Australian Local Govt Assn AGM & National General Assembly 2015

Hello Again

I am currently at the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) National General Assembly (NGA), which is held in Canberra, at this time every year.

Canberra, I believe, is chosen for its welcoming warm climate and world famous beaches, but I may have heard that incorrectly.

This year I believe there are over 800 delegates from around Australia (inc Christmas Island, Cocos & Keeling Islands, Tasmania and even New Zealand), almost all of whom are Mayors and Councillors.

It is a fantastic opportunity to swap information, stories, whines, numbers, email addresses and visions in our roles as elected members as well as of course attending the formalities such as specialist speakers, presentations, workshops on pertinent issues and debate motions at the ALGA AGM.

Near midnight each night I will post that day’s activities so you know what I learnt form that day and am taking back to Port Adelaide Enfield.


Hello again, so soon…

Firstly, here is the web link to Council’s agenda for its June 9th meeting, if you want to read all 361 pages of it:

Below I have cherry picked the items I believe are most relevant to Northfield Ward for your reading pleasure, with my slant on them:


This is a new street squeezed in south of Folland Avenue, Northfield, next to the Leukaemia Foundation and the Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre which needs some limits on parking to allow more flexibility for visitors to the LF premises.


Not only does each Council have to have a City Plan by law in the Local Government Act 1999 but it is also just plain good sense for an organisation to plan its future on who we are, what do we want to do, and how do we go about doing it?

This will be the 5th time I will have been involved helping create a City Plan for Council and on this occasion I am going to do my best to ensure better community participation in it than has gone before.


This topic is so big I have devoted a whole webpage to it on my website which you can check for up to date details:


Due to the odd shape of our Council, we seem to be sort of in, or sort of out, of various quasi-governmental regional metropolitan organisations which are designed to help various parts of Adelaide.

We are usually lumped in with the Western Region for most things, we are never included in the North Eastern Region for anything I can think of, and I don’t know of any Inner Northern group for anything (I guess that would be for Prospect and Walkerville) but fortunately we have been accepted into this group which is very exciting.

Economic Development has been a key imperative of mine, and despite being opposed for the past four years by Council management in trying to create a portfolio in our Council for it, I am pleased to say the Acting CEO agreed with me now that we needed to move on this and thankfully the State Government is putting in a lot of effort (no doubt due to imminent closure of Holden) into this and wants to include both our Council and businesses in our Council area too.


Council has completed public consultation with its proposed new (and old) By-Laws last week and a further report will be made available on its results.


Pretty much as the title says. Councils are legally very restricted in how we collect revenue and most would like to be allowed to collect it in different ways or use different methods, or at least have a discussion about how we can do it differently. Is there a better way than rates on improved property value?

The reason people are more aware of Council rates than other taxes is simple: most taxes are hidden or payable upfront so the taxpayer never sees the money they pay as tax – eg PAYG tax comes out of your salary – you never see it to pay it; and over half of the cost of petrol goes in tax but as you’re handing over the total cost at the service station, you don’t think about paying tax.

With Council rates, we send you a bill four times a year so you get it rubbed in your face!

Did you know that of every dollar Australia pays in tax, only 3.4 cents of it is to a local Council?

Think about that the next time The Advertiser runs a big story on how Councils are slugging you big. Oh, that would be today. Again. Ahem.


Due to the sometimes bewildering and massive changes by the State Government on public integrity requirements for local government, the above two policies are being radically changed and combined.

My suggestion will be to add that Councillors are provided (confidentially) with a copy of formal complaints, and their progress, lodged by Council residents and ratepayers on a monthly basis, in order to assess Council’s ongoing commitment to improvement of its complaint handling practices and procedures.


I thought this matter had been put to bed with the announcement by the State Government that it would replace the old State Government Pensioner Rates Rebate with an annual ‘Cost of Living Concession’ to Pensioners etc. – but I was wrong.

Our Council gave an additional rebate to pensioners of our own for the past three years (thanks to Cr Iammarrone who came up with the idea) which amounted $57 per rateable property, but is now in jeopardy as the State Government’s Department of Communities and Social Inclusion (DCSI) will no longer hand over the details of eligible people after June 30th this year.

So, what do we do?

I am sure we can pay the rebate on details provided as of June 30th for next financial year but after that?

Do we stop the rebate altogether?

Do we continue it but have to spend an unknown figure (I have been told around $150,000) per annum to have our own database of eligible persons?

I am not aware of the reasons the DCSI will/can no longer provide the data to local government as I understand they are still collecting it to administer the State Government’s scheme, so unless they are just being complete bastards, surely we can work something out?

I will be amending staff’s recommendation so that we write to the State Government to ask nicely if we can continue to receive the data so we can continue to provide this rebate for pensioners. What do you think?


This is arguably the (unintentionally) funniest staff report I have read in all my years.

What it boils down to is that the Local Government Association (LGA) has since late 2013 made available a lawyer for Councils to access at a much cheaper rate than normal rates for local government lawyers. That’s not funny you say, but wait for it…

I quote from our staff’s report:

The Program is restrictive in that it does not extend to regulatory services, litigation representation and strategy, property/commercial matters, employment/Human Resource Management matters or development advice. It also has limited application to rating matters.

