Providing Local Leadership: Local Economic Prosperity

To achieve local economic prosperity there is much a Council can do. In my time the City of Unley has always been conscious of being alert to ways it can stimulate economic activity.


Economic DevelopmentWe have done this via a body called the Unley Business and Economic Development committee (UBED). I have been a member of this committee for most of my time on Council. As a member, I am proud of our commitment to our businesses.

This committee has evolved over time, from a committee whose membership was mostly representatives of the various street traders associations and a couple of Councillors. During the life of the current Council the membership grew to include some independents, people with business and economic background but not associated with the traders. The number of councillors also grew. I promoted both of these changes.

The committee was a reactive committee, responding to initiatives considered either by Council or Council’s administration. The independent members of the current committee did however look to bring their own initiatives in a proactive approach. I had been advocating for similar since I joined the committee.

If returned to Council I will look, in seeking increased local economic prosperity, to encourage this committee to evolve even further. I will seek for this committee to become a more proactive committee, with members representing all our businesses.


Unley Business & Economic StrategyOur business and economic strategy is due for review. As part of the review, we need to recognise that our local economic prosperity goes much further than just assisting our local street trader businesses.


The majority of our businesses are not the shop front businesses of Goodwood, King William and Unley Roads. They are the mum and dad businesses and the start ups operating out of home.

In my opinion, these businesses have been ignored for too long. Ignored simply because we did not know who they were. We now know how we can identify them.

I will be promoting that the UBED committee be a committee only made up of independent members and councillors. A committee looking to promote ways of helping all our businesses. A committee charged with bringing recommendations to Council rather than and in addition to Council bringing ideas to them for their input.

I will be seeking that Council recognises the value of UBED input into a wider range of  issues than normal. In other words to utilise UBED to provide economic insight into a wider range of Council initiatives. Issues not necessarily recognised as contributing to our local economic prosperity.

To advance this, it is my intention to seek election by Council as the presiding member of this new community.

With your support I will get this opportunity.

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

Oh Mr Hart! The Subway Project still alive and well. The Community wants it.

Jennie & I, along with neighbouring Unley Park councillor Michael Rabbitt and our Acting Mayor Peter Hughes, met with Steph Key yesterday. Topic of discussion was to discuss the consultation report on the Subway Project.

subwayn project consultationSteph may no longer be the local member of Parliament, but she is still passionate about getting the Subway Project up and running. She presented, along with Mark Thomson from her electorate office, the results of the consultation from late last year to the group above.

The results of the consultation are quite clear. The local community wants some form of artwork on the underpass. They provided some great ideas to the project group.

The strongest support clearly is for a “green” solution. This could be anything from paint to live greening or a combination of both.

We all agreed last night the project should not be limited to the concrete walls.  It should extend to the surrounding “precinct”. This would mean replicating elsewhere what has been done in the north west corner of the precinct. It would mean beautifying the vacant land in the south east, adjacent the now successful re-opened Millswood Rail Station.

It seems like this project has been going for ever. Well before my entry into Council. My predecessor Les Birch championed the Subway Project way back in the 90’s.

Seems now that, with community backing and some clever thoughts on how artwork could help maintain the infrastructure and extend its life that DPTI may well be on board. Well tentatively at least.

You can check out the recent history of the project on the project groups website or their Facebook page.

Steph will present the Subway Project Consultation Report to Unley Council (possibly at the June meeting) the results of the consultation. She will also suggest the next step.

With the replacement artwork in tow at the Capri Cinema, this may well be an ideal next project for artwork in Goodwood.

Residents who are Land Locked West of Goodwood Road

With all good intentions it seems Council has not recognised those residents who live west of Goodwood Road. When designing the improvements to Goodwood Road from the tram line to Victoria Street we have not consulted them. We have not in other words recognised a group of residents who are land locked west of Goodwood Road.

The Goodwood Road redevelopment, which is well underway, promises to add life to an already vibrant precinct.

Council has a vision for this section of Goodwood Road. We want to make it more of a destination rather than a commuter thoroughfare. We are looking to make it a more pedestrian friendly environment.

As you would no doubt be aware, we’re in full swing of construction and local company. Local Company Outside Ideas are putting out a good pace.

Hope you like the result that’s been achieved so far!

Works on the eastern side moving south from the tram crossing commence Tuesday after the long weekend. Work on the western side has been interrupted however.

Some residents have identified a concern with the design. They are those who live west of Goodwood Road and who use Victoria Street to commute from home to work etc.

These residents believe the narrowing of the junction of Victoria Street into Goodwood Road will cause significant delays for motorists accessing Goodwood Road. This is whether turning north or south.

