New probe into council spending to push reforms

New probe into council spending to push reforms is the headline today in the IN Daily on line news. This spells the next chapter in the push for Local Government Reform.

 

Having failed in its attempt to cap council rates, the Government is now promoting they intend  to establish new probe into council spending to push reforms by the state’s Productivity Commission. This is good news in my opinion.

South Australian Premier Steven Marshall and Transport Minister Stephen Knoll (AAP Image/Kelly Barnes)

I welcome this move as a construction move. I expect the local government industry will too. Certainly, the article indicates the LGA president (Sam Telfer) is in support. We will no doubt discuss this among ourselves in the next short period of time.

Investigating what is a myriad of differences in what the various councils do and how the fund them is the right approach to reform. This will definitely be of benefit to the local government industry.

Each council should eagerly participate in this exercise. They should also be eager to see the results. Such an exercise would help in our efforts to gauge our performance against other councils.

We often try to compare ourselves to other councils. We do so as a guide to how well we may or may not be performing. That has always proved most difficult. It is because of the differences between us in how we go about things. Likewise in how we fund them. Furthermore, it is how we record them.

I would expect your elected representatives will be better informed in decision making. Our administration likewise will have more confidence with what they may put before the elected members. The big benefit will be yours however.  You can then better value what your Council is doing for you compared to what others are doing for their communities.

Done right and down well however will take some significant resources. I expect it will take some serious time too.

King William Road is 2.5 times over budget – That is news to me.

The recent headlines in the Advertiser and now the Eastern Courier that King William Road is 2.5 times over budget has shocked me. It is news to me.

King-William-Road-Concept-IllustrationAny suggestion that King William Road is 2.5 times over budget is completely wrong. It continues the agenda they (the media) have set for years now that it (King William Road) is all about pavers v bitumen.

Our Mayor and our CEO have sent a letter to the editor to set the record straight. Hopefully we will see a retraction in upcoming editions.

Mind you, such inaccuracies really should not shock me. There are times, as I have previously blogged, when I wonder if I would know more about the inner workings of Council by:

  1. not participating in the decisions of council and,
  2. simply reading the printed news.

This is another case that prompts this thinking.

The media is reporting that our original budget to upgrade the high street section of King William Road was $ 6.0 m. The final cost of $ 15.5 m calculates at 2.58 times.

We have never had a budget of $ 6.0 m for the high street redevelopment. Never.

Our budget was closer to $ 10.0 m. Added to this there will be ‘budgeted for’ work being done that is being bought forward. Works too, in conjunction with SA Water, that will surely be preferable now rather than later. These extra works has lifted our budget, including a contingency sum to cover the unforeseeables, to $ 15.5 m

The contract we have let for the project is a smidgen under $ 12.0 m. It takes into consideration the programming of works to avoid as much as possible interfering with our traders, and their need to continue business while work proceeds.

City of Unley about to be replacing 2,585 lights across the City.

Have you ever Replaced a Light Globe?

We are about to be replacing 2,585 lights across the City of Unley. So please spare a thought for Council.

 

In an endeavour to be 76% more energy efficient we will be replacing 2,585 lights in all our streets.  Work is scheduled to be completed in June.

Goodwood Road by night

Goodwood Road by night

These new street lights will also increase lighting quality. More light will be directed toward the ground where it is needed instead of into the sky, or adjacent homes.

SA Power Network, the distribution company that owns the lighting infrastructure, has approved the lighting system. We have tested the lights to ensure they meet relevant Australian Standards in regards to safety and light levels.

Trial results have demonstrated that they have superior performance to the existing lights. To sum up, the new lights have:

  • Greater uniformity of light across and along the street;
  • Better “colour rendering” and visibility; and
  • Less depreciation of the light output over time

They have a reported life of 20 years.

98% of the old lights will be recycled. This will be achieved by:

  • Recycling the glass into products such as glass wool insulation for homes;
  • Distilling and reusing the mercury in the dental industry to manufacture amalgam; and
  • Reusing the aluminium body and other fixed components (for example, steel screws and copper wires) as ingyots used in industry.

