Showing posts from March, 2014

Millswood Station to re-open

There should be an announcement this week about the re-opening of the Millswood Train Station. That was a promise by the outgoing Labor Government. I expect that commitment to be honoured. It was interesting that during the recent election campaign the Liberal Party refused outright to re-open the station. I suspect it was due to the fact that it was a former Liberal Government that closed the station and they didn't want to change their mind. It was a very costly decision. I believe that this stance by the Liberals cost them 100s of votes in the Ashford electorate. If the Liberals had supported the re-opening of the station, then the result in Ashford would have been much closer. It takes a strong person (or party) to admit that they were wrong. The Liberals wouldn't change their mind. I hope that come the next election, the Liberals don't reverse Labor's re-opening of the station.

A basic life

Yesterday I shared a tram ride with an acquaintance, a local who lives nearby. I can write this safety knowing that she will not read it. She shuns material stuff (eg. computers, email, Internet, etc.) and lives a simple life. She is heavily into meditation and frequently retreats to isolated country locations (eg. an old farm house down a dirt road, far from anywhere) where she will not see anyone or have communication with anyone for 1-2 weeks. There, she goes not deep meditation and then returns to normal life. She teaches meditation for a modest fee. It was an interesting conversation on the tram ride to the city. She explained how she shuns a more complex life that most of us live. She said that she lives in a single room and requires nothing more than the basics needed to survive. She could understand my analogy of escaping and going fishing and just getting away (from it all). On reflection, in comparison, we do live way beyond our basic needs. It was re

No Minister

There's something that really annoys and I need to get it off my chest - and it is timely to do it now, whilst the Government remains in caretaker mode so as to not be seen to favouring or criticising any political party. It annoys me when an elected Government appoints Ministers from the Upper House of Parliament. The Upper House was meant to be a House of Review, to vet the legislation of the Lower House free of political influence. That is meant to be its purpose. A party that wins the Lower House may be a bit stretched to have adequate talent to appoint Ministers, but that is no excuse for appointing Members of the Upper House. More often than not, it is for political expediency. When voting, people do not deliberately vote above the line (or below if they have the time) for someone who might become a Minister. It is normal for voters to cast different party/candidate votes for the Lower and Upper Houses. People genuinely vote for the Upper House with the belief that

Election Day Traditions

It's been a week since the State Election and we are nearing a result; or so we are told. There is an interesting mood in the community - one of understanding and acceptance, a reflection of the strength (and acceptance) of our democracy ... and when there is a result, despite 50% voting the other way, the people will totally accept it. We really are the lucky country! Lately there has been talk about Neighbour Day (which is not widely known and embraced) and other events that are designed to bring the community together. There's nothing like a State or Federal Election to bring people together on the streets. On that day there is a tradition of leaving the car at home and walking to the nearest polling booth. The streets are busy with people going off to vote, to do their duty (because it is compulsory). People say hello to neighbours and others along the way, people they don't normally engage with. It's good to see. Another tradition is for the local sc

Slow count of SA votes

There is immense frustration in the community at the slowness of the count of ballot papers for the recent State Election. It seems that we won’t know who will govern this State for another week. A creative thought by a colleague was that perhaps next time we could outsource the count and tally to India and get a result overnight. We could also probably direct the type of result required; that would overcome the political and media beat-ups as to why one party gets a majority of the vote and yet doesn’t get enough seats to govern. Today I read an excellent article on an assessment of the count situation by South Australian Electoral Commissioner Kay Mousley. I can now understand her predicament. Here’s a link to that story on  How to speed up the count . As to the tongue in cheek comment about outsourcing the count to India … No way! Our system may be slow and inefficient, but it is honest and works and will eventually churn out a result in a prescribed manner. I wish Ms Mousle

French Film Festival

Now that the Festival and the Fringe has ended, it’s still mad March in Adelaide and time to start the film festivals . Australia is celebrating its 25th French Film Festival . It's the biggest film festival in Australia. Did you know that the annual French Film Festival, screening around Australia in March and April, is also the biggest in the world outside of France? It seems that we love all things Fran├žaise. The Adelaide season features 45 films screening in 128 sessions over 20 days at the Palace Nova East-end. The range caters for all tastes: drama, animation, documentary, comedy, blockbusters and art-house (and a bit of naughtiness). There will be heaps of opening and closing night parties and other special events. Adelaide is lucky to be on the end of the circuit of the Film Festival's events in mainland capitals. That enables us to use Australian reviews to help us select what to see. Get along and watch a film . (It's so hard not to say movie .)