Inquiries made for the purposes of this Report resulted in the following feedback:


1. Metropolitan councils are not using the Program, preferring instead to seek legal advice from legal firms with strong local government expertise.


2. Very few country councils are using the Program and those that do also continue to access their own lawyers for other than very low complexity legal matters.


3. The sole practitioner operating the Program three days a week does not have broad experience in rating matters and as such refers councils to their own legal advisors.


4. The sole practitioner in the role has limited local government expertise when compared to Adelaide legal practices that provide high level local government legal services.


5. The original intention of the Program was that the service was to be only on a verbal basis, hence the low hourly rate – written advice was not to be provided.


6. Verbal legal advice is less robust from a risk management perspective.


7. There are unresolved issues with Legal Professional Privilege and client confidentiality given the LGA/client (council) relationship.

Perhaps needless to say, our Council is not using this scheme, and it appears not too many other Councils are either.

As to why the LGA persists with this scheme, I am sure they will tell me on Twitter, and if they do I shall post it on this or the next post so we all know.

ITEM 14.4 NOTICE OF MOTION – COUNCIL WORKSHOPS                                             – CR BASHAM

My motion –

“That creating a Council workshop can only be done if approved by Council at a meeting of Council.”

is so that elected members can control the calling of workshops and not leave it to staff.

The reason I have done this is that workshops, which are effectively where Council staff and/or other expert persons in an area give a presentation and usually there is an informal discussion about the matter, are being booked in with us at an alarming rate, and I am not convinced all of them are necessary, compared to just receiving a written report on a matter.

Therefore, I believe it is necessary for Councillors to take control of this again and choose which ones we believe are necessary as workshops, or not, also considering there is also a cost to Council for catering and staff overtime for most workshops.

In case you asked, since the Council election last November there has been 19 workshops on various matters – and that is on top of the Meetings, Special Meetings, Committees, Citizenship Ceremonies and what not. In that time I have missed only one workshop.


Cr Martin is looking for Council to enter a MOU to fund this excellent theatre company, whose principals, Alirio & Juliette Zavarce, reside in Northgate, and who present theatre workshops locally in Hillcrest – more here:

I believe that Council needs to change its community development focus from handing out small grants to community organisations for one off projects, to one where we foster long term relationships with community groups to make a real difference in people’s lives and who reflect Council’s principles and goals.

With artists, I believe we need to also foster long term relationships with local artists so we can have a thriving local arts community based on creativity and give deserving artists some security to allow them to foster their work.

That’s it for now, feel free to add some feedback below. Next post will be later in the week after the Council meeting.


Report on May 2015 Council Meeting

Hello again. Our May Council Meeting was not really exciting, but still had its moments!

The minutes of the meeting minus my liner notes are here:

CL Minutes 12 May 15

Below I have chosen the items from the minutes most relevant to Northfield Ward in my opinion. ( Item finished – X  Item continuing – > )


New parking controls are to go into an area where there has been parking issues in the past including people blocking driveways. As part of writing this blog, I discovered that no one had picked up a typo in the Council report & minutes where we actually approved the wrong street name to have the new parking controls – so this item will need to be redone I believe. >


This is to allow the expected large amount of pedestrian traffic etc that will block the roads attached to the sale of the Rendition Homes Cancer Lottery House on June 6th. X


It is fair to say that our Traffic Services Division at Council is struggling with its workload.

Until recently it had 3.5 FTE staff to administer a mind boggling list of duties including local area traffic management schemes, parking controls, technical advice on planning applications, design of traffic management devices, response to Federal & State MPs and Councillors on issues, writing traffic reports for Council meetings, liaison with and upholding DPTI guidelines on traffic matters, traffic counts, community event road closures…the list goes on and on.

Unfortunately we lost the 0.5 staff member in April but help was at hand. I had earlier convinced my fellow elected members that we needed to increase the number of expert staff in this area of Council due to its massive and exponentially increasing workload, and they agreed.

Recruitment is underway for more staff and with Council support also, consultants can be used to assist with our Local Area Transport Management projects where Council looks at fixing local traffic ‘hot spots’.

There are two of these proposed for our ward, originally staff recommended for beginning investigations in Greenacres in 2018/19 and Northfield in 2019/20 but thanks to my idea of funding extra resources, these have been brought forward to Greenacres in 2016/17 and Northfield in 2017/18. >


In light of the the passing of our long term (27 years) City Manager, Harry Wierda, on Christmas Day last, Council has determined, in consultation with his family, to rename the Regent Gardens Reserve in Oakden to the Harry Wierda Reserve.

Harry was heavily involved in the creation of Oakden, and even though it is fair to say we were never the best of friends, when I needed his support on three local issues – the creation of the aquifer at the lakes in Oakden and standing up to the government in road widths and home designs – he backed me and local residents to the hilt to achieve improvements.

