Showing posts from May, 2014

Super Saturday

An interesting story in the The Advertiser today about the plight of the Liberals since the defection of Martin Hamilton-Smith. According to the authoritative 'Tiser, the Libs have 2 options. 1) Use a broom and sweep out some of the deadwood and have a super Saturday with say 6 by-elections in safe seats or 2) Reshuffle the front bench dumping many and replace them with the rookie MPs. It was suggested that the defection is in fact revitalising the party. An under-statement. They simply have to do something. I believe that radical action is required to give the Liberal party drive and focus on policy development. There is no overnight quick fix - it will take years. My preference is for a Government (Labor or Liberal) with numerous independents to help balance the influence of party politics. Ideally a Government would be richer if there were more independents. There would be be no more party factional bickering. My forecast is that it will take a few months

Long freight train

Last night on Leader Street, Forestville  I got caught by the railway crossing lights. I waited and waited and eventually along came a slow moving freight train pulled by 5 diesel engines. All of the wagons were huge - looked like grain cargo. I could have walked faster than the train. By the time the engines got to Anzac Highway it stopped with the lights still down at Leader and Victoria Streets and the train was probably also crossing Goodwood Road. All the other cars did the usual u-turns and probably headed off to Anzac Highway. I sat in the car and waited. Every wagon was graffitied, some quite artistic. There were some naughty words - words that are becoming less naughty these days. I waited and waited with my engine off and parking lights on. The ding dongs drowned out the car radio. Eventually the train got moving heading off to cause grief in another suburb. This train was huge. I was imagining the impact when the trains get 30% longer and carrying

Cockroaches eat Cane Toads

A great rugby match last night @ Origin in Brisbane. For my comments visit Mike Hudson's blog I wasn't happy with his merit of the game due to the number of injuries (compared with AFL).

Replacement trees

At the Council Meeting this week, there was  discussion about the loss of trees resulting from the Goodwood Rail Junction Project. There were a lot of tress lost. Through negotiations, the State Government Transport Department (DPTI) has agreed to funding offset planting ie. planting new trees to replace those removed.   The Council Administration has identified 64 potential new planting locations for trees that will have the potential to reach Regulated/Significant size at maturity. Many of the trees will be planted in areas adjacent to the rail line. Some will be planted further afield in our parks eg. Souter, Page, Orphanage, Dora Guild, Princess Margaret, Kings Park, Howard Florey, Goodwood Community Centre, ... The  planting will occur over coming months and be completed this planting season.

Freight rail fires up

This week's EC Messenger has a story about a Mitcham local who wants the Commonwealth to build a freight rail line bypass. Here's a brief of the story ... Stephanie  McCarthy is urging the Federal Government to reconsider a rail bypass. Ms McCarthy, of Eden Hills, said a police investigation which revealed a freight train was the "most likely" cause of a fire at Belair National Park in February - reinforced the need to build a bypass. I totally agree. All the residents along the freight line have been complaining for years. We have been lobbying the Commonwealth for years. Not even any luck with a recent Gillard/Rudd Federal Labor Government and a local Federal Labor MP (Kate Ellis). It is a huge ask. I can't remember how many $billion it would cost. Now to put it into perspective ... should we upgrade the entire South Road (and a few more lengthy transport routes) and electrify the rail line to Gawler or build the freight rail bypass. Politics

Martin jumps the fence

Incredible news today about Liberal MP Martin Hamilton-Smith leaving the Liberals and joining Jay Weatherill's Government as an Independent and a Minister. I can understand his frustration and vision for getting things done. He can now deliver his plans for SA in his portfolio areas; initiatives that the Liberals failed to embrace at the recent State Election. This will shore up Labor's numbers and provide more stability (of the Government) over the next 4 years. An update later in the day ... Tonight there have been claims by the Liberals of MHS being a traitor. If the Liberals were in Labor's position, then such a defection would be seen as a major coup and Labor would be branding their deserter a traitor. I think that our parliament and the Government will be better for MHS' defection. He is branding himself as an Independent Liberal and he will be able to exercise his skills in his core portfolios over the next 4 years. The State will benefit.

Combat graffiti

An initiative to fight graffiti has gone relatively unreported. In January 2014 the SA Government announced that rewards of up to $500 will be offered to citizens who dob-in graffiti vandals. The rewards will be given for information that leads to the conviction of a person for graffiti offences. Following my query, the Hon John Rau (Attorney General) has advised me that the reward applies to all incidents of graffiti vandalism, except in cases of on one's own property. Hopefully this will encourage residents to be more vigilant and report all observed graffiti attacks.