Wayville residents ANGRY

The residents in Wayville are angry about the State Government's proposal to change the traffic arrangements at the junctions of Joslin and Clark Streets with Greenhill Road. This blog post is dedicated to publishing the submissions made by residents. At their request, individual contact details have been suppressed. The residents are lobbying David Pisoni MP to kill the proposal. Here are the submissions ... Submission 1 ... Bill Zissopoulos Project Manager Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure 15 th March, 2014 Dear Mr Zissopoulos, I write to provide feedback on the DPTI proposal for Greenhill Road and, in particular, to object to the proposed changes for Greenhill Road outlined in the information mailed to residents in affected suburbs, the display in the Unley library, and the Infrastructure website. Please note that I sent my apologies for my non-attendance at the information meeting in Unley. The DPTI proposal focuses on banning right

Joslin Clark U-turns

Residents in land locked Wayville are angry about the State Government's plans to close the median strip on Greenhill Road at Joslin and Clark Streets. At a recent briefing session, residents voiced their anger. I am hoping that the Government does listen to the residents' concerns and reconsider and redesign the proposal. I suspect that little thought was given to the huge impact on locals who are locked in this section of Wayville and are reliant on ease of access via Joslin and Clark. All residents received a letter from the Goverment and were informed of the proposal. I urge residents to send a response to the Government. Unley Council has made a submission about the danger of crossing several lanes of traffic to do a u-turn to enter the local streets. This section of Wayville is in the electorate of Unley which will probably be retained by David Pisoni. After today's election, I urge residents to contact David and ask him to lobby  on your behalf. Ask him to ge

Scrambled eggs

How to make absolutely perfect Scrambled Eggs Most people can knock up scrambled eggs pretty quickly. Unfortunately, in most cases the result is not that flash. Most attempts use too much milk and over cook the eggs. Here’s how to cook absolutely perfect scrambled eggs. Basic instructions are: 1) Never add salt to the whisked egg mix. It gives the eggs a tough texture. Add it later when on the plate. 2) Use low heat and fold the eggs. Don’t use high heat and stir the eggs. 3) Add a couple of teaspoons of cream . This makes the mix soft, fluffy and have a more moist feel. Here are more detailed instructions: Preparation Time: 5 minutes  Cooking Time: 5 minutes  Serves: 1  Ingredients  2 Eggs  2 Teaspoons Cream (add a bit more if it's your birthday) 1 Teaspoon Butter  Salt and Pepper (add the salt when cooked) Maybe some dill to garnish  Why not some pan fried tomatoes or mushrooms on the side? Toasted Bread (of course) Preparation  In a separate pa

MAR @ Ridge Park

Great news ... The Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) at Ridge Park is now in operation. This is one of the water saving schemes initiated by Unley Council. What is a MAR? Basically, during wet periods you collect water and inject it into the water table below and then in the summer months pump it out there or elsewhere to help with irrigation. Benefits are: Potential to supply 60ML (megalitres) pa - that's enough water to fill 24 Olympic sized swimming pools Reduced risk of flooding Cheap supply of good water during peak watering season Reliable supply for Council's water trucks Here is information re the MAR @ Ridge Park Here is a map of the water retention scheme @ Ridge Park ps Why do people always compare large volumes of stuff to an Olympic pool? I couldn't help myself - it's easy to visualise.