In case you are wondering if it is normal to acknowledge long serving CEOs in this way, the answer is yes, even though the previous incumbent to Harry, Mr Gordon Turner, as per Council policy, still being alive has yet to have this honour bestowed upon him, and the previous one to him, the late Mr Laurie Lewis is commemorated in the LJ Lewis Reserve in Northfield. X


Cr. Hubycz moved that Council return a report on the new Munno Para development Council verge treatments as displayed in the attached photos, their cost and maintenance with a comparison to grassed Council verges that we maintain currently. Please provide other low maintenance and visually acceptable verge treatment options in the report.
Cr. McKay seconded CARRIED. [I supported this]. >


Cr Osborn had been approached by the above named school seeking Council in principal support in order to apply for funding to irrigate their reserve. No problems there! X

What do you think of Council’s deliberations at this meeting? 

Council appoints new CEO

It is said in local government that appointing your CEO is the probably the most important decision a Council can make.

In my time (24 years) on Council, this was the second most important decision we could make (after the amalgamation itself) and was the the first time I have been involved in a CEO recruitment exercise as our former CEO, Harry Wierda, was in the job from 1987 until his death on Christmas Day last year.

I was honoured to be selected to the five person Council selection panel by Council along with Mayor Gary Johanson and Councillors Claire Boan, Michael Iammarrone and Matt Osborn and along with our HR partners at Hender Consulting and special consultant, Stephen Hains, spent countless hours on this process since January until the Council’s final vote last night, May 13th.

We have appointed Mark Withers, current CEO of Charles Sturt, and a former Enfield/PAE Manager and Director. I have known Mark for 24 years and have watched with interest as his career has progressed, and admired the way he has gone about his work in that time. We also share something other than the same first name.*

We are very excited to have him on board to lead our Council for the next five years.

I can promise you the selection exercise was extremely thorough and the standard of the candidates stellar.

I also wish to thank Wally Iasiello who did an outstanding job as Acting CEO over almost two years.

News Corp (The Advertiser etc) have reported on this story here:

and Council’s press release is here: Media release- New CEO appointed

Again, welcome Mark. We are looking forward to a great future together!


* Same birthday.

Report on April 2015 PAE Council Meeting

Sorry for being so late again with my Council report. What didn’t help was accidentally deleting it all when I had finished it the first time! Then again, and again…

April 14th’s Council meeting promised a very long meeting but in the end it wasn’t anything on the agenda that stretched the meeting out, but the issue that took the most time to discuss was an urgent late item on funding some soccer goals on Blair Athol Reserve…45 minutes.

If you would like a copy of the whole minutes (minus my commentary) – they can be downloaded here:

14 April Minutes CLM

What I have discussed below is the issues most relevant to Northfield Ward in my opinion.

Item number is item on Council agenda  (X – issue concluded, > – issue ongoing):


In my critique of the agenda in an earlier post, I made some comments at the lack of response from the Minister for Health to our letter asking him (or delegate) to attend a workshop with Councillors about Transforming Health, which we asked for at our February Council meeting. Eight weeks without a response I said, rather aggrieved.

Cr Matt Osborn in moving that we give the Minister another 4 weeks to respond before we decide what to do next, noted that Council staff had taken until, wait for it, March 30th – to send the rather simple letter. That is 33 working days!

Good pickup from Cr Osborn but very, very disappointing that it took so long for Council staff to write the letter and it is little wonder we haven’t had a response in less than two weeks from the Minister. Sorry, Minister Snelling, as much as I may disagree with some of your Transforming Health package, I did unfairly slate you. >


You are probably wondering why this is of much interest to you. It may not be, but your local Councillors have to comply with an increasing plethora of rules and regulations forced upon us by the State Government, apparently for our own good. Some of this is for the overall good (eg ICAC) and some is not so apparently even useful.

Part of our responsibilities are, we are told, thanks to the State Records Act, is to record every piece of written correspondence between us and anyone else – and send them to Council staff to record. This includes emails, web pages, Facebook posts, tweets, Instagrams…and of course those old fashioned things called letters (if you’re over twenty years of age you may recall those). Even Post It Note messages between Councillors at a Council meeting, evidently, have to be recorded by staff. Staff have also demanded that we have to cc in a generic staff email address if we are sending/receiving emails to other elected members or members of the public even when we are using Council’s own internal email system!

As one of my followers on Twitter asked, “what province of North Korea do you belong to?”

These provisions do not apply to State MPs when acting in their capacity as State MPs – despite the fact they have taxpayer staff to attend to their needs, and of course we do not.

So, I have asked that we ask the State Government that they amend the relevant act so that both State MPs have to comply like local Council elected members do now, OR Council elected members do not have to comply like State MPs do now. Simple.

I have worked out for me to comply with these ridiculous laws/guidelines will take me an extra two hours a week. Whilst we are waiting on Council staff to bring back legal advice to justify some of their requests which I don’t believe are required by the State Records Act, I am yet to work out who/what is going to miss out on two hours of my time each week. >

12.3.14 2015 YEAR OF THE PORT

Despite some elected members having reservations when this was first mooted by the Mayor, his idea to spend a little money just to add the words “Year of the Port” to the signature of Council staff email and couple of banners was approved without debate. X


After a campaign which included a massive statewide petition organised by the Local Government Association, smaller petitions such as this one from this energetic, elderly lady of Kilburn, all of SA’s Council and a few others, the State Government on May 12th announced that Pensioner concessions on Council rates would be replaced by a one off annual ‘Concession Payment’, being of $200 for homeowners and $100 for others.

