Archive for the ‘News’ Category

  • David Pisoni MP SA Liberal Party
  • John Wishart The GREENS SA
  • Candidate to be advised SA Labor Party
  • Candidate to be advised SA Best
  • Candidate to be advised Dignity PARTY

Here is an opportunity to hear from each of them as they address some key issues relevant to the Electorate of Unley on Local Heritage, the Assessment of Development Proposals and the Greening of our City. There will be opportunity for questions from the floor.

When: Tuesday 27 February 2018

Where: Unley Park Sports Club, 8 Northgate St, Unley Park. Wheelchair accessible venue

Time: 7:30pm

Contact: Ros Islip 0438723001 or Warren Jones 0419852622


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As you may be aware the City of Unley is establishing a Civic Precinct Development Working Group, http://www.unley.sa.gov.au/unley-news/november-2017/expression-of-interest-%E2%80%93-civic-precinct-working-grNominations are open until 1 December (http://www.unley.sa.gov.au/forms/civic-precinct-working-group-expression-of-interes).
This working party will look at and report to Council on options for the Civic Precinct, an area bounded by Unley Rd, Edmund Ave, Rugby St and Oxford St. This is the area inclusive of St Augustine’s Church, Halls and presbytery, Unley Town Hall, Civic Centre and library and the Unley Village Green (the villas and associated grassed areas). 
A ‘sister’ community based organisation (SOS Unley Village Green Inc) has created an online survey to gain opinions and insights into what the residents wish to see or not see for the this area. The survey can be found at, https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/unleyvillagegreen.

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Screen Shot 2017-10-24 at 8.36.59 pmA presentation by

Norman Etherington AM

National Trust of South Australia

Heritage is sometimes said to be a polarising issue. That proposition was put to the test in a wide-ranging public consultation conducted in 2016 by South Australia’s Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure.

The Community Consultation process is over and the Minister for Planning, John Rau has deferred consideration of legislative changes to Heritage legislation until after the State elections in March 2018.

So now what? Is local heritage still under siege? Norman, an Emeritus Professor of History and former Alderman of the City of Adelaide, has a rare insight into the State’s heritage issues.

Do come and hear Norman’s views. A presentation not to be missed! Following the presentation and discussion a light supper will be provided.

When: Tuesday 21 November 2017

Where: Unley Community Centre, 18 Arthur St Unley

Time: 7:30pm

Contact: Ros Islip – 0438723001 Warren Jones – 0419852622


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(by Anne Wharton on behalf of Save Unley Trees Campaign)

Many residents in the Unley Council area are most concerned about the number of regulated and significant trees being removed from our suburbs, especially on private land.  Indeed this seems to be happening throughout suburban Adelaide.

In the property behind me at 47 Fairford Street are 2 huge River Red Gums, possibly 100+ years old.  The owners have recently submitted another application to Council to remove the western tree (their third application to cut down one or both of the trees).  Below is a photo taken today of the 2 trees and a photo taken before the new house was built nearly 2 years ago.  The tree under application is the right hand tree (western) and the bigger of the two and is on the Unley Council’s Significant Tree List.  You can also view again my neighbour Mark’s beautiful video of the trees at http://tinyurl.com/saveunleytrees.  If the application is successful, the removal of the western tree will have a detrimental impact on the eastern tree.

Top arborists in the state have emphasised the importance of such trees which are indigenous to the local area. These two trees are a community landmark, have enormous heritage value, and have important habitat and biodiversity value. This is as well as their huge environmental contribution in combatting climate change.

The Unley Council has done the right thing by twice engaging independent arborists.  These reports found that these sentinel River Red Gums are in good health and have the potential to remain actively growing at the site for another century or more.  As with previous applications, the owners have engaged arborists whose reports are in direct opposition with the Council’s independent reports.

The Council’s own arborist has declared that these trees are healthy and do not pose a significant risk. Two reports from a leading highly respected arborist confirm this as recently as January this year – so why are we still fighting for their survival?

Common sense says the Council should not be accepting any more applications on these trees – but  recent changes to the State government Planning legislation have weakened local council’s ability to protect our natural heritage and in particular our significant trees.  Common sense says, these trees have significant community value and the community should be allowed to comment – but again State government legislation won’t allow it. This gives property owners the licence to bombard Council with numerous applications, wasting the Council’s time and the rates we pay. 