Finally, local company Gerard Industries have manufactured the lights. That is to say, we are supporting a South Australian business.

Keep your eye out for your street as we start replacing 2,585 lights across the City.

The State Government holds the key to Tree Canopy Cover Targets

The City of Unley has long believed the State Government holds the key to Tree Canopy Cover Targets.

 

More to the point the key to tree canopy cover targets lies in the Government’s new DPI Act. This is the new new Act governing development in South Australia.

Thankfully the Government (through the State Planning Commission) has responded positively to our request for them to mandate a minimum 15% tree canopy coverage on all sites with new development. They are prepared to sit down and discuss this with us.

Unley Heat MapThe previous Unley Council held strong and positive views of saving our trees. There can be no doubt the current Council also holds this view. From memory, in our respective election campaigns, we all included trees in our platform.

It is not however just about preserving our trees. It goes further. We do need to increase our tree canopy cover targets.

We are doing our bit on the land we have control over. As you will see shortly when we ask you to look at our proposed budget, we are looking to significantly increase tree plantings in the public domain.

Unfortunately this will exacerbate the recent losses we have experienced in the short term, as I noted in my loss of canopy cover blog of June last year. Long term though, it will improve the canopy cover.

The public domain however, the area Council has direct control over, accounts for only 16% of our City.  Keswick Barracks has 4%. The remaining 80% lies in the control of our private property owners . Our rate payers.

This is where the Government comes in. For us to achieve the canopy cover goals set by them in their 30 year plan, they need to recognise where the focus needs to be.

Council can’t achieve a 30% coverage, even if they planted 100% of the area they control. There has to be controls set on private land, the land controlled by our rate payers.

I am therefore gratified they (the State Government) are prepared to sit and talk with us.

King William Road Contract let

After years of investigation, research, design, community consultation and deliberation work will commence this month on King William Road. With the King William Road Contract let, we can now see it all come to fruition.

Following unanimous approval at last Monday’s council meeting we have awarded a contract. Accordingly, we have engaged civil contractor, BMD Constructions Pty Ltd.

BMD Constructions is an award-winning construction company. They have delivered a portfolio of high-profile community upgrades in the South Australian market. Projects that include the recent Henley Square and the current Gawler Place upgrades.

King William RoadThe aim of the project is to return King William Road to its pre-eminent position amongst Adelaide’s premier main street retail precincts. This will lead, as I have said in previous blog posts, to make it Adelaide’s most loved main street.

It has been a long time coming. We have spent much time listening to traders and community members. Building on this and with the King William Road Contract let to BMD and their proposed construction methodology, we should see minimal community and trader disruption. Both BMD and Council are committed to ensuring the dialogue will continue.

In so doing, we expect the construction process will achieve a respectful balance between

  1. the access required for construction and the need for ongoing community and,
  2. traffic access and strong trading in the popular precinct.

Early works associated with the upgrade of the Park/ Mitchell Street intersection have already commenced. So too, investigation works to enable the relocation of an SA Water pipe. Once complete, the major Construction work will commence. This is set to commence this month.

The project will also establish a more active destination for our community. A destination where we can meet and congregate. A destination with shade, trees and infrastructure to support flexible outdoor dining and community events and activations.

For more information about the King William Road redevelopment, please visit designkingwilliam.com

Can’t wait to see the final product.

Millswood Croquet Cub is a Federal Election Winner

The Millswood Croquet Club is a Federal Election Winner. A special visitor was welcomed this morning at the club.

Nicolle Flint, the incumbent federal member for Boothby, paid the Millswood Croquet Club announced a re-elected Morrison Liberal Government will commit $ 250,000 toward upgraded facilities at the Club.

 

Millswood Croquet Club Grant Announcement

Millswood Croquet Club Grant Announcement

This announcement makes me feel proud. To hear that I have influenced one of the major candidates to commit to grant funding to the redevelopment of the Millswood Croquet Club club rooms if elected is encouraging.