For more information on eligibility, see here:

Not only was this a great win for pensioners and others, but I think credit is due to the State Government as I believe this new scheme is not only broader and pays more to those eligible, but is also more efficient to manage than the previous scheme. One can hardly criticise them for saying that they would withdraw the pensioner concession on rates, if they introduce a better scheme!

A bonus is they’ve also withdrawn those annoying TV ads… X


The idea is to allow those people who cannot afford home internet access, especially students and jobseekers,  to a Council run program, which is running successfully in New York City. When the staff return with a report on this I am looking to extend it to people with a disability and others who find it difficult to regularly access Council’s free internet service at its libraries. Very good idea Councillor Osborn! >


Went through with only Cr Jamieson querying the extra cost to hold the meeting over this side. Last year one or two people from the Port side seemed a bit miffed to have to travel so far. This meeting, which proved popular with last year with a lot of locals attending, will be on October 13th at the Klemzig Community Hall. X


This wall (actually two) were constructed as part of the then Defence Housing Authority development along Muller Road and Manoora Street, Greenacres over twenty years ago, to the west of Hampstead Primary School.

Even though Council staff and volunteers removed graffiti quickly, the colour of the paint used varied over the years and Council is not legally liable to fix the holes that were increasingly being added to the fence by vandals.

Local residents approached me to seek Council assistance to fix the wall, and after taking my advice to form an association, did that and began work repairing the wall, to their great credit. A special shout out to Ian Woodstock and David Couzens for their work.

Despite Council staff opposition, I was proud to successfully lead Council to supply 100 litres of paint to this group with up to an extra 12 litres per annum for the next five years so the residents can paint the wall and keep it looking good.

At the time of publication, painting is almost finished; the picture below shows the holes patched over ready for final painting. X

Wall part completed 210515


14.7 NOTICE OF MOTION – ACCESSIBLE CITIES                                                            – CR BOAN

This is a scheme whereby Council assists local businesses in making their premises disability accessible. Good move Cr Boan! >

That’s it for this meeting, hopefully I don’t have the same problems with my May Report!

That’s what I think, but what do you think?

April 2015 PAE Council Meeting Agenda


This is my first post on upcoming Council meetings, and this one is a doozy!

I have restricted issues being mentioned here to those affecting Northfield Ward or overall of most interest to local residents in my opinion. I won’t list them all as there are over 70 items of business we are considering this coming Tuesday night, but if you do want to read the lot – they are accessible from Council’s website here but be warned, this month’s agenda is so large it has been split into two lots of over 50MB!:

By the way, the numbers below refer to the item number in the agenda. Here we go:


Council was asked by a Klemzig Ward Councillor for a report into the above. Council staff have said they will plan one for that location in the upcoming summer.


A report to confirm that we still have not heard back from the Minister for Health (or delegate) to attend a Council workshop to answer questions on the State Government’s Transforming Health program. I find that completely predictable and sad.


Council staff wish to raise dog registration fees (as usual) but wish to over ride Council’s decision last year to raise increases by $5 annually, making it a $10 jump this year to $75 maximum. This is still $10 under the recommended fee set by the Dog & Cat Management Board.  What do you think? Relatively few people pay the full amount as most dog owners receive discount as their dogs are desexed etc.

I am inclined to keep it as $70 per dog maximum as nowhere in the report do Council staff justify why they have asked for a higher amount.


Anyone interested in waste management will find this report very interesting reading and apart from anything else, it highlights the vast and spiralling cost to Council (ie you) of waste management – $13 million per annum! New processes need to be adopted to decrease waste, improve collection and cut costs, and Council staff are working on something now that will achieve all of those objectives. Do you have any ideas?


Council will put a no parking yellow line in front of 29 Ramsay Avenue.


Council staff have recommended no further action on this. Apart from road tests showing the average speed on the roads in the above two suburbs were under 40km/hr already, a survey done last year showed the majority of residents opposed to a mandatory 40km/hr zone. However, there is still much work to do to slow and improve pedestrian safety along Ross Smith Boulevard.


Council currently has six By-Laws (on Permits & Penalties, Moveable Signs, Local Government Land, Roads, Dogs and Lodging Houses) and Council staff are recommending we had a seventh in Waste Management. In effect this new one will give Council power to take action against people who leave their bins out all the time and formalise that removing items from bins is not allowed. All these By-Laws will be going to public consultation before being ratified, so people have time to comment and amend them. What do you think?


This important plan has now been consulted on extensively, reworked and is final. If you would like a copy, please ask me.


This is a State Government initiative predicated on the closure of GMH and the follow through effects of that on the northern Adelaide economy. The NEP is based on creating job opportunities in the Salisbury and Playford Council areas but also includes Port Adelaide and Tea Tree Gully in its ambit so I am sure that if the plan is successful then there will be spin offs locally.