Its time we stood up.  I urge you to write letters to the Unley Council and the State government stating that the legislation does not protect significant trees that are healthy and don’t pose a risk.

Please write to the Mayor and the CEO of Unley Council if you are concerned about the loss of these magnificent River Red Gums.  Below are their email addresses.

Mayor Lachlan Clyne – mayor.clyne@unley.sa.gov.au

CEO Peter Tsokas – cgowland@unley.sa.gov.au

Copy to:  Councillor Don Palmer – dpalmer@unley.sa.gov.au

Copy to:  Councillor Michael Hewitson – mhewitson@unley.sa.gov.au

Copy to:  Anne Wharton – whartonanne@gmail.com

We urge you to also write to the Minister for Planning, Mr John Rau (email address: agd@agd.sa.gov.au)

23rd May 2017.

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“Not-so high-rise plans ticked off”

The Eastern Courier Messenger, 5 April 2017

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Dear members and friends,

FOCUS has received several messages of disappointment with the content of the Deputation we made to Council last Monday night. We provide the following information for the information of members. 

For those who were not present, we want to let you know that Council will hold a Special meeting tonight – Thursday – at 7 00 pm to make Final decisions on the DPA for Unley Central. 

Immediately prior to Monday night’s meeting, various members of FOCUS’ committee held a number of meetings and lengthy phone calls with individual councillors. From these we formed a firm view that it was unwise to continue to hold out for a height limit of 5 storeys West of Unley road. Partly because the view was expressed that the Minister was unlikely to accept such a low level, and might remove all further consideration of the DPA and undertake it himself which the legislation enables him to do.

We were advised that a number of Councillors would reject calls for 5 storeys.

But also because we understood and this has since been confirmed that existing State Government policy allows any proposed development with an estimated cost of over $3 million can be referred by the developer to the Controller – General, and the decision to approve the development or not is then given to the Development Assessment Commission. Council would have no say.

Now, $3 million is a very small amount when significant buildings are being designed. So the FOCUS Committee formed the view that to hold out for a limit of 5 storeys would, in practical terms, be of little point

So FOCUS stated on Monday night that we would not oppose 9 storeys, although we greatly preferred a limit of 7 storeys. We did not support 9. Nor agree with it. But in order to focus attention on the critical need to preserve the Village Green, Memorial Gardens, Mornington House and other heritage buildings in DPA zone we decided to reduce our demands for the large sites on Western Side of Unley Rd which we cannot control but will try to influence decisions made and support residents. 

Lastly, we want to say to FOCUS members, and to the wider community, as respectfully and sensitively as we can, that yes, most of the 295 submissions to the review of the DPA were opposed to ”high rise development” in the centre Zone.  

But that is not the only issue that Council will take note of when reaching decisions tomorrow night. Many people present on Monday night clearly felt very strongly that if the community says, “you must not allow high-rise”, then the Council must give effect to that view. As one person said, “you are our voice, this is what we want you to say’.

But, having followed the issues of heritage protection and character in our City over many, many years, FOCUS expects that Council will also be thinking about:-

  1. The Minister’s intent to achieve more dense development in centre zones across Adelaide. And his ability to take his own decisions if communities don’t offer ideas which are somewhat akin to his.
  2. Council has for many years had an intent, maybe not a policy, but a keen interest in achieving “redevelopment of opportunities” in the Centre Zone
  3. The concessions made by Government in the past in granting very important protection about demolition and new building design in the Historic precincts of Unley – these remain in place today – and an understanding that more dense development might be permitted in other parts of the City in future years.

We see the protection of the Village Green “block” as absolutely paramount. Your Committee believes that the position it took to Monday night’s meeting offers the best prospect of getting decisions to achieve this at tomorrow night’s meeting. A key plank of our position is that the “Block” should be totally excised, that is, removed from the DPA process completely.

Thank you for your support and I hope this email helps you understand our position.
Please contact me on 0438723001 if you would like to discuss any of these issues.

Yours faithfully

Ros Islip

President FOCUS

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Articles and letters

Articles and letters from the Eastern Courier Messenger, 22 March 2017.

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