make use of the facilities there. It also provided information about the requirements of the AFL that the SANFL are asking the Sturt Footy Club to comply with.

The speeches to the receive the report motion last night pretty much mirrored what I have heard from community members in recent days. That is firstly that we don’t need to create additional space, the facility is fine as it is in what it provides. The second observation is that Sturt deserve to have the amenity of their facility upgraded to a reasonable (if not AFL compliant) state.

This is what I heard elected members saying  lats night and it echoes what I have heard from the public. Yes the public are happy to upgrade the stands to make them AFL compliant.

As we have stalled waiting on direction it is my intention to move a motion on notice at our next Council meeting that will reflect what I have said in this blog post. To move a motion that does indeed move us forward and I have invited elected members to participate in putting this motion together.