This conflicts with our administration’s view. Their focus is to improve pedestrian movement and safety at the intersection. Their study indicates that there is only room for one car to access Goodwood Road at a time. I admit my own assessment was similar. That has been, as a regular user of Victoria Street, my experience.

A number of residents do not see it this way however. They believe there has always been room for those turning right and left to both access Goodwood Road at the same time.

Hearing from these residents has highlighted a glitch in our original public consultation. With most of the side street renovations being on the east side of Goodwood Road, only residents living east of Goodwood Road were directly consulted. Had I known this was our administrations intent, I would have intervened. I would have asked for council to support a wider public engagement.

Having lived in Cromer Parade previously I am only too conscious of this. Of having been one of those residents land locked west of Goodwood Road.

Error identified we will now being doing just that. Seeking the input of those of us Land Locked West of Goodwood Road.

If you are one of those land locked between Goodwood Road and the tram and train lines you will get a chance now to contribute. You can assist us to determine whether narrowing Victoria Street where it meets Goodwood Road is a good or a bad thing. You will get the chance to tell us whether or not two cars can access Goodwood Road safely turning right and left concurrently or not.

Please take the opportunity to contribute. While we (Council) are hoping to make this precinct a more pedestrian friendly environment, we don’t want to cause inconvenience and anguish to those who use this intersection as a motorist.

The Not So Good wood on Goodwood Road

After blogging recently on the Good wood of Good wood Oval I find myself blogging on the not so good wood on Goodwood Road.

Readers of this blog would be well aware of the Good wood on Goodwood Road. The Government have been working over the last few months to underground the power along Goodwood Road. With that complete, Council have commenced the re-invigoration of the pedestrian environment of the same stretch of Goodwood Road. This is the stretch from the tram line to Victoria Street. When complete the Government will be taking advantage of this project to follow with resealing the road.

Notwithstanding the obvious co-operation between the two levels of Government readers would also be aware that Governments have a habit of not co-operating. I wonder whether the State Government have plans to upgrade the water mains running down this section of Goodwood Road.

Tonight bought this home to me with a vengeance.

I have been half expecting a flood event somewhere in Unley with the severe weather event predicted. If it where to occur I expected it to come from the heavens above, not from the government’s underground water infrastructure. But that is exactly what happened.

So the not so good wood on Goodwood Road is it has flooded ahead of the fast approaching storm event. The burst occurred in front of Sushi Q, opposite the Goodwood Library. Thankfully the shops have not been damaged.

With the weather approaching I suspect repairs will be delayed for quite some time. There may therefore, with water pouring out the skies, be some rate payers who will be without water for a while.

Question for the Government.

Are they planning to upgrade the water mains in this section of Goodwood Road before the rejuvenation project is complete or will we see the road dug up in the near future after the project is complete?

Question for the Government and the State Opposition in the lead up to the March 2018 election.

Will either party commit to upgrading our failing water infrastructure or is this too hard?




With the undergrounding of power lines by SA Power Networks nearing completion Council can power ahead with Goodwood Road makeover. The second stage of Goodwood Road’s major revitalisation is set to start in December

Goodwood Road

Capri Corner Concept Design

Local company Outside Ideas of Forestville has been selected to undertake streetscape upgrades between Victoria Street and the tramline. They have extensive experience working on major projects, including the ANZAC Memorial Walk, the Henley Square redevelopment and Adelaide Airport’s plaza.

Outside Ideas have been responsible for some extraordinary work around the metropolitan area.

Our Mayor, Lachlan Clyne, has flagged with the media that it’s great to be able to support a local business to work in their own neighbourhood on such a significant and important project for the community,” Mr Clyne said. “This Goodwood Road business district is one of the original four villages of Unley, and is still one of our main commercial and retail centres more than 150 years later. Today it carries about 30,000 vehicles per day and we believe these upgrades will propel it forward to become a popular destination of choice with broad appeal to Adelaide’s consumer market.”

Outside Ideas director Aaron Superina welcomed the opportunity to work on a project in the business’ local area. “As a company that specialised in main street upgrades, this is a great opportunity for us to help revitalise a precinct close to our Forestville office and one that is used by our local community every day,” Mr Superina said. “We’ll be using a significant amount of locally-made products, including pavers, custom fencing and planter boxes, which will be key features of the new look streetscape.”

This is good news as the rumours abounded that we were going to use Chinese pavers.

We have also engaged Adelaide-based company Groundplay to supply street furniture, including benches, bins and planter boxes, for the project which will result in improved pedestrian access and a beautified streetscape.

