Prime Minister Trump of Australia?

My father, seriously, told me at the beginning of year that he didn’t want to live long enough to see Donald Trump become President of the United States.

He firmly believed that Trump would win the Republican Primary and then the Presidency, because of his understanding of the American people from his many business trips there, and what he had learnt keeping a close eye on US politics ever since.

I told him not to worry, that no way Trump would, or could, win.

My father never lived long enough to see it happen, dying a few weeks ago.

But now it is a reality, the post mortems are starting on why, and where to from here for the USA and the world. I am looking at what Australia can learn from this experience.

There are similarities between us and the USA, and they also apply to the political systems and the oligarchs who run the country. Those similarities are closer than we may wish to admit.

The people who voted for Trump, broadly speaking, are the standard conservative (Republican) voters, the so called Evangelicals (hard line Christians), the rural folk, the angry white men (and women) and, crucially, the formerly Democrat voting working class poor who have seen their manufacturing and retail jobs disappear before their eyes. The middle class is being crushed between a burgeoning working poor and the increasingly wealthier and more powerful elites, further removed from the realities of the rest of society.

Sound familiar?

Australia of course has its standard conservative voters – they are called Liberals here. The much smaller group of hard line Christians find home in various smaller ultra conservative parties as well as the more mainstream Liberal and National parties. The rural folk generally go for the Liberals and Nationals of course.

Now it gets interesting. The angry white men? They are finding succour in One Nation and their ilk, whilst in South Australia, we have the non-racist, but very political opportunist, Nick Xenophon appealing to them, and Jacqui Lambie in Tasmania.

And the final group, the working class poor, generally vote Labor, but a lot vote Liberal too, but greater amounts are voting for Mr X in SA, and One Nation/Jacqui Lambie and similar in other states.

The middle class are being squeezed, not so much as in the USA to be sure, but they are feeling it, by the increasing pressures on their incomes, loss of traditional work that is heading overseas – not just manufacturing, but retail, call centres, technical work and agricultural production. Employers are looking to cut costs and some, in a way I deliberately call ‘unAustralian’ have happily taken to treating their staff very poorly indeed such as in this example and the increasing number of large businesses going under such as Bob Day’s Home Australia with massive monetary losses to mainly small businesses.

People are angry, and when people are angry, they look to blame someone, even if that anger is misplaced or irrational, or the decisions they make when angry might not necessarily be in their own best interest.

A Trump like person CAN rise to power in Australia despite the differences in the political machinery here, because the same forces are at work, and if the Republican Party in the US so spectacularly failed to curtail Trump when they literally had billions of dollars at stake, I am sure the right person can rise to the top here too. I am often told by political party members that their internal checks and balances will ensure no nutters would end up running a major party in Australia – in evidence I give you Tony Abbott and Mark Latham, your Honour!

The elite, whom can be broadly defined as the politicians, main stream media and large businesses, are the powerful forces who run this country, and rarely do they lose a fight they really want to win.

Most of the time the system works vaguely okay for most folk, but currently thanks to immigration (especially African and Middle Eastern), outrageous greed from most of our large businesses (, politicians rorting of the system (this one is my favourite for this year – and bipartisan political support for foreign ownership, free trade agreements and sending Aussie jobs offshore, people are feeling that they are hurting more than before, or are; they are angry, and they possess a political tool with which to hit back at the elites. It’s called not to vote for the major parties.

I believe that a charismatic leader with little or no political background, with the accidental help of the MSM, can cobble together a coalition of voters loosely to the right, with eager support of disaffected Labor voters who oppose immigration, Islam etc, and with the rural vote and other conservative forces, create a new force which they shall call a ‘centrist’ party, but is really just Trump like populism and bigotry.

For the record, please note that I abhor racism and bigotry in all forms, but oppose lopsided free trade agreements that our political elites foist upon us, and I also oppose foreign ownership of Australian land and major enterprises, such as utilities. For this I am labelled a ‘populist’ by members of the major parties – if that is populist so be it, but I am supporting Australian interests. No one has managed to explain to me what is so good about free trade agreements and foreign ownership when all the jobs and money goes offshore.

Anyway, I see this new force completely destabilising the Liberals and Nationals, and within a few years becoming so popular that they can have a real crack at running the country.