It is a great feeling to see that your efforts in advocating for your local community brings results. This means I have now been able to successfully advocate for my local community, at both the State and now the Federal levels of Government. I therefore feel like a Federal Election Winner

I achieved this of course once before. That is when I lobbied State Labor member Jayne Stinson to provide grant moneys for the Goodwood Oval Clubroom redevelopment. To do so again, this time at Federal level, is certainly gratifying.

If the Morrison Liberal Government and Nicolle Flint are returned, the Millswood Croquet Club will be a Federal Election Winner.

Nicolle’s Media Release announcing the grant follows:

A re-elected Morrison Government will provide $250,000 to deliver upgraded facilities at
the Millswood Croquet Club.

Nicolle Flint said providing facilities to support local clubs and community groups was a key
priority for the Liberal and Nationals because of the significant benefits to the broader
community.

“Delivering upgraded facilities at the Millswood Croquet Club will support the Club’s existing
activities and cater for growing membership numbers,” Ms Flint said.

“The Millswood Croquet Club is a wonderful local Club where members of our community
can come to socialise and stay active, which we know is critical for healthy ageing.”
“I am so proud to support grassroots sport and community upgrades like this one”.
Federal funding for the Millswood Croquet Club upgrade is only possible because of the
Morrison Government’s plan for a stronger economy.

“Only the Liberals and Nationals have a proven track record when it comes to managing the
Budget,” Ms Flint said.

“By paying down debt and growing the economy, we can afford to deliver funding for
priorities in local communities such as upgrading the facilities at Millswood Croquet Club.

“This is all at risk under Labor and Bill Shorten who pose the greatest risk to Australia’s
economy in a generation with plans for $387 billion in new taxes on small and family
businesses, retirees, housing, income, investments, electricity and cars”.

 

Budget 2019 to be work shopped

Budget 2019 to be work shopped as that time of year in the life of Local Government approaches.

Rate CappingA new Council, a new year, a new budget. That is Unley in 2019 as we prepare for a budget that will set the scene for the immediate future. The result will be budget 2019.

Your new Council will deliberate on and workshop a number of initiatives in the coming weeks before settling on a short list. A short list we will then seek your thoughts on.

The challenge (as always) will be to provide for our community what we believe they need at a cost they can afford.

At our last Council meeting we resolved that we seek to limit the rate rise for budget 2019 to within 1% of CPI. While the last Council achieved this during their term it remains a challenge for the new Council.

There is much we will be seeking to absorb into this Budget 2019 target.

New Goodwood Oval Clubroom

New Goodwood Oval Clubroom

DesignKingWilliamAll in our community would be aware of our commitments to the Goodwood Oval Clubroom upgrade, to the redevelopment of King William Road and to Brownhill Creek. Not to mention the next stage of the Unley Oval redevelopment. All big ticket items, with a possibility I suggest of Goodwood Oval maybe going over budget.

How about advancing planning for the replacement of the Millswood Croquet Club. This is an initiative that Jennie and I are promoting as an elected member initiative.

We should see a project for improvements around the Village green precinct come into consideration too.

What about the multitude of environmental initiatives we strive for in Unley. This includes continuing and even increasing projects like the verge greening I have championed in the past. Water sensitive projects and what about the conversion of our street lighting to LED.

It includes also the same for our 2nd generation tree program. A responsible approach to removing trees that may be causing a nuisance to some in our community while increasing the canopy cover long term.

We will also be looking at the what recommendations will come out of the recent Clarence Park LATM.  East Avenue, like we have already identified with Leah Street might require some structural repairs in the very near future. We will also consider beautifying Leah Street given the need for extensive repairs.

And much more I suspect.

Please wish us well as we juggle all this into budget 2019.

 

 

New Goodwood Oval Clubroom receives planning approval.

The new Goodwood Oval Clubroom receives planning approval after a marathon hearing at this week’s Council Assessment Panel meeting.

I was again proud of the rate payers of the City of Unley Clarence Park Ward who provided representations. As with previous CAP representations the residents presented to the panel on planning issues.

They recognise that panel members must make  decisions based on the Development Act, Regulations and the Unley Development Plan. The arguments therefore that they presented to the panel respected this.