Minister Mulligan threatens Unley over Paid Parking Trial

The paid parking trial I blogged on 3 weeks ago has been the subject of criticism and threats by the State Government Minister for transport, Stephen Mulligan.


Unbeknown to us we have erected three of the  machines in Railway Terrace South (East of Goodwood Road) on Government land. A bad mistake on our part, believing that the tram corridor fence correctly delineated the border between Government and Council land.

Railway Terrace South (East)The minister was quite blunt in threatening to remove the machines for us if we do not. His claims had the media claiming we were forced to remove them. Not so. They had been moved by us long before his time on TV.


Had he chosen to speak with us rather than go to the press he would have known that.

Listening to the interview you would believe his department found the error and we were being uncooperative. One again, not so.

Fact is we found the error yesterday, not the government. Fact is we contacted them to let them know of the error. And as noted above fact is we removed them first thing this morning.

Our mistake at the end of the day was trusting in the alignment of the fence along the tram corridor. A fence erected in the wrong location in error not by us but by the Government. Machines erected on land we have been maintaining in the belief that we owned it. So land we have been maintaining on their behalf.

Actually, maybe our mistake was alerting DPTI to our discovery and not simply removing them without paying them the courtesy of keeping them in the loop.

So while the Government through Minister Mulligan is asserting trespass on our part and with the press stinging us with claims we would have to repay thousands of dollars in illegal fines I ask these questions.

Firstly from where do they calculate the thousands in fines. My understanding is we have issued 6 fines in the three weeks of the trial. And the fee was a maximum $ 4.00 per day.

Next question is will the government pay us for the decades of maintaining their property for them and who will they expect to look after the land in the future. I doubt very much they will have an interest in maintaining the corridor as those who live adjacent the tram line and indeed the two rail corridors that also run through Unley can attest.


Minister Rau picks up the Planning Reform Pace.

While Unley Council’s recent focus has been on Brownhill Creek the area that I have a passion for has been simmering in the background.


Our Deputy Premier & Minister for Planning has been working on his various planning strategies and a number of them are coming to a head as he picks up the Planning Reform Pace.

Here is a summary of what is happening as we speak.


Development Plan Amendments – Ministerial Initiated


Inner and Middle Metro Corridor Infill DPA – This DPA is to extend the Urban Corridors Zoning much further across the cities major transport corridors.  Council has just received the Draft DPA from DPTI and is in the early stages of analysing the detail. Council has made some observations about this DPA which have already been taken on board by DPTI and therefore the Minister, such as leaving Goodwood Road’s heritage precinct alone for us to address in our own DPA sometime in the near future.


Existing Activity Centres DPA – The draft has recently been released by the Government for public comment until 21 October 2015.  This has significant implications for Unley and again DPTI woudl appear to accept our take that with a number of conflicts with the Corridors DPA that this shoudl not be considered in the inner rim councils.


30 Year Plan Update


Our officers having been working with Departmental Staff on an updated 30 Year Plan, which is the Metropolitan Adelaide Planning Strategy.  Officers will be provided with further briefings and invitation for feedback in the first half of October, with the expectation that a Consultation Draft of the 30 Year Plan Update will be released prior to Xmas.


Planning Reform Legislation


DPTI_Planning_System_header_560x200The Planning Reform Bill has been introduced into Parliament.  As is often the case, consultation on the Bill has opened for 30 days from 8 September – a very tight consultation period not really cognizant of Council meeting time frames. For the Masochists amongst you can access the Bill at and let me know what you think.


Latest Regulatory Changes


More changes have been made to Development Regulations to make the Coordinator General the relevant agency with which to lodge Development Applications for dwellings and associated land division proposals in relation to the redevelopment of existing Housing Trust properties.

Theatre Organ Society of Australia-Owners of Capri Cinema celebrate 50th Birthday

Owners of the Capri Cinema, where the celebrations commenced, the Theatre Organ Society of Australia, South Australian Division celebrate their 50th Anniversary this weekend.


Invited by the Theatre Organ Society of Australia to the opening last night of a weekend long celebration I enjoyed a trip of nostalgia.

My wife and I were entertained by a series of inspiring organ performances by an equally exciting group of organists. I was quite proud that locals from my own street, father and son Richard & Michael Larritt, were two of the performers on the night.

20150821_182758 20150821_190411 20150821_184437Another of the performers and host for the night was someone most people of my vintage will remember from channel 9 and 5DN days was none other than Barry Hall. The channel niners come to mind, along with …. Yes… Here’s Humphrey.

I reckon if I dig deep enough into my collection of LPs I would find the album mentioned later with his name on it.