This sounds incredibly unexciting and it is unless you are a constitutional lawyer or a corporate tax accountant but it is a blueprint on what the government sees as a methodology for possible reform of taxation arrangements between different levels of government and therefore will impact you one way or another. Councils may see their funding amount and methodology radically changed. Or not. We don’t know yet.


The above named lady of Kilburn has organised for a petition to Council to support the retention of Government sponsored Pensioner concessions on rates. Good on her! 255 signatures is not a bad effort. Let’s hope the Federal and State Governments hear them.


Northfield Co-Councillor has suggested looking at our Council implementing a program currently run in New York where Council supplies Wi-Fi internet for disadvantaged residents and ratepayers through our library system. I think it’s a good idea.


I think this is self-explanatory. I successfully moved for the same last year and it was held at the Klemzig Community Centre in June. There was quite a reasonably sized gallery in attendance too – more than usual at Port Adelaide meetings. Will you come to see and hear us in action?


The common wall at the back of nineteen properties in Kirkby Circuit, Greenacres, is a common target for vandals both damaging the wall and tagging it with graffiti. The Kirkby Circuit Residents Volunteer Group have written to Council asking to be supplied 100L of paint to paint the wall the one colour, as when Council’s anti-graffiti team or staff or individual residents do it, there is a plethora of colours used. I have tacked on an additional up to twelve litres per annum for upkeep for five years only.



This mouthful is a report by staff on the State Government’s proposal (and I am simplifying it a bit) to make it easier for new and existing retail establishments to expand and be allowed in currently retail and non-retail zones.

What does that mean?

Effectively, the State Government wants to make it easier if you’re a shop to expand, or to start up, regardless of the zoning of the area. Now this sounds good in theory, but if you live in a residential zone and someone wants to open up a 24 hour shop of some type next door, it is going to be a lot easier for them, and Council staff/Development Assessment Panels will not be able to object to them (nor residents) as easily as before. Of course Council will still receive all the blame for approving poor developments when we have no choice under the State’s planning regime.

The government’s whole premise for this is some research from interstate from the Productivity Commission which was done not for the purposes of planning, but for economic development, and to then base the recommendations for wholesale change to our retail planning strategy on that. It is also pre-empting the State Government’s own major planning reform legislation, which is just weird.

I am not anti-development (as the Government likes to smear anyone who disagrees with them) but I support appropriate development after due consideration to the rules of the area. This is what planning is all about. These changes will make it easier for some retail expansion to occur that is only good for the community overall. But it will also allow some very poor developments to be approved against local’s wishes.

That’s it for now. Report on the results next week!

Please feel free to comment below.

February and March Council Meetings Update

Hello again.

Yes, sorry I am rather late again with updates to Council meeting information but I am confident I am up to date now and will be able to report on the April meeting in advance.

Anyway, back to the February and March meetings.

These are the items of direct relevance to Northfield Ward or otherwise of most interest to local residents in my opinion:

FEBRUARY – [Key – > item continuing, X – item concluded]

12.2.2 Council has agreed to make some improvements to the parking arrangements around Hampstead Primary School to improve safety. X

12.2.6 Council has agreed to install a yellow line outside number 20 Lakeside Circuit, Northgate to improve traffic movement in the street. X

12.2.8 Previously Council had received a petition of several hundred residents in regard to needing more parking around Duncan Fraser Reserve (home of the Gepps Cross Football Club – part of the Northgate Sports and Social Club), especially when football games are on. Council staff rejected the need for more car parking but my co-Councillor Anne-Marie Hubycz successfully moved that Council undertake community consultation on upgrading the reserve (including looking at car parking) to improve the situation. Well done AMH! >

12.2.13 Council has spent considerable time looking at matters to do with improving verges including last year rejecting a proposal put together from a resident of Greenacres and led by myself in Council to improve verges throughout the Council known as the “One Street at a Time Program”. I was happy to support a less intensive program promoted by Cr Claire Boan called “Community Minded Verges” which will mean some of the aims and ideas of the “One Street at a Time Program” will be implemented, but not by street, but by residences who want to opt in. Included in this is for fruit trees on verges. It’s an improvement on no improvement at all! >

14.1 Cr Boan has asked for staff to provide an automated response system for people who report matters via online apps or email. Good idea. >

14.3 Cr Boan (again!) asked staff to investigate installing more playground for people with disabilities across the Council area. Supported unanimously. >

14.4 I asked staff to increase expenditure on staff in the Traffic Services Division of Council so they can actually process some of their vast workload – some of which is outstanding for more than six months and so we can speed up the number of Local Area Traffic Management Schemes in the Council area. Council staff had originally suggested not running an LATM in Greenacres or Northfield until 2019/20 due to lack of resources and too much workload. I believe, subject to hiring staff, this matter should be able to resolved now but there will be more discussion in the budget process. >

14.6 I moved that Council develop a report for this year’s budget to develop an Economic Development Strategy for the Council area including employing an officer with relevant skills and experience in this area, and hosting an Economic Development Forum to focus on creating local employment. I have been trying for this strategy for some years, but it was opposed by our late City Manager and I was not successful in getting it up until now. Having worked for many years in the recruitment industry and having spent some time ‘under employed’ myself I am only too well aware of the impacts of lack of work.>