New Goodwood Oval Clubroom

New Goodwood Oval Clubroom

The main focus of the representations centred not so much on the built form but the hours of use. They viewed the hours of operation in the application as excessive.

The panel, in turn, recognised the intrusion into the amenity of the area of excessive use. Approval, which was unanimous, was therefore conditioned upon a number of reductions in the extent of use. The reductions we not the result of the panel’s consideration however. They were the result of the applicant responding to concerns from the panel members.

Subject then to any appeal to the ERD Court, work can commence on preparing working drawings and calling tenders from builders.

This project has been a long time in the making. It will replace the old Grandstand with a new clubroom and change room suitable for sporting activity of the 21st Century. Activity that now includes female participation in both football and cricket.

The project has been on the drawing board since before I became a City of Unley Councillor back in 2010. It has evolved in that time from simply catching up with much needed maintenance and upgrade to a complete replacement. Female participation has been the major catalyst behind the approved design.

The Presidents of both the football club and the cricket club have since communicated to their members. I have sighted this correspondence. Correspondence that confirms the approval but which recognises that representors can appeal the decision to the ERD Court.

Both have reminded their members of the need to respect their neighbours when using the facility now and into the future. The Football Club President has also requested his members to appreciate and respect the right of representors to appeal.

It’s all in the Timing

It’s all in the timing we often hear. And that is the case when it comes to reporting on matters health in the City of Unley.

Active Ageing

Active Ageing

I blogged yesterday on the City of Unley having the highest risk of heart attack. I had planned in lieu to blog on Council receiving a grant for our new “Daily Moves” program. But with the headlines of the media focused on the negative….well.

On the good news.

We are one of 27 organisations to receive a grant from Sport Australia. A grant moreover of over $ 590,000.

The grant will fund the Council’s new Daily Moves program. The program aims to engage about 800 participants aged over 65 across the eastern region of Adelaide. A program we will be conducting with the Eastern Regional Alliance group of councils.

We are joined by the Cities of Burnside, Norwood-Payneham-St Peters, Campbelltown, Prospect and the Township of Walkerville. On their collective behalf, we will co-ordinate the program.

We will assess participants for physical health and to develop personalised exercise plans. The assessments will include a number of health factors. Most importantly, they will include balance, sleep quality and grip strength.

Such assessment will guide a personalised physical exercise plan. A personalised plan which as a result will include recommendations about local activities in fitness businesses, clubs and community settings or a home-based program.

Specific needs of individuals will be supported through modified fitness activities.

As I noted yesterday, the City of Unley was the first council in South Australia to become a World Health Organisation Age Friendly City and Community. Winning this grant is recognition of our leadership. It is in other words, all in the timing.

This is just one of our many projects to promote active and positive ageing. Similarly, programs that should impact on our collective risk of heart attacks. We look forward likewise, to making a positive impact on older people’s lives.

 

City of Unley Community at Highest Risk of Heart Attack.

What a shock for me yesterday. Fresh from a clean bill of heart health from my Doctor I find the Council region in which I live has the highest risk of heart attacks.

Yes. I get a clean bill of health and that I am at low risk of a heart attack. But I live in a community with a high risk of heart attack.

Having been diagnosed a year earlier as pre-Diabetic I actively pursued a healthier lifestyle. Watching the carbs I eat and walking most places within my ward when helping my rate payers has paid dividends.

Whether it was my weight, my blood sugars, my cholesterol, all looks good for me. Then to find my neighbours according to the article below are not so healthy is a concern.

That said the City of Unley has a fantastic active ageing program. A program that saw us become the first Council in Australia to be recognised by the World Health Organisation.

Seems many of you (my good neighbours) may need to know what we are offering to help you age. And we do offer much.

So. watch this space.

Local Listening Post Invite

Residents of the Clarence Park ward of the City of Unley have been invited to the Local Listening Post convened by the current sitting member for your new Federal Seat.

As long as I have been one of your two local council representatives our Federal member Kate Ellis has held Street Meetings. At the next Federal election we will be voting in the seat of Boothby and not the seat of Adelaide.