Two historic organs featured on the night, both now permanent residents of the Capri.

The first, well known to those who frequent the Capri Cinema for movies or theatre performances is the 4/29 Wurlitzer. The console of the 4/29 features on many a photo shoot of the Capri Cinema.


The second, at least the console of the second, is the 2/12. This organ was resident for 30 years at my old stamping ground, Pulteney Grammar School just down the road a bit on South Terrace in the City. It is also the organ featured on Barry Hall’s LP “Barry Hall at the Wurlitzer”, one of I reckon 15 or so LPs he recorded during the 70’s or thereabouts.

Thank you TOSA. It was a great night out and I did not miss Port Adelaide beating Hawthorn or Australia throwing it at the Poms, well almost.

20150821_182739Oh! And thanks for the birthday cake. It was delicious. Pretty spectacular looker too! Too good in fact to eat. Here it is in it’s protective cage.


SALA in Unley off a great start

Now in our 8th year of involvement SALA in Unley has got off a great start.



SALA has continued to grow as one of South Australia’s major and respected arts festivals. This year SALA runs from 1-31 August. This year the City of Unley’s involvement includes:

  • The coordination of Where Business Meets Art, a project developed in conjunction with Unley’s five Main Street Traders Associations for businesses and artists to participate in our ongoing initiative to put art in our shops, cafes and businesses. This year over 40 businesses will display work in a variety of mediums from around 120 artists, the single largest response to SALA in any metropolitan area.
  • The premier event SALA Gala in the Garden will be held on Sun 16 August 10.30-4.30 pm and will be contained within the Unley Soldiers Memorial Gardens.

We are now one of the major sponsors along with The Advertiser and Unley Traders Association.We are acknowledged as a premier partner of SALA Festival on the inside cover of the SALA Program and on other promotion state wide.

I have so far been to a few shops along Goodwood Road and have been quite impressed. One of those was of course Gingers where the Mayor opened this year’s event last week.

I hope you will be able to take the time to get out and explore the world of visual arts during this last month of winter and check out our exciting and diverse projects. It will be prove to be a good day out on the 16th. Take the opportunity not only that day but to check out the art displayed in your favourite shop.

To find out more check our Website and our Facebook page


Goodwood Road Main Street Streetscape Concept

An updated Goodwood Road concept design and a summary of recent public community engagement was presented to elected members last night. The briefing allowed us to review the feedback we have received from the community. It allowed us to provide to the project team our own feedback before moving to preparing detail design and documentation.

Goodwood Road

Capri Corner Concept Design

The community consistently identified the following aims, opportunities and expectations of the future streetscape of Goodwood Road.

  • New paving that opens up the street and improves accessibility.
  • Expanding opportunities for community interaction, including more social settings, safer crossing points, improved access to shop-fronts, new art and event actuation.
  • De-cluttering the street and providing a distinctive suite of street furniture, consolidated in key locations and suited to all ages.
  • Desire for lighting to be reflective of the precinct, including feature lighting, heritage facades, verandah lighting and public art integration.
  • More shade and opportunities for greening along the street, including street planting, planting beds, vines and pots.
  • Safer side streets that improve pedestrian accessibility and slow local speeds, whilst maintaining existing vehicle access and local servicing requirements.


With the contribution from the elected members the project team will now prepare a consultants brief for the detailed design and documentation of the agreed concept design for Goodwood Road, leading to construction commencing early/mid 2016.

The ongoing engagement since the original 2009 Urban Design Framework has ensured that we will have a design that works best for all. I am quite impressed with the work done. Recognising that designs can alter once detailed work is undertaken but the concepts will see Goodwood Road transformed.

So Unley’s best kept secret wont be for much longer.

In September the under grounding of the power lines should commence and continue until early to mid march of next year. This work will recess for the Christmas trading period. Once this work is complete the streetscape upgrade works can commence.


Higher Focus on Higher Density Development

Higher Density Development is back on agenda for the City of Unley. The Minister for Planning John Rau has announced stage 2 of the State Government’s Inner Metro Growth project.


It appears the minister is in hurry to get his inner metro plan down. While the City of Unley is about to commence our next DPA he is ready to role out a plethora of others nearby. It appears it is likely that Unley will experience a frenetic period of DPA’s.

While we focus on Unley Central it looks like we are going to be competing with a bunch of ministerial DPA’s. This will include one each for the following areas:

Goodwood Road,

the remainder of Unley Road,

Anzac Highway,

King William Road,

and Leader Street.

Higher density development by way of higher density DPA’s Hope this does not confuse everyone.

His press release follows.