Community Achievement Award

Give some thought about who in our community should be awarded for their community spirit. Consider nominating them for an SA Community Achievement Award. More details ... Nominations for the SA Community Achievement Awards are now open. These awards highlight and acknowledge the contribution of individuals, groups, businesses and organisations to helping local governments to build stronger and more vibrant local communities. Nominations are being sought under the following categories: ·         Volunteering Award ·         Carer Achievement award ·         Sports Award ·         Dementia Care Excellence Award ·         Community Road Safety award ·         Small business achievement award ·         Community group of the year award Further details can be found at  this link . Nominations close on 30 July. Allow enough time to prepare a nomination.

French Garlic

It's autumn, but due to warm weather it feels like late spring. Fantastic for the garden, but some plants are confused. My blueberry bushes are flowering months ahead of schedule! You need to start thinking about planting garlic. It was common to plant on the shortest day of the year and harvest on the longest day of the year ie. plant in late June and harvest in December/January. In Adelaide, it's more suited to plant in late May and harvest in time for Christmas. Always select healthy looking and large garlic corns to plant. If you plant small corns, then it's likely that you will end up with a crop of small garlic corns. Don't plant too deep - just lightly cover with soil - dig the soil over first. Try to keep good looking (and tasting) specimens from last year's crop. Some notes on what type of garlic you are growing: If the garlic flowers then it is either a Russian or Argentinian type. In our climate, the French and pungent types do

Harissa export to China

I'm pretty chuffed at the moment. Every year I make Harissa from home grown chillies. It's just half a dozen jars for personal use and a few smaller jars for some special friends. (Don't be offended if you didn't get one.) When I've made a batch I tend to give away the older stock (from the previous year). Well ... I gave 2 jars to a Chinese woman at work - we swap a lot of adventurous food stuff. She was heading off to Hong Kong to visit her father and she packed the jars. I've just heard that her family were impressed by the Aussie Harissa. So much so, that her brother took a jar with him on a business trip to mainland China - probably to woo some clients. I can now say that my Harissa has been exported to Hong Kong and China. Maybe, just maybe, a sales rep from China will come knocking on my door wanting 5 tonnes of the stuff by next week.

Go to Gaol

During May there is heaps happening as part of the SA History Festival. Here is information about a tour of the old Adelaide Gaol.  It's a worthwhile visit and only costs $3 per person. Get caught having fun with $3 entry to Adelaide Gaol On Sunday 25 May the historic Adelaide Gaol will throw open its doors for the special entry price of only $3 per person.  Explore the gaol that housed over 300,000 men and women from 1841 to 1988. Discover prison life on a self-guided tour of the cell blocks, hanging tower, gallows and prisoner graves and take home your very own mugshot. Catch yourself getting spooked with a mini ghost talk and other fascinating tales from the volunteers on hand. Captivating history talks and a sausage sizzle will complete the day. When: Sunday 25 May Time: 10.00 am – 4.30 pm (last entry 3.30 pm) Address: 18 Gaol Rd, Thebarton. (Please note there is no right turn into the gaol if you are approaching from the city, however there is opp

That wink

Much has been said about that wink by PM Tony Abbott during a radio interview. I’m not going to enter the debate about whether or not it was appropriate. Perhaps the concern (mostly by political opponents) stems from the decline of the wink in today’s society. It is now misunderstood. People don’t seem to wink as much these days. Our kids haven’t mastered the art and don’t comprehend the power of its communication. The wink can convey so much in a mere flash in time. At Unley Council, during meetings, a couple of people occasionally wink at me. It’s appreciated, it’s personal and I understand what is meant. It’s harmless and just a form of communication. We need to bring back the wink. It’s an art form in discreet non-verbal communication. It’s personal and not meant for mass media distribution. In the case in question, why bother having TV cameras intrude on radio interviews? Just have a photo and the sound feed. I’ve seen many people being interviewed on radio and they exhi

Kinkawooka mussels - yum

It's Tuesday night and I volunteered to cook. Over the weekend I went to the the Sunday Farmers Market (at the Showground,  Goodwood). I bought a 1kg pack of Kinkawooka of mussels from the Eyre Peninsular - available year round, the size varies on the season. $9 per kg for non members. Fantastic value! I cooked thin spaghetti, boiled mussels for 3m45s tossed in a sauce of finely cut (half) onion and garlic, Italian parsley, butter, oil, cream and home made Harissa. So simple and fantastic. Left overs for lunch tomorrow. Yum! Next time at the Market, buy a pack of mussels. They are live and in oxygenated saltwater and keep in the fridge for 10 days. The female mussels are orange in colour whilst the males are creamy white. There seem to be more females than males. Further studies are required. Mussels are rich in omega 3, iodine, zinc and selenium - so go for it. Also they have more iron content than fillet steak. On reflection, that would be a rather small steak. Giv