Nicole Flint is the sitting member for Boothby and she will be conducting two (what she calls) local listening posts. They will be held next Sunday afternoon as follows:

  • 1.00 pm at Dora Guild Playground in Churchill Avenue, Clarence Park
  • 1.30 pm at the Goodwood Oval Playground.

As was the case with Kate’s session, Nicolle has indicated she would like to hear your views on local issues.

Nicolle Flint

Nicolle Flint

I encourage you take up that opportunity to come along.  Com along and meet her.

Tell her of your concerns or wishes Federally. One topic could be the diversion of the freight train as I identified in my blog post of October 4 last.

You can reinforce what I have already indicated to her. This includes that our concerns are not so much the economic benefit to South Australia but dealing with the following:

  1. the unsafe speed of the train now that the grade separation is complete.
  2. the cancer risk from the diesel fumes.
  3. the safety of person and property from a potential derailment.
  4. the safety crossing the line behind the bowling club
  5. the loss of the “dog track” between the bowling club and the Goodwood road “subway”
  6. Graffiti along the line

I will attend both meetings, as I used to with Kate’s street meetings to co-ordinate local government issues.

Political Ties Part Only of Wider Suite of Council Reforms.

Council reforms are back on the media Agenda. But we need a wider suite of Council reforms.

The Local Government reforms being advocated however are too limited. They are restricted to one issue only, that being Candidates declaring prior to the elections any political ties. We therefore need a wider suite of council reforms

Cr Don Palmer. Providing Local Leadership and Working For You

Such a narrow focus as this does not serve us well. Neither the reputation of local government, nor the opportunity for positive change.

I whole heartedly support such disclosures prior to running for election rather than after the dust has settled. If we want improved Local Government into the future however, we need to be discussing a much wider suite of Council reforms. Reform focused on elected members and more broadly focused industry reforms.

Yes. Reform of Local Government Reform is needed. It will come.

The Industry knows it and is advocating for it. The Government signalled prior to its election that it sees reform in the local government as essential.

The State Opposition prior to Christmas promoted its own reform agenda. And the Independents in the State Parliament are also for change.

Venturing down this road in 2019 (and we should) should see a focus on a wider suite of council reforms however. Wider than has been placed before the public thus far.

At the very least, the following bullet point list needs to included in any reform package.

  1. Election reform should include disclosure of where a candidate lives and prior to the election.
  2. Election reform should also allow all candidates to have digital copies of the electoral roll for their ward.
  3. Likewise, election reform should allow also for digital voting.
  4. Strengthening of the Elected Member Code of Conduct to give it some teeth and legal muscle.
  5. Develop guidelines, procedures and templates to allow the voluntary implementation of the Local Government (Boundary Adjustment) Amendment Act 2017.
  6. Improving performance of Councils and creating best practice by using a more understandable means of bench marking.
  7. Investigating other revenue opportunities to reduce the reliance on rates.
  8. Likewise, to reduce the reliance on rates, improving mandatory revenue options to achieve cost recovery-user pays.
  9. Streamlining the industrial relations processes into an industry standard.
  10. Clean up the auditing processes of Local Government.

I look forward to providing local leadership in the coming months to encouraging this wider suite of council reforms.

2018 Satisfaction Survey shows last year a good-year

Clarence Park Community Centre

As we embark on 2019 the results of our 2018 Satisfaction Survey of our community centres, including Clarence Park. Here is a communication sent to elected members today.