Council Meeting 11 March 2014

Here are highlights of the Unley Council Meeting held on Tuesday 11 March 2014. Local Traffic Management Plan (LATM) for Black Forest Council approved this plan in a revised state. Decisions on Byron Road and Canterbury Terrace will come before Council at a future date. Importantly, work will commence soon on recommendations in the plan. I disagreed strongly with the belief that after the election (next week) we will be immediately informed by the new Government of proposed changes to exit/entry to locals streets to/from South Road. I doubt that there will be any changes to access to/from South Road. I suspect that the 2 major recommendations (for Canterbury and Byron) will take months to resolve. Swimming Pool Inspection Policy This will result in Council inspecting all new swimming pools and spas to ensure compliance with safety standards. A great outcome that will hopefully reduce toddler deaths in backyard pools. Any death is unacceptable! Fraud and Corruption Preven

Parliament vs. Council

Parliament vs. Council A few months ago I visited Parliament House. I was a guest of my local member and was invited to lunch in Parliament House. Prior to lunch, I sat in the gallery and observed a  motion being debated. It had bi-partisan support and acknowledged the service of Police and those killed on duty. It was interesting and presented an opportunity to note differences between Council meetings and Parliament sessions. Here is my take from the day visited: ·          Most Councillors are in the Chamber most of the time ·          There were 5-6 MPs present in Parliament ·          Unley has no security personnel in the Gallery ·          In Parliament’s gallery, there was a security person ·          Unley has a quorum for meetings ·          There doesn’t seem to be a quorum for MPs ·          The motion I watched passed with 5-6 MPs in attendance (out of 47 MPs) ·          We may not use a mobile phone in the Chamber ·          I watched 2 M

Backyard Pool Inspections

At the Unley Council meeting held (last night) on 11 March 2014, a key outcome was adoption of a policy governing mandatory inspections of new swimming pools and spas. I gave this matter my full support. We should do everything we can to reduce the unacceptably high number of deaths of toddlers by drowning in backyard pools. All new pools and spas will need to be fenced and have safety signs displayed. It is mandatory for residents and builders to notify Council when a pool or spa has been built or installed. This is a follow-on from the State Government revising the Development Regulations. A statutory fee of $170 will be charged for an inspection. This is set by the State Government and can’t be changed by Council. The reality is that it will probably cost the Council more than the $170. The bottom line is that it’s a good outcome and hopefully will reduce the number of drownings. For more information, here are some links … Unley Council agenda for me

Dolphin Day 2014

It seems that every day there is a day for something, to celebrate or recognise something. Well, this Sunday it is Dolphin Day. The following is sourced from the SA Government Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources ... Dolphin Day 2014 Celebrate Dolphin Day with the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary and enjoy the opportunity to learn more about the Port River dolphins, the beautiful sanctuary they live in and how we can care for and protect them. Sunday 16 March 10am-4pm Port Adelaide Lighthouse Square The day is full of activities, including: • dolphin cruises • a Dolphin Trail with the chance to win great prizes • meet Splash the dolphin mascot in the children’s area for lots of dolphin fun • face painting and bouncy castle for the kids • interactive kids show featuring Splash live on stage • information and dolphin activity stalls • scientific talks • “Life in the Sanctuary” photography exhibition There’s also the opportunity to win

Prefer a punt

I grew up on the Murray River, up at Renmark. They were fantastic early years of my life. Part of life (in all towns on the Murray) was the punt , that box shaped structure on pontoons that carried cars, trucks, animals and machinery (whatever) across the river to continue the journey along the road. Now, sometime, in relatively recent times, the term punt was replaced with the term ferry . Why the change? Why the need to replace the word punt ? I say scrap the ferry and bring back the punt . It has a more romantic ring to it. It just makes sense. By the way, SA still has 14 punts operating.

Top Teacher

We can always recall that special teacher who had a great impact on our schooling and perhaps on our development and outlook on life. Recognition should be given where it is due. You now have the opportunity to nominate a person for working in education, child support or child protection. If you know someone who is worthy of an award, then nominate them. Here are more details ... SA Excellence in Public Education Awards share | celebrate | reward Nominations are now open for the 2014 SA Excellence in Public Education Awards. Don’t miss your chance to nominate an outstanding education, child support or protection worker of the South Australian public education and child development system. The SA Excellence in Public Education Awards recognise and reward dedicated teachers, education leaders and school support staff members who are working hard to improve the quality of teaching and learning for children and young people across the state. This year