My feeling is that the person leading this party may from a rural background, but be city wise, and perhaps be an entertainer or TV personality that would appeal to young and old, men and women, country and city, but would be blaming immigration and especially Muslims for all the country’s woes.

As the economic situation worsens, the ice epidemic takes hold, crime rates soar, civil unrest escalates along with other social ills, the immigrant scapegoating will increase.

I do not know who this new leader will be; it is certainly not Pauline Hanson, who does not have the charisma or intelligence for the role, or be like Clive Palmer (who was an Australian auditioning for the role of Trump, badly) and they may not even at this very moment be thinking that they could lead a new political force in Australia.

If you think I am being alarmist, and that the eerie parallels I am drawing in a future Australia and, invoking Godwin’s Law, the rise of the Adolf Hitler led Nazis in Germany, are unrealistic; just read up on the decline of liberal democracy in Germany in the 1920s and how the elites of Germany at the time, in politics, the media and business, dismissed concerns of the Nazis winning democratic power in their democracy, until some of them decided to join him.

Or you could ask Hillary Clinton.


Hello – I haven’t been up to date with these for a while, for various reasons, but back now. 

As in the past, I will trawl through the packed Council agenda and highlight matters that I believe impact Northfield Ward and comment on them in my usual, honest & sometimes too detailed way.

Feel free to comment below on any item or all, but remember, nothing offensive please – we are not Donald Trump here!


The Mayor has given permission for a gentleman from an Enfield address to speak to Council on his rate increase. I understand his issue is that his rates are double due to having a vacant block.

I wonder if he is aware of the my Notice of Motion from July this year which is awaiting report back from the staff, viz:

Cr. Basham moved that Council resolves that a report is brought to a subsequent meeting of Council on the implications of Council supplying a partial rebate on the rates for property owners of vacant blocks of land for the first twelve months of ownership.
Cr. Russell seconded CARRIED.


Council has held a number of workshops on our current Elector Representation Review, where SA Government legislation requires us to review our Council’s ward boundaries, makeup and other associated matters every 8 years.

By law we cannot make decisions at workshops, but it was very clear, apart from one elected member, that the overwhelming mood was that apart from some necessary minor alteration to boundaries in the Port area due to population movements, there was no need for any other changes.

We only had 5 submissions to our first lot of consultation, of which 3 were anonymous!

Despite considerable public consultation on this matter, I have had no constituents ask me to cut the number of elected members, change the voting method for the Mayor (to Councillors only), change the ward boundaries, delete all wards or bring back Area Councillors (formerly known as Aldermen). I guess we don’t need to fix what’s not broken.


We quickly reviewed statistics, surveys and data on how our Council area is doing in a number of areas, as well as Council itself as an entity, and people’s opinions on our services. Makes some great reading, and even though it is fair to say our ratings weren’t as high as I would have liked, we are way above the ratings for the State and Federal Governments!

Still, it is nice to know what people think and know what we have to work on for the future.


I have been the driving force behind changing this area of Council, my personal opinion being that many of our Council grant and sponsorships in the past were not well directed to valuable community outcomes and did not meet community expectations. I was also particularly keen to ensure we stopped supplying grants to projects that were also receiving, in some cases, significant State and Federal grants.

I am glad to say Council staff generally agreed with that sentiment and over a period of time we have worked to come to write a new policy designed for better management, accountability and outcomes for our grant and sponsorship dollar.


The State Government has offered $10M of grant funding to help clubs build changerooms for women’s’ sports. That sounds great until you check into the demand and realise that with over 300,000 South Australian women involved in some sport, that money won’t stretch very far. At all.

Fortunately, Council staff have recommended that we give it a push for new women’s changerooms for the Greenacres FC grounds, without expending any of Council’s funds, seeing the current changerooms on the lower oval are completely unusable due to vandalism and size, and the other one is usually used by the blokes.

NOTE: I declare I coach the Gaza Women’s Football Team, and I am a member of the Greenacres FC, but do not believe I have a conflict of interest.


Council staff are recommending that we now sell spare rolls of bags to residents at $10 per roll as the supplier will no longer charge us for them, as previously residents were paying $19.45 for a roll, which led to only an average of 80-100 rolls being sent out each year.

I supplied four rolls to residents at my own cost last year (I had some spares from people who didn’t use them) and organised replacements for a couple of others after I ran out of spares.

When we first introduced this service we supplied