Hello all,

We have now collated the results of our 2018 Community Centre Customer Satisfaction Survey, undertaken in October. I’m please to share that we received 148 responses, 5 more than 2017.  I am delighted to report that of the 148 respondents:

– 91% said our customer service and support is either good or very good

– 94% said our price/affordability is either good or very good

– 81% said our range of programs was either good or very good

– 84% said our range of information available was either good or very good

– 87% said our facilities are either good or very good for what they need

Some achievements from 2018

  • Our school holiday programs were extremely popular again across 2018 with most activities booking out across FPCC and CPCC
  • Unley Community Centre was host to yet another outstanding Christmas lunch, providing a 3 course Christmas lunch for 98 people.
  • Fullarton Park Community Centre welcomed 5 large, Aboriginal totem poles in the northern grounds, hand painted by Marra Dreaming.
  • Clarence Park Community Centre was again ‘host’ to the Premier’s Cabinet meeting, received an upgrade to the ‘Men’s shed’ and installation of a bike repair station.
  • Continued delivery of free or subsidised programs supported by State Government funding to run the popular ‘Cooking 101’ program at Unley Community Centre, the youth drop-in service and parenting seminars attended by hundreds of local families at Fullarton Park, and the very busy Playgroup at Clarence Park.

We are looking forward to another busy year ahead with a range of diverse activities and programs to engage our local community. Please refer to the 2019 Community Centres program (available from January 15th). If you would like any further information, please feel free to contact me.

New look for Councils runs deeper than you might think

Most of us recognise that there is a new look for Councils. It runs very much deeper however than is being recognised.

Yes. As my last blog post undoubtedly shows, the new City of Unley will consist of 8 women and 5 men represents this new look for Councils. We all know this is a gender turnaround of significance. It redresses a historic gender imbalance.

This is a trend across local government. Complimenting this trend we see also many Mayoral positions now occupied by women.

There is no doubt that this will changes the dynamic of Council.

A more significant dynamic, as yet not recognised, is the spread of ages on this new Council. This Council has representatives, by my judgement, in each age decade from under 30’s to over 80’s.

This to me is a much bigger shift than the gender shift. The previous council had but two members under the age I suggest of 50.

The contribution to any debate is going to be much fuller than it has been in the two terms of Council I have been a member of. As my co-councillor has oft said the last Council could be describes as a grey haired, retired, gentleman’s club. That is a far cry from this new Council.

Cross gender input will provide depth to the debate. Cross generational input will provide even greater depth. A clear new look for Councils, at least this one as I predicted in my blog post of October 9.

Further than this the age demographic shows up yet another dynamic.

This Council and possibly the next Council history may show as transitional Councils. Councils leading to a generational change.

The final observation I believe with this Council is that those of us remaining from the previous Council/s have a significant obligation. It will be incumbent on us to provide leadership in helping the new members to develop into the Unley Communities next generation of leaders.

Your Clarence Park Ward Councillors provide this.

City of Unley 2018 Election Results

The provisional results for the City of Unley 2018 Election results are now known.

 

The following is list of the elected candidates for the City of Unley 2018 Election.

Mayor:                                            Cr Michael Hewitson

Ward Councillors:

              Clarence Park                  Cr Don Palmer & Councillor Jennie Boisvert.

              Goodwood                        Emmy Wright & Nicole Sheehan

              Fullarton                           Cr Peter Hughes & Jordan Dodd

              Parkside                            Cr Mike Hudson & Kay Anastassiadis

              Unley                                  Sue Dewing & Jane Russo

              Unley Park                       Cr Michael Rabbitt & Monica Broniecki

The results are provisional as we await a final declaration by the Electoral Commission. This will occur after the expiration of the period allowing challenges. This, in turn, I believe would be unlikely but??

Subject to the declaration this then will be your new Council. The Council you have elected.

This is a brand new council. It has 7 new faces, all female. The council itself has a gender balance in favour of female 8 to 5. This is also a council with a wide age range, with members spread evenly through all decades, 20’s through to 70’s.

Watch out for a subsequent blog about this changed dynamic and the opportunities it presents in the future.

Thank You, thank you, thank you.

Thank you to everyone for indicating your confidence, allowing me to continue providing local leadership and working for you. It is heart-warming to receive your support.

More than this though, it is a great responsibility to represent you in local government.

Yes. Thank you.

Thank YouI thank all those who voted for me and those who chose to vote but did not vote for me. You both exercised your right to vote. You also showed your own leadership by accepting the responsibility to vote.

I received 410 of the 1355 votes cast by Clarence Park ratepayers. This is marginally less than what was required for a quota (429) in its own right on 1st preferences. Clarence Park ratepayers voted slightly more than the state average.

I thank also and especially that small band of volunteers who helped me with my campaign. Those who walked the streets for me delivering election flyers. Those also who scrutineer-ed for me. And to those who encouraged me during the process.

As your re-elected member of Council I will be working for all of you, whether you voted for me or not. I will be working for you whether or not you voted.

It is now time for me to celebrate my re-election. I will do this privately in the comfort of my own home and with my family. It won’t be a big celebration though as I reflect and focus on the responsibility you have bestowed on me.

For me, I am preparing my to do list as we speak in readiness to advance your interests in keeping with my many commitments. The commitments announced to you in this forum that have preceded this blog post.

I will post a blog as soon as I am able to report the makeup of the next Council.

Again. Thank You.

Bees at home in their Beehives at Goodwood Oval.

In the last month or two we have seen the emergence of two beehives at Goodwood Oval. The bees have also arrived at their new Goodwood Oval home.

For those of you who have watched and wondered the third of our “Arts In Your Space” projects has been completed at Goodwood Oval. Arts In Your Space is the Year 4 initiative of our Public Arts Strategy.

The project encourages artists to re-consider highly visible locations in Unley as cultural canvases. It is one of six in the strategy. The Beehives of Goodwood Oval was the inspiration of artist Ellen Schlobohm with the fabrication assistance of Tony Rosella.

Beehives at Goodwood Oval 1

Beehives at Goodwood Oval 1

This art piece was an homage to our local bees and care for the environment. Part of Ellen’s original aim was:

I chose to use the hive and bee motifs in my designs as I believe it is important to recognise the vital role that bees play in our overall ecosystem and the impact modern society has had on their natural environment. We need to encourage our bee populations to grow in a way that is sustainable and healthy for both the bees and the community. The domes encourage people to consider this issue and provides a starting point for conversations between parents and their children about respecting our

environment.

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Bee at Home in Beehive at Goodwood Oval

Bee at Home in Beehive at Goodwood Oval

I encourage you to check it out and take your children to the adjacent playground. When you do, please contemplate the role bees play in our environment.

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Clarence Park Ward is the proud recipient of two of the projects.

Unley-Colour-Court-Detail-Large

Unley-Colour-Court-Detail-Large

The 1st was the painted basketball court at Page Park that I have previously reported on. If you have not been to Page Park for a while you might like to visit. Why not take a basketball and shoot some hoops.

They are both projects that add some colour and spice to our neighbourhood, projects that show our uniqueness.

Written & authorised by Don Palmer, 19 Kelvin Avenue, Clarence Park SA 5034

Modified Goodwood Oval Grandstand to go before CAP

The Council is to submit a development application for a modified Goodwood Oval Grandstand. We will present it to Council’s Assessment Panel in November.

 

Council receives an information report on Monday to advise the current status of this project. As we are in caretaker mode we can only receive the report.

The report confirms that a modified design is ready to be presented to Council’s Assessment Panel. The Panel of 5 (with but 1 elected member) is an independent panel, created under the Development Act.

They are duty bound to determine if it be approved or refused, based on Planning principles. As it is a cat 3 public notification application they (the panel) will hear representations from the community.

The design has been modified. It takes into account observations earlier this year from the community.

It also takes into account a need to reduce the scope of works to meet tight budgetary constraints. I would venture to suggest too, a more efficient design.

There are two key features of the modifications as I read the drawings. They cover two of the major concerns raised by members of the community.

The first is the building footprint will again be not much different to the existing building. The second is the clubroom area is being reduced back to a seating capacity of (in theory) 120 people. This, down from the 200 last proposed. This is not much more than the seating capacity of the existing clubroom.

Assuming development approval is granted, the new Council will have to determine how to best address the budget pressures. Among their choices will be;

  • reducing the scope of the project even further,
  • seeking additional funding (perhaps this time from the Federal Government), or
  • funding the shortfall ourselves.

With all this, onsite construction of the modified Goodwood Oval grandstand (or other) is unlikely prior to the end of June, 2019.

 

Written & authorised by Don Palmer, 19 Kelvin Avenue, Clarence Park SA 5034

Influencing the Accredited Professionals Scheme and Assessment Pathways

While the local government elections proceed and we are in caretaker mode, I am still out there working for you. In particular, I am contributing to Council’s response to the Government’s proposed Accredited Professionals Scheme and Assessment Pathways.

As the Government’s reform package does not wait on Council elections it becomes difficult for elected members to have influence over the debate. That has not stopped me however.

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I am offering opinions in two current planning areas that impact on you.  They are the Accredited Professionals Scheme and Assessment Pathways.

Accredited Professionals Scheme

In my opinion, the Accredited Professionals Scheme is sadly lacking and is fraught with danger. The proposed accreditation appears to be quite liberal.

The level of experience for assessment panel members is surprisingly limited. It flies in the face of the previous ministers’ assertions the involvement of Council elected members. He believed elected members largely had an insufficient skillset. The proposed qualifications however for future panel members would curiously allow elected members easy access to the panel.

Likewise, as a retired building inspector, I am concerned that the Level 4 accreditation for building inspectors requires only 6 months experience. It seems we may be moving to a system which allows what I would consider less competency than now. Surely a backwards step.

Assessment Pathways 

I am pushing that Assessment pathways for any development that has variances to the plan such that they impact on the neighbourhood, even if only “minor” should have a public consultation component to them.

We must continue to fight for this. This is because developments invariably will sit outside the parameters set in a development plan.

Assessment must remain with Council rather than with private certifiers when public notification is a requirement. This is because councils are the only body with the availability of being transparent and accountable.

Private Certifiers will never have the level of accountability that Councils have. Even with the number of elected members sitting on assessment panels reduced to one, accountability is only possible with Councils being responsible.

Two extremes of public notification need to be addressed. I am promoting accordingly.

Obviously larger developments must include public notification and this must extend beyond just the immediate neighbours. Rear of house developments regularly however do not impact on other than the immediate neighbour/s. This includes neighbours who live on the other side of the street and cannot see the development. Those not impacted should not be invited to make representation.

If re-elected, I will remain in a position of working for you and providing local leadership on the Accredited Professionals Scheme and Assessment Pathways and all subsequent planning changes.

 

Written & authorised by Don Palmer, 19 Kelvin Avenue, Clarence Park SA 5034

Providing Local Leadership: Giving Time and Passion.

As a retired businessman I can offer you something that none of the other candidates can. That is an abundance of time and passion that comes with being free.

 

Time and passionFree from the hassles of holding down a job. Free from having to commit to training for a future occupation.

 

To provide local leadership and to work for you it is important that your representative is giving you time and passion.

In my opinion you need to find 20 hours plus each week to be an effective elected member of council. Balancing family, work, social and play and the demands placed on you as an elected member can be most challenging. Anything less than 20 hours per week will mean you are not getting value from your representative.

Why would an elected member need to devote that much time you may well ask? Isn’t it just one meeting a month?

 

Working for you requires a commitment to the management role as a “board of management” contributor. The Local Government Act requires this of your representative.

This entails attending at least one full council meeting each month, plus at least one briefing. Attending these and (more importantly) preparing properly for these meeting is time consuming.

Then there are committees and we have many. Ideally they should be spread around. It tends not happen however. Some of us may be members of multiple committees while others may choose not to participate. I am one who contributes to multiple committees because I have the time and the passion where others don’t.

Then there is the need to give time to the various community groups who appreciate your support. The local sporting clubs, the community centre, the neighbourhood watch group etc.

The ultimate time commitment though, is the time devoted directly to you. The Local Government Act requires a person elected to council to represent the interests of residents and ratepayers, to provide community leadership and guidance, and to facilitate communication between the community and the council.

Time is something I have previously and still can offer you (more so), and wish to. In abundance. May I ask, can the other candidates?

Written & authorised by Don Palmer, 19 Kelvin Avenue, Clarence Park SA 5034