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If you don’t subscribe to the electronic news In-Daily you may find this article of interest to all the citizens of Unley, particularly those at the northern edge. Under the heading Give us a say, Inner Rim Council Mayors, including our very own Lachlan Clyne, had their say.

The transcript follows:

CITY rim council mayors say it is crucial for their communities to have a greater say in the Adelaide park lands, as the State Government moves to increase high density living.

“I firmly believe that every council which abuts the park lands should have some control over what happens in those park lands,” Unley Mayor Lachlan Clyne told Indaily.

“Most inner rim council residents use those park lands and, in some instances, our residents would use them in greater numbers than the residents in the city.”

The Prospect and Burnside mayors have also called for more collaboration and input from their councils about the parklands as well as other issues including transport.

The calls echo recommendations last year from outgoing Integrated Design Commissioner Tim Horton who called for shared governance of city places, including the stretch of park lands from Bowden to Hackney.

Clyne said city rim councils should have a greater strategic role in planning for the park lands as well as be given opportunities to financially invest in projects.

He said development could include cafes, better fitness trails, more facilities and something like an adventure playground.

“If you look at the view from Mount Lofty the number one icon is the park lands and I don’t think we’ve got it right because we don’t have the right people making decisions and that’s why we need the input of the inner rim councils to make them more user friendly,” he said.

The government announced a development plan in December which will see higher density residential development in inner metropolitan council areas, including areas facing the park lands.

“Again for us Greenhill Road has been identified for high density living and across the road you have one of the potentially best park lands in the world so our residents will be using those park lands even more,” Clyne said.

Prospect Council mayor David O’Loughlin said there needed to be a masterplan to gradually improve the park lands.

“You can argue there are more that live around the park lands that use them then people in the city therefore they should have a real say,” he said.

“I know ACC have consulted on park lands usages but I’d encourage that to be ongoing rather than once every three four five years.

“I think there is, in my view, huge opportunity for an international call for a design competition for a 100-year master plan over the park lands because it was high calibre designers that have been the foundation of great spaces around the world including Central Park in New York and Hyde Park in London.”

Burnside Council mayor David Parkin said while more collaboration would be welcomed there was little budget for the smaller councils to assist with park lands development.

“Do I view the park lands as a city asset rather than belonging only to the Adelaide City Council? Definitely.”

However, he added that the more park lands were developed, the greater the cost to councils.

Adelaide City Council Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood said he would be open to more discussion.

“I wouldn’t go as far as to say I’m calling for shared management of the parklands but I would say we need to continue to have discussions on how the city and inner rim councils can work together,” he said.

“That said, the Adelaide City Council generates significantly more revenue so I wouldn’t suggest we become direct financial partners.”

But Yarwood wants to see more formal collaboration following the success of the 5000+ program.

“The biggest success of 5000+ is bringing the mayors together and giving us that responsibility to continue that work together and Adelaide City Council wants to work with other councils,” he said.

“We are now having discussions on how we can continue having a forum to discuss where to from here.”

O’Loughlin agreed that the one off consultation process of 5000+ plus should be extended.

“There have been one off consultation exercises regarding the [Adelaide City Council’s] integrated movement strategy, the 5000+ exercise and it would be sensible to structure an ongoing conversation that at council to council level that covers the issues that affect us both.

“There are some things that are annoying and won’t be cheap to solve such as Prospect Road has a fabulous bike lane from Regency Road to Fitzroy Terrace but then it terminates and nothing happens in the Adelaide Council area – there’s no bike path through the park lands or O’Connell Street and those connections are a real symptom of there not being a joint approach.”

Clyne wanted more interaction with transport between the city council and the adjoining inner rim councils.

“We need to consider traffic flow into the CBD and ensuring a coordinated approach to not just car traffic but pedestrian and cycling traffic as well.

“I’d like to see discussion about a network of inner rim councils’ fleet of minibuses and a coordinated approach to transport within that inner metro area.

“As an example Unley have three community buses which sit 15 and because they are smaller they can get down the local streets to pick up and take residents to the shops or library and the route is local but I’d like to see those networks extend beyond a single council area.”