14.7 Cr Tony Barca moved that Council write to the Government opposing its proposal to close the Modbury Hospital Emergency Department. Northfield Ward co-Councillor Matt Osborn successfully moved to adjourn the debate to hold a workshop of Council and invite the Health Minister to speak at it. I opposed this adjournment as it meant delaying Council further considering this matter before the deadline on the Transforming Health consultation period. But wait, there’s more. >

14.8 Cr Boan moved that Council write to the Government opposing its proposal to “scale back the current services of the emergency department at the QEH” and also referring the matter to the aforementioned workshop. Cr Osborn again moved to adjourn the matter just to be discussed at the workshop. The adjournment was defeated on the Mayor’s casting vote. >

14.9 I moved that Council write to the Government opposing the closure of the Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre* and retaining rehab services in our area, and the closure also be discussed at the aforementioned workshop. This was passed UNANIMOUSLY.

Two months on, and we have not heard from the Minister for Health if/when he is turning up for the Council workshop and it hasn’t been booked yet. >

16.1 Cr Osborn moved that the Council write to the Federal Government saying that it is “critical to design, build and maintain this fleet of submarines in South Australia.” amongst other sensible requests to keep this industry local. This of course was carried unanimously. >

* I declared I had a conflict on this item, but not a conflict of interest, as I am the Convenor of the Facebook Group “We do not accept the Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre will close”.

MARCH – [Key – > item continuing, X – item concluded]

12.1.1 Council staff reported back on the motion I moved last year in regard to Council becoming involved in a proposed regional community and recreation facility based in Oakden. A matter is before Cabinet for discussion on this and Council staff will report back. I feel there is some very exciting news around the corner for our community. >

12.2.4 Council has agreed to change parking around Northfield Primary School to improve safety for all involved. X

12.2.5 Council has agreed to pop a yellow line in Down Drive, Valley View after a resident contacted me to ask for this near a blind corner. X

12.2.6 Council will write to residents of Northgate Parade, Northgate, after resolving that due to resident objection further study into placing traffic controls in parts of that street will not occur. X

12.2.14 At my behest, Council had written to the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure asking for 28 conditions to be met before we would agree to hand over Blacks Road South to DPTI for the North East Road/Sudholz Road intersection. DPTI had agreed to all but about 6 of these, but unfortunately due to time pressures further negotiations could not take place to ‘seal he deal’ and DPTI commenced proceedings to compulsory acquire the road from Council. X

For what it is worth, in the end the outcome for local residents and businesses was far better than could have ever been hoped for. A combination of pressure from residents, businesses and Council and the timely intervention from Dana Wortley MP saw a belligerent DPTI bureaucracy create changes to the design from publicly mooted suggestions which, in the end, was an excellent result. Dana’s work was critical as prior to her involvement, it was obvious DPTI was not listening – when they did we all found much more common ground and most issues were resolved pretty amicably.

12.2.16 I moved that Council put money in the 2015/16 budget to put a shade sail over the playground at Vickers Vimy Reserve at Northgate. >

12.2.18 Council has agreed to my proposal to create a Memorial Tree Plantings Policy for Council land. This follows on from a few years ago when I successfully devised a Memorial Furniture Policy for Council (park benches, water fountains etc). I was approached by a family who wished to buy a park bench for Council to place in the local park where their recently deceased father had spent many happy days in his final years, with a small plaque on the bench to commemorate their father. Council staff had refused initially as we had no such policy on the matter at the time. I want to ensure people are able to do that in the future for trees as well in our parks. >

12.3.1 I moved that Council write to the State Government refusing to give an opinion on the proposal to change South Australia’s Time Zone as they did not allow enough time for Council to consult with residents before closing off consultation. How can we answer for you, when we don’t know what you want? Ridiculous. X

14.3 I successfully moved that Council write to DPTI asking for a koala or pedestrian crossing to be built on Fosters Road in the vicinity of Cedar College at Northgate to allow the safe crossing of children. This follows on from work already done on the issue by parents of the school and Dana Wortley MP. >

14.5 My motion to seek a Council investigation into cat control over the next financial year was successful (only one vote against). I will create a special page on my website for that alone in coming months once the investigation starts but it has already caused some interesting feedback to Council (the professional cat lobby people writing identical letters to us etc) and some media. >

14.9 Mayor Johanson wanted Council to adopt “2015 – Year of the Port” as the Council slogan for the year. Crs Osborn and Paul Russell (Klemzig Ward) opposed this as they said it didn’t take into account the Enfield side of Council. I supported it as the cost is negligible (some words on our website and in Council emails and an extra line added to some banners) but, like it or not, we are one Council and as soon as Port Adelaide as a region takes off we are all better off. That doesn’t mean we ignore our side of town at all – Council spends tens of millions of dollars every year on our side of town but as in Northfield or Klemzig Wards we do not have a ‘main street’, a Port, an AFL Football team or a significant cultural and arts precinct, we just don’t get the same publicity. X

What do you think of these matters? Agree or disagree?