Wayville woes ease

Last Wednesday I attended a meeting with Wayville residents and staff from the Department of Transport (DPTI). It was a workshop to review the DPTI proposal to change the traffic flow across the median strip on Greenhill Road - in particular, at the intersections with Clark and Joslin Streets. There was a healthy number of residents there, but I did envisage a bigger attendance. The residents split into 3 groups and work-shopped issues of concern and alternative designs. The end result was that all residents seemed to agree on a revised design viz. At Clark Street, Left in, Left out and only Right out (across the median strip). At Joslin Street, Left in, Left out and only Right in (across the median strip). Given the feedback provided by the residents, DPTI will now formally modify the proposal. It does seem to work on paper. Oh and another proposal I raised on the night ... the design will consider making Bartley Crescent 2-way to enable residents to access Greenhill Roa

Good Forest Murals

For years the walls of the tram over-pass (@ the tunnel in Forestville Reserve and @ the tunnel connecting Devon Street North and South) have been unsightly due to ongoing graffiti. That's all about to change. As a consequent of the recent Goodwood Junction Railway Project, Unley Council and the Department of Transport have teamed-up to create murals on the 4 walls around these two tunnels. The project has been given the name of Good Forest Murals. Council will soon be seeking expressions of interest from artists. There will be strict criteria to ensure that the artwork won't offend. It is anticipated that the work will be completed by mid September (2014). An anti-graffiti treatment will be applied to the finished art works. Council will plant low native vegetation in the area. This is a good outcome.

Free shredding at your home

Today the Mayor Lachlan Clyne tweeted that if re-elected he would provide free shredding of confidential documents for the elderly. All they have to do is trek into Council with their papers. I am upping the ante. If I am re-elected I will consider providing a personal shredding service at your home for elderly residents of Goodwood Ward  ie. I will bring a shredding machine to your home. This will be a personal service and not one provided by Council which would impact on the rates. Cr Mike Hudson has blogged on this subject. Follow this  link Here is the news feed about the Mayor's tweet ... LACHLAN Clyne, the Mayor of Unley in inner Adelaide, appears to have hit on a pretty drastic solution to the problems of an ageing demographic, tweeting: "Secure Shredding Service for Unley's Retirees." Following the link provided didn't lead to instantaneous peace of mind: "If returned as Mayor of Unley, I would seek the support of council and administ

How to build a nest box

The International Day for Biological Diversity is to be celebrated on Thursday 22 May, 2014 @ Forestville Reserve. International Day for Biological Diversity Community Event Date: Thursday, 22 May 2014 Venue: Forestville Reserve Time: 10am – 2pm Activities on the day include nest box building, planting native plants and biodiversity talks. Register your interest in participating in the event by contacting Scott Douglas on 8372 5118 or

Recycling - do the right thing

I have just had a briefing with Unley Council about an initiative to increase our rate of recycling via our rubbish bins ie. to get more residents to do the right thing. Here is more information ... In accordance with our Waste Management Strategy (2013-2017) and Council overall objective to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill,  we are undertaking a ‘Recycle Right’ bin tagging campaign which lets residents know if they are recycling correctly or if they need further understanding of what can and cannot be recycled.  There are many benefits associated with recycling right.  ·        Diverting materials away from landfill ·        Saving water and energy ·        Helping conserve non-renewable resources ·        Saving on the cost of materials unnecessarily going to landfill ·        Reducing contamination Our recent audit showed that 53% of the waste bin contents were compostable and 13% recyclable.  Contamination in the recycling and green o

Dog & Cat website

I got sent an online survey about the services and activities of the Dog and Cat Management Board. I confessed to having a broad knowledge about the Board, but lacked finer details about the research and activities. I have since reviewed the Board's website and find that it has a lot of interesting and relevant information. So, if you have a cat or dog problem or just want to know more, then visit the website. Here's a link to the Dog & Cat Management Board website and here's an extract from that website on cats ... There are currently around half a million unowned cats in South Australia. Each year approximately 15,000 cats are  surrendere to South Australian shelters and of these cats, at least 70% are euthanased. They may arrive at Shelters as strays, ferals or owned cats, but thousands of healthy, sociable cats are destroyed because there are not enough good homes for them. Ninety per cent of cats presented to shelters are unwanted kittens. Most kittens b

High rise re-zoning across Unley

You should be aware that Unley Council has prepared a Residential DPA that identifies areas where high-rise development will be allowed. It is out for public consultation at the moment. You are encouraged to provide feedback. You must respond if you object! Here is a link to more information and to have your say to Council ... A late update (on 16-May): Due to an administrative error, 500 houses missed out on receiving a letter from Council. They have been posted and you should have received them by now - if you live adjacent to an area proposed to be re-zoned. A local resident in Everard Park is informing neighbours and encouraging them to provide a submission to Council. Here is an extract from his letter ... Are you aware that Unley Council is proposing to change the zoning around our streets to allow for high-rise flat development up to 4 stories high? The attached maps show the proposed changes in our area. You could

Greenhill Road meeting 14 May

The Transport Department is holding a meeting for residents affected by the proposed works on the median strip on Greenhill Road @ Clark and Joslin Streets. This is intended to be a working meeting to try to achieve an outcome acceptable to the residents. Details re the meeting: Wednesday 14 May 6pm to 7:30pm @ Goodwood Community Centre (32-34 Rosa Street, Goodwood) Behind the Council Library See you there.

Cat control in Unley

Unley Councillor Mike Hudson (of Parkside) certainly has bravery for treading where others often dare venture. At times we share sentiments, but on many occasions I leave him to walk ahead through the mine field. He must be commended for his brave stance on cats and proposed restrictions on keeping them in Unley. It took page one of the local Eastern Courier Messenger this week. The reality is that his comments were not as controversial as I was expecting. In fact, Mike Hudson was a bit of a pussy cat when it came down to what controls should be introduced. It is unlikely that this issue will now be raised (by him) at Unley Council. What are your thoughts? Should Unley introduce cat controls? I say, no. Leave it as is. There are very few complaints about cats. Besides, it is a difficult and very costly matter to deal with.

Keep 12 Councillors

In 2013 Unley Council was obliged (by legislation) to review the make-up of Council. It was an exhausting and costly affair and involved an external consultant. Consideration was given to: Do we have a Mayor or Presiding Member? Is the Mayor elected by the people or by the Council? Do we retain the name of the City ie. keep Unley? How many Wards? How many Councillors per Ward? What are the boundaries? There was majority support for the final outcome. The only changes were: Change a Ward name - Goodwood South became Clarence Park. Minor changes to the Ward boundaries. In reality, very little changed. It was was all much the same as before. The saga formally concluded at the December 2013 Council meeting with a motion to receive the report/certification from the Electoral Commissioner. The vote at Council was 9 in favour and 1 against. (Councillor Saies voted against the motion.) Given this outcome 4 months ago, I was surprised to find a letter from Cr Saies in tod

Cycle paths = 39,214km

The State has certainly come a long way in recent years with expanding the cycle pathways and network. The extend of cycle paths is staggering: 39,214km in the Adelaide region 165 cycle routes in the Adelaide region and in the rural areas, 100s of km The City of Unley is well serviced by cycle paths that carry huge volumes, especially by people living to the south. And what prompted me to reflect on this? Last night at a Council workshop some interesting statistics came to light. In Unley there are: 27km of painted Yellow lines on the roads 9km of painted White lines on the roads Council is considering the best way to maintain the line markings on the road.

Host an international student

Have you ever considered hosting an international student in your home?  Give it some thought. I have heard of many positive experiences. If you're lamenting an empty nest then think about it.  Here is more information from the SA Government Education Department ... Host an international student We are looking for willing families to host international high school students commencing their studies in a South Australian government school in Term 3, 2014. You can choose to host a student for a period of time that best suits your family: ·          Study Tour student for 2-5 weeks ·          Study Abroad student for 1 – 4 terms ·          Graduate student for 1 – 5 years We are always looking for families in the zoned areas of the following schools, however, if you live outside of these zones, please still contact us. Adelaide High School Henley High School Banksia Park International High School Marryatville High School Blackwo

Meeting re Joslin/Clark Wayville

I've been away for a couple of weeks ... school/Uni holidays. I missed the public meeting about the banning of turns on Greenhill Road into and out of Clark and Joslin Streets. There was a huge crowd. It seems that the Transport Department has been listening to the protests from the residents in Wayville. Here's a link to a summary of the meeting  click here

Millswood Station WILL re-open

The promise to re-open the Millswood train station secured enough votes to win Ashford and for Labor to win Government. Now the Minister has committed to the station re-opening ... An echo of the Premier's promise. It's been a long haul for the affected residents and I hear that the first train to stop there will be crowded. It's a good outcome. There may be a slight delay beyond the earlier forecast date of early July. This will enable necessary maintenance to be done.