A New Community Plan for Unley

Subject to ratification we determined last night at our City Strategy and Policy Committee meeting to commence consulting our residents and rate payers on a new Community Plan.

We were due, under the Local Government Act, to review our current plan but felt that as this plan was due to expire in 2015 that now would be a prudent opportunity to go back to scratch and start all over. This is a project that is likely to take the best part of the year to complete with significant public involvement.

A working group has been selected to oversee it. This needs ratification by council at its next full meeting.

The Carbon Tax and Council Rates.

As Council deliberates in the next few months over our next budget this article from the Liberals web site is interesting.


Planning rules or decisions – who’s responsible?

I have watched with great interest as a member of councils’ Development Assessment Panel the expectations that people have in making a representation on a particular development application.

I have also watched, with dismay, these same people march out of the Development Assessment Panel meeting upset that their views appear not to have been taken into consideration.

With this in mind I draw the attention of anyone reading this blog to the following link from the Local Government Association web site. Hope it helps.


Of course this only covers half the storey. More later.

Brownhill & Keswick Creek Stormwater Project

As Council awaits the next report from Worsley Parsons we were presented last night with a petition by Mr Ron Bellchambers on behalf of the No Dam in Brownhill Creek group.
Mr Bellchambers also presented a compelling case on behalf of the group for a no dam option for the Brownhill Creek, Keswick Creek Stormwater Project. He articulated their case very well and he was received well by Council.
Unley Council has refrained from entering the political debate, preferring to gather as much information as possible, before taking a stance. Unley is the one council that will see the majority of infrastructure work undertaken within its borders. We therefore have a vested interest in knowing the right solution, whatever that may be, is agreed to.
As your elected representatives the members of Council need to be aware of all the information available out there before making a decision to proceed with the detailed design of any particular option. Hearing from Mr Bellchambers is an important part of the gathering of information.
During his presentation it became apparent that a previously unavailable option is now being investigated as one of the no dam options. We were led to believe that running drains along a section of the Hills rail corridor was a no go zone as far as the State Government was concerned.
I am heartened to hear that this option is being explored as a potential for us to consider particularly given my concerns (as posted last year on this blog site) re the other 5 options that were dumped on our desk as the public consultation commenced on the Worsley Parson preferred engineering option.
Watch this space for further news on this project. I expect Council will be briefed again in the not too distant future.

Clarence Park Community Centre Recognised

As reported a month ago the event of the year at the City of Unley Citizenship Awards was presented to the Amadya Muslim Women’s Bazaar at Clarence Park Community Centre.

This recognition was just the start as it turns out.

A week ago Sue Goldsworthy (CPCC), Amelia Birve and Deb Richardson attended the Governors Multicultural Awards at Government House. The Clarence Park Community Centre was short listed as a finalist for the work done with the Ahmadiyya Community from more than 130 submissions.

The Clarence Park Community Centre deserves this recognition. Well done to the staff working on this project.

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?

Graffitti Management Update

The New Graffiti Management Program is now well and truly Underway.

Since my last blog on this subject our Administration has been hard at work and I can advise that we currently have 4 graffiti volunteers fully inducted and trained in the graffiti removal process.

 In order for Volunteers to be able to remove graffiti they must undertake the following steps:
  • Meet with Council’s Volunteer Management Officer to register as a Council Volunteer and under go a general Council induction
  • Meet with Council’s OHS Coordinator to undertake a formal Graffiti Removal Volunteer Safety Induction
  • Meet with Council Depot staff to undertake a short demonstration on  the use of products to remove graffiti and have the process of reporting and recording graffiti explained.
On Wednesday of this week volunteers Steve Smith, Wayne Hooper, Libby Robertson and Don Priestly attended a morning tea including a demonstration conducted by John Rose from Worlds Best Products on how to use the products therefore completing their induction to the Graffiti Removal Volunteer Program.  The volunteers were then presented with their Graffiti Removal Kit and were thanked for making themselves available to attend the meeting and assisting Council with this program. The meeting was also attended by Mark Clarke, Manager, Assets and Sustainable Landscapes, Michael Howley, Team Leader, Parks and Horticulture, Karen Jenkinson, Volunteer Management Officer and Karen Kelly, Team Leader Administration, Assets and Sustainable Landscapes.
L- R John Rose, Worlds Best Products, Mark Clarke, Manager, Assets and Sustainable Landscapes, Volunteers Steve Smith,  Libby Robertson, Wayne Hooper, and Karen Jenkinson, Volunteer Management Officer

30 Year Plan-Prescriptive or Guidelines

Should the new development plans being developed to accommodate the Governments 30 year plan be simply guidelines or should some aspects be prescriptive. Should heights of buildings in a development plan be set in storeys or in metres and should there be a prescriptive ceiling?
Development plans have long been viewed within the industry as guidelines and therefore parameters contained within them are only indicative.
Many in the general public however see them as prescriptive. They are therefore often upset when something is built next door to them that appears not to be in accord with what they believe to be the development plan covering the relevant development.
As the final throws of the current development plan amendments come together and we have one last round of public consultation the concept of prescriptive vs guidelines needs to be recognised. As an extension to this we need to consider what heights we are prepared to allow prescriptively, and whether this should be in storeys, or in metres. May I suggest it needs to be in metres and it needs to be prescriptive.
Recent history in Unley demonstrates this need to look at this question.
As a member of Unley’s current Development Assessment Panel I have voted against development of 3 storeys where our Development Plan allows two. Why? Because this is a 50% increase on the “guidelines”.
My colleagues, including 4 independently appointed members (all highly qualified in planning), voted in favour of the Arthur Street, Mary Street development last year. I cannot claim to know their reasons but I suspect they did because the actual height of the buildings proposed was only marginally higher than the current 2 storey building on the site.  It had much less bulk too in that the third storey was set back from the perimeters of the lower floors.
Last night we had two similar decisions to make. A three storey development not much higher than existing stock on King William Road in an area that allows two storey only. The other application, this time a 2 storey in a single storey zone. This application has been deferred after a motion to refuse by me was lost.

What does the future hold?

A Point of View on the 30 year plan

While I am raising the issue of the Greater Adelaide Plan today in other blogs I find others are contributing as well.

The following is a copy of an editorial in The Advertiser today.

The Advertiser
City plan vital as
population pressure rises
ADELAIDE’S urban form has been in a state of constant change since settlement.
The central business district has gone from being an agricultural and industrial hub to a precinct of commercial and residential focus as populations shift, technology evolves and demographics change.
It is a myth to assume Adelaide can be frozen in form for perpetuity. Like it or not, about 560,000 extra people will live in South Australia over the next three decades. The logical move is to develop a plan to deal with the pressure that growth will create.
The 30-Year Plan for Greater Adelaide is not perfect, but is a great starting point for the task ahead. Rather than allowing further sprawl or ad hoc development, it allocates growth where it can best be managed.
It views the city as the hub of future Adelaide and targets transport routes for dense pockets of housing.
It is predictable that the North Adelaide Society would raise concerns about how the plan affects its back yard. The hesitancy has been echoed by a flood of letters from people worried about the future. Change can be frightening, particularly for those who are comfortable and enjoy their lifestyle.
If the Government is to be taken at its word, it understands the value of what North Adelaide has. Planning Minister John Rau has stated in these pages that there will be a balanced approach.
He has also argued that higher density does not mean high rise. North Adelaide and parts of the inner suburbs like Mile End, Unley and Goodwood are already medium density and offer pleasant, compact living.
No one wants to see the great mansions that front the Parklands and North Adelaide’s back streets harmed. To this stage, no one is overtly suggesting that is likely. In fact, it has been all but conclusively ruled out. But balance also requires an understanding of what life is like for others and consideration of their interests.
Many of the 560,000 new arrivals will be condemned to an expensive and isolated life on the fringes unless we prepare for their arrival. They have to be housed somewhere and the city will make sense for many.
If North Adelaide, but more particularly the CBD, are not rezoned, the state will condemn itself to mediocrity. The capital city of an increasingly confident state would be sparse, under-utilised, unwelcoming and bland. It is in everyone’s interest that the best of what we have is conserved but that we look positively to the future.

DPA 2 – Your say

While the most talked about DPA’s relating to the Government’s 30 year plan is DPA 3 (which covers the development around the corridors of Greenhill Road and Unley Road) the one that will impact on the residents of Goodwood Ward is DPA 2.
As reported in my last blog we expect the draft Development plan Amendment impacting on Goodwood South Ward is due to come back from the Minister’s Office in May or April. At that time we will be going back out for a last round of public consultation before finally Council considers it.
This plan suggests some significant changes that will impact on parts of Goodwood South.
Clarence Park (west of East Avenue) for example will see some tightening of minimum areas of housing from 350m2 per house to 300m2. This is a subtle change that could see some sites being able to be redeveloped from single houses to up to 3.
More to the point though there are pockets of Black Forest that potentially could be rezoned to allow medium density development of 3 or more storeys. These will centre mainly in the North West pocket of the Ward, around Aroha Terrace and the south west corner around Emerson crossing.
Council considered a public consultation process at our recent City Strategy & Policy Committee meeting that, whilst well ahead of the minimum requirements we are legally bound to, fall short of what I would have thought appropriate. This is a significant policy change that I believe warrants us mailing to every household in the affected areas.
This is not be however as my colleagues opted for a less costly approach.
So be it.
When the time comes Jennie and I will endeavour to make sure everyone in the affected areas will be advised of their opportunity to comment.

A Heads Up on the Greater Adelaide Plan.

The Development Plan Amendments addressing the governments Greater Adelaide Plan will be coming back to Council shortly for more public consultation. Another chance for you to input.
The Minister, through the Department of Planning and Local Government (DPLG), is anticipated to address the suitability and potential approval of the DPA’s for consultation as follows:
LHP DPA March 2012 . This is the local heritage protection
DPA 2 March/April 2012. This is the areas other than the corridors.
DPA 3A May/June 2012. This is the corridors.
The draft DPA’s, if approved as suitable by the Minister, must be released for public and agency consultation for a minimum of 8 weeks. Council considered at our recent City Strategy & Policy Meeting three options for what extent of public consultation is to be adopted when each of the DPA’s return to us from the Minister’s desk.
Whilst we have determined to adopt a more comprehensive approach than we are legally required to I am not happy that we are going far enough. I will blog separately about this shortly, particularly in reference to DPA 2 which impacts on the Goodwood South Ward.

What’s Wrong with our Planning System.

No not Unley’s planning system but the State Government’s planning system. With the next stage of public consultation approaching (in the next couple or so months) you may be interested to hear what Mr Mark Parnell MLC has to say about our planning system.
Mark is a Barrister and Solicitor with additional qualification of a Master’s Degree in Regional and Urban Planning. He is well known for his keen interest in conservation and environmental issues and his views on what appears to be a short sighted approach to planning the urban environment.
You have a chance to hear his views and how the Planning System can be improved including on such matters as:
·         Influence from Developers
·         Public participation
·         Lack of Vision
His presentation will be made to FOCUS (The Friends of the City of Unley) at the Unley Communiuty Centre, formerly the Unley Citizens Centre, 18 Arthur Street, Unley on Tuesday 21st February commencing at 7.30pm.
This is a free presentation well worth attending.

Another Successful Event for Unley

The following is a copy of a press release
For the eleventh year in a row the Unley Gourmet Gala hit the road at 4pm on Wednesday January 18, 2012 featuring an even greater focus on cycling events and was a wonderful prelude to the Santos Tour Down Under Stage Three Start.
Held on King William Road on the eve of the grueling 134km journey from Unley to Victor Harbor, the Unley Gourmet Gala is one of Adelaide’s most prestigious events, showcasing South Australia’s finest local food and wine, fashion, music and entertainment.
For 2012 a major highlight was the Unley Cycling Challenge which included the Cycling SA graded Criteriums, the Rendition Homes Cycling Series and the Santos Women’s Cup series, which attracted the cream of South Australia’s top women riders as they competed in a short-course Criterium race on streets of Hyde Park.
Other cycling events to complement the gourmet and fashion attractions of Unley Gourmet Gala included the Exactitude bike trials demonstration – where riders successfully negotiated either man-made or natural obstacles without putting a foot down.
A Cycling and Bike Hub, on the corner of King William Road and Mitchell Street, featured bicycle product displays and demonstrations, with children’s cycling safety activities at Ride-A-Bike-Right.
Mayor Lachlan Clyne said; “I really enjoyed the Unley Cycling Challenge which was exciting for spectators and riders alike”
“The racing was a great opening event for what was the best Unley Gourmet Gala we’ve seen yet, supported by record sponsorship this year from local businesses.”
Star TV chefs Poh Ling Yeoh and Simon Bryant headlined this year’s gourmet event. Simon, who starred in the ABC’s The Cook and Chef series, and Poh, star of Poh’s Kitchen, teamed up to provide cooking demonstrations compared by renowned radio presenter and columnist Amanda Blair.
“It was a great opportunity to get up close and personal with two of Australia’s most popular celebrity chefs,” Mayor Clyne said. “They were a huge attraction.”
“This is the second year Simon has been a key part of Unley Gourmet Gala, which is a great showcase for our local restaurants and food and wine businesses. As well as celebrating Unley’s contribution to the Santos Tour Down Under, it’s also about making sure visitors enjoy their time here and return to Unley in the future.”
Chef Poh Ling said “I love the whole Tour Down Under as it attracts so many international visitors to Adelaide and turns the city into such a cosmopolitan place.
It provides the perfect opportunity to share the wine and food of our State with the world.”
Children’s variety show The Amazing Drumming Monkeys headed up the list of kids’ entertainment, which again included Kinderchef and Theatrebugs, along with cycling-themed children’s art provided by Little Picassos and face painting.
Other entertainment included popular bands Blue Note Seven and Mr Goodnight performing at Unley Gourmet Gala for the first time, while The Shizzle and Lesley Williams from The Attack returned by popular demand.
Fashion parades, hosted by the Seven Network Today Tonight South Australia presenter Rosanna Mangiarelli, once again showcased the best of Unley’s King William Road fashion boutiques.
Unley Council’s CEO, Peter Tsokas said “Despite all the stories about retail doom and gloom, Unley traders have dug even deeper this year and exceeded our sponsorship target by more than $10,000.”
“Their contribution both in cash and in kind now accounts for over a third of the total Unley Gourmet Gala budget which now exceeds $250,000, making it one of Adelaide’s most prestigious events showcasing South Australia’s finest local food and wine, fashion, music and entertainment.”
Mr Tsokas also welcomed new sponsors who this year included Bank of Cyprus Australia, Norman Waterhouse Lawyers, Un Caffe Bar and the McLaren Vale Beer Company.
“I would also like to especially thank continuing sponsors who include Miele, Tomich Wines, Rawson’s Elite Appliances, the King William Road Trader’s Association along with other contributors for their ongoing support,”
“Their support, at a time that is generally acknowledged to be tough for retail business across Australia, demonstrates their continued confidence in Unley as a business location and especially King William Road as an attractive retail hub.
Major sponsors of the event were Toop & Toop, Tomich Wines, Duke Group of Companies, Balfours, Wavals Party Hire, Pride Models, and Enve Hair and Makeup.

Dunrobin Street, Streetscape Review

All the residents of Dunrobin Street will get a say about the future of their street
In December I blogged about an upcoming consultation of the future streetscape of Dunrobin Street. I am advise letters are going out tomorrow regarding this opportunity.
As I indicated in December we have received a number of differing views about the trees in this street, particularly those at the eastern end of the street. This project will provide us all with an opportunity to jointly discuss and agree on where to from here.
Our arborist team will assess the health of all the trees in the street as part of this exercise. At the end of the day however we want to know what you think, as a whole street.
Looking forward to your feedback.

Clarence Park Community Centre – Wearable Art Workshop

Since launching her business in 2009, Melanie-Joy has taught hundreds of people to create their own unique pieces of ‘Wearable Art’.
The catchphrase “think outside the square”, prepares you to experience something beyond the ordinary.
Largely self-taught, Melanie has been making her own jewellery for over 12 years. She merges natural skills for combining colour and texture with those learnt whilst studying Fashion Design.
Throughout 2012, Melanie-Joy will be sharing her skills in a variety of jewellery-making workshops at Clarence Park Community Centre.
“I’m so excited to be working in partnership with Clarence Park Community Centre to enrich the local community” Says Melanie.“It’s all about helping people to discover their inner-creativity. We are all capable of expressing our own creativity; some of us just need a gentle nudge in the right direction”
A snippet of what’s on offer:
FOR THE KIDS: April 16, “Wrap-around Bracelets – one for Mum and one for ME” – just in time for Mothers Day! Contact the centre to book: 8293 8166
FOR ADULTS: April 29, “An Introduction to Boutique Jewellery Making”. Perfect for beginners. Work with quality materials and learn all the basics to continue to create beautiful designs at home.
GET CREATIVE: August 26, “Wearable Art Workshop”. Designed to Inspire and ‘awaken your creativity’. Use a variety of non-traditional objects to create your own unique piece of ‘Wearable Art’. Suitable for beginners, and adults of all jewellery-making levels.
Bookings are essential as places are limited. Contact Melanie: 0411 754 317.
Visit workofmelaniesteadman.blogspot.com for more information              

Press Close but not quite on the money

The Kelvin Avenue debate made the press again in this week’s Eastern Courier.

The Eastern Courier reported on last Monday night’s Council meeting and were correct in what they said about my moving the motion to allow this project to be considered in the budget for 2012/13. They were right in reporting that I said if this project did not get approval the funds would be allocated to another project.

Where they missed the boat was:-

Ø  I moved the motion on behalf of the majority of residents, who supported the project. This was in keeping with a promise I made to residents 12 months ago.
Ø  I also wanted to make it clear to respondents, who felt funds would be better directed to footpaths and road maintenance, that a no vote to this project would not redirect funds to footpaths and roads, but to another similar project; noting that it may also likely be in another ward meaning the Goodwood South ward misses out.

This observation was one also that I wanted elected members to appreciate.

Here is a group of residents (a massive 42% of those against the project) who largely disagreed with the project because funds could be better spent on footpaths and road maintenance. If elected members were to vote no on behalf of these they needed to appreciate that pockets parks are not were residents want their rates spent.

Unless therefore I am off the mark a no vote would have meant that we should redirect funds to those core activities. My point is these resident’s concerns would not have been met if we voted no and then went looking for another similar project.

Why? Those 42% are telling us no pocket parks, or whatever they are; footpath and road maintenance please.

A point missed by the Eastern Courier; I hope not missed on my fellow elected members.

Ecobums- now the little ones can be eco conscious

As a grandfather with a grand daughter living at home and another on the way I am all for this one. As noted in the article it is a must move.

Below is a press release we have issued.

Did you know that in Australia, we send 2.1 billion disposable nappies to landfill a year and because they take around 150 years to break down, they become a significant ecological issue as they take up valuable landfill.
As part of an ongoing city wide Waste Management program, The City of Unley is consciously trying to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill, therefore an important way of achieving this is to encourage residents to use cloth nappies rather than the disposable type.
Cloth nappies have come a long way since the old toweling squares. Modern versions are much more absorbent, less bulky and easier to wash – plus they are just as easy to use as disposables and they look great!
The City of Unley is offering a subsidised program to encourage parents to use cloth nappies via a Cloth Nappy Library.
The Cloth Nappy Library gives you the opportunity to try out different types, sizes and brands of modern cloth nappies for two weeks, helping you find the perfect nappy system for you and your baby.
Information and demonstration sessions explaining the benefits of cloth nappies will be held as follows:
Wednesday 6.30pm 21 March.
Fullarton Park Centre
411 Fullarton Road
Monday 6.30pm 26 March 
Goodwood Community Centre
32-34 Rosa Street
Bookings are essential.
Please RSVP to Grace at [email protected] or phone for further information on mobile 0406 001 216 or visit www.ecobumclothnappies.com.au.
Dads and babies are more than welcome!

Unley forges ahead with Stormwater Management

While the Brownhill Creek Flood Mitigation design continues to dominate the news and the air waves the City of Unley are working steadily along the path of improving our stormwater management building on what we have already done.

A design for a Managed Aquifer Recharge project at Ridge Park (top end of Glen Osmond Road) is now out for public consultation. Refer the link to our website which provides you the opportunity to contribute.