Have your say below!

And on Friday April 11th,  Council’s April Meeting Agenda examined!

Finally – here are the links to Council’s agendas and minutes for its February and March meetings:

As the size of the February and March Council agendas are too large for my website, the link for all of this year’s agendas and minutes is here:

But you can access the following minutes on my website:

10 Feb Council Minutes

10 March 2015 Minutes Public









December 2014 & January 2015 Council Meetings Update

Sorry to be so late on this post – my intention is to post at least twice a month – before and after Council meetings – both to seek feedback and to advise of happenings, but this never happened in December due to other commitments and then January turned into a horror month with the passing of my mother and another relative of the family and so I had my mind on other matters.

As I hadn’t updated on what happened at the December meeting, I thought I’d roll them into one, so here is a report on the December and January Council meetings on what I think most relative to Northfield Ward (number is the Minutes ref number):

DECEMBER – [Key – > item continuing, X – item concluded]

8.1 We received a petition to upgrade the Martin Street, Northfield cul de sac road reserve – interesting in that almost half of the residents of the cul de sac were not approached to sign the petition! Council staff to report back. >

12.1.2 A report came back on the apparently high number of fines for unregistered dogs in the 5086 postcode area were reported to me. After considerable research from Council staff it appears the numbers are spot on long term average for the area – it seems I received far more complaints about fines being dished out than I have had before. X

12.2.2 New parking controls around Northfield Primary School to make it safer for all. X

12.2.10 A business located in the shops at 19 Ways Road, Hampstead Gardens, requested to me that the 2 hour parking zone outside their shop be removed. Staff consultation showed this business’ view was outnumbered 3 to 1 for retention of the zones. They stay. X

12.2.11 Cobblestones on the The Strand at Northgate. Residents here had complained about the noise when vehicles drive over these cobblestones which look nice, slow traffic, but really do make a rumble when driven over. Council staff said the noise wasn’t too bad and they should stay. I successfully moved that the debate be deferred for public consultation amongst adjacent residents. >

12.2.12 Local Area Traffic Management Schemes. Our ward is crying out for some of these now thanks to the Northgate development and staff had recommended that the Greenacres one begin in 2018/19 and Northfield 2019/20. I amended the motion so Council staff bring back a report on how to have them all on the way by 2016/17. >

12.3.3 Naming of new streets in Lightsview. I seconded a motion to alter a staff recommendation so that 2 of the 3 streets to be named were given indigenous names. Lightsview has a theme of naming streets after places or people connected to Colonel William Light which was all well and good but when they were down to trying to name a street ‘Buffs Lane’ as Col Light had led a regiment by that nickname, I think it’s time Col Light be retired and be replaced by some relevant local and indigenous names. X

12.3.14 Removal of pensioner concessions on rates. Council voted unanimously not to replace the removal of this rebate from the State Government (due to removal of the grant from the Federal Government) and to campaign with the LGA to have it reinstated. >

16.4 Thomas Turner Reserve (TTR) Soccer Goals. Some people (NOT I add anyone connected to the clubs who hire the reserve) have been kicking soccer balls on the TTR junior pitches so hard that they repeatedly lob in the back yards of adjoining neighbours – sometimes over 20 times a NIGHT! I have asked for the goalposts to be moved – literally! >

16.5 Thomas Turner Reserve gate. This gate is meant to be opened at about 6am every morning and closed about 8pm at night to prevent hoons using the car park. It hasn’t happened for weeks much to the annoyance of local residents. >

16.6 Vickers Vimy Reserve, Northgate. Residents have asked for a shade sail cloth over the playground here so I asked staff to look at the cost of installing one. >

JANUARY – [Key – > item continuing, X – item concluded]

12.2.2 New parking controls along Karoomba Ave, Greenacres for Hampstead Primary School. X

12.2.3 After public consultation, new roundabouts will be installed in Delhi Ave, Hillcrest, to slow the traffic in the street and helpfully deter some from using it instead of North East Road. X

12.2.7 I amended the staff report’s recommendation on the Martin Street cul de sac road reserve upgrade issue by adding that residents of the street will be consulted as to what they would like to see on the adjacent Duncan Fraser Reserve with community consultation to occur in the next FY. >

12.2.8 The Thomas Turner Reserve junior pitches’ soccer goals are going to be pushed at least 10m (I added in the words ‘at least’ to the motion) further south which should reduce the incidence of big kicks going into the yards of adjoining neighbours. Took some effort but happy to get this matter fixed. X

12.3.2 The Parkway Reserve, Hampstead Gardens. I called for a report into upgrading this reserve as it looks a bit tired and needs some TLC. Staff said the playground had been upgraded 3 years ago. I successfully moved that Council put $50,000 in the next budget for an upgrade and consulted the local community on what they’d like to see there. >

14.1 Cr Osborn moved for a report into the construction of toilets on Roy Amer Reserve, Oakden. I supported this report to test the waters (sorry about that pun) and see how local residents feel about a public toilet being placed near the lakes. >

14.2 Cr Osborn moved for a report into traffic on Sir Ross Smith Boulevard, Oakden, including its impact from changes when the Strathmont Centre is closed, the changes to the North East Road/Sudholz Road intersection and reducing the traffic build up at peak hour at the Sudholz Road intersection. >

14.4 I successfully moved that Council will not allow a set of traffic lights to be built by CIC (Lightsview developers) on Folland Avenue, adjacent the Northgate Shopping Centre, until traffic lights are installed at the corner of Fosters Road, Sir Ross Smith Boulevard and Folland Avenue to replace the current roundabout, which is overloaded with traffic. >

14.6 I successfully moved that Council write to DPTI advising them Council will only support their proposed changes to the North East Road/Sudholz Road intersection on their agreement to 28 points. I did this after meeting with DPTI staff and consultation with residents and businesses. Almost all points had already been agreed to verbally, and there was perhaps 2 that needed refining. To my knowledge, Council is still awaiting a reply, 3 weeks later, and the works have started without Council’s approval. >

That’s it (phew!)

If you want to read the full reports or agendas on Council, feel free to do so –

Agendas are posted on the Council website by 5pm Friday preceding a Council meeting.

As ever, if you have any questions or statements to make on this post, fire away!

Goodbye to 2014…and hello to 2015

Personally, 2014 has been a year to forget in many respects but the end of it finds me blessed still in representing Northfield Ward for the City of Port Adelaide Enfield and working as hard as ever (even today) on Council activities.

Earlier today I attended the funeral of City of Port Adelaide Enfield CEO, Harry Wierda, who passed away on Christmas Day. As a Council we go into 2015 about to undertake a vitally important task for the future of the Council in looking for his replacement.

This is the first time any of the Councillors apart from Cr Peter McKay (elected 1971) will undergo this process as Harry had been CEO of Enfield Council since 1986 before taking on the amalgamated Council CEO role in 1996, and was the longest currently still serving CEO in local government in SA until his passing.

Harry was also the last metropolitan CEO to not be on a contract so our new CEO will (subject to Council’s decision) enter the role on a fixed term contract of some number of years, maybe five.

But Council has other pressing matters to look at also – the new CEO will probably start in the role whilst Council’s budget process is well under way, and we have some incredibly tough decisions to make. I will discuss some of these in a later post.

On a bright note, it is clear that the newly elected Council is a good one. There is a diverse range of backgrounds, beliefs, life experiences and qualifications. There is also a level of goodwill to work together under Mayor Johanson and whilst I am sure there will be some teething problems as everyone works out how to best express themselves, and of course, there will be differences of opinion, I sense a positive determination from all.

Despite our problems in Northfield Ward, Port Adelaide Enfield, South Australia or even Australia, we are so lucky still compared to so many in our world.

In closing tonight, a quote which I look at daily:

The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have – Vince Lombardi

To all my constituents and those that follow me, I sincerely wish you a happy and successful year in 2015.

City of Port Adelaide Enfield Council results

What an election!

The results are now final (subject to recount requests and legal action) so it’s time to see who’s won and how my predictions went.


Gary JOHANSON          – re-elected

Outer Harbor Ward:

Peter JAMIESON            – re-elected

Vanessa McCLUSKEY     – elected, defeating Cr Bruce Johansen (which I had not predicted)

Semaphore Ward:

Helen WRIGHT               – re-elected

Michelle HOGAN             – elected, replacing resigned Cr Aaron Ware

Port Adelaide:

Claire BOAN                   – re-elected to new ward, replacing resigned Cr Ian Bell

Ray GUSCOTT                – re-elected


Kim DINH                       – elected, replacing resigned Cr Tung Ngo (her husband)

Guy WILCOCK                – re-elected

John CROCI                    – elected, replacing Cr Claire Boan who had changed wards


Carol MARTIN                  – re-elected

Michael IAMMARRONE     – re-elected

Peter McKAY                    – re-elected


Paul RUSSELL                   – elected, replacing retired Cr Jenny Bradbrook

Tony BARCA                     – re-elected


Matt OSBORN                   – elected, defeating Cr Kevin McCarthy

Mark BASHAM                   – re-elected

Anne-Marie HUBYCZ          – re-elected


I only made one error in my predictions, but there were some very close contests in there.


We lost over 80 years of experience on Council with those now moved on, and gained 5 new Councillors and 1 previously defeated member returning and bringing 15 years of experience with him.

There are also now 7 female representatives on PAE Council out of 18, up from 5, including both in the one ward, which is the first time that has happened in PAE history (inc Enfield history but my knowledge on former Port Adelaide Council history is not good enough to say there).

The Council is also just a little younger – from an average of 51.2 yrs to 48.9 yrs – which also means I am still under the average age – yet due to the loss of Cr McCarthy I am now the second longest serving Councillor in Port Adelaide Enfield at 23.5 yrs (Cr McKay at 43 years is winning easily there).

I am positive the new Council will work well together, as we head into the next four years.

It was a torrid election campaign but now it’s over, it’s time to move on and get on with the task at hand of making the City of Port Adelaide Enfield the best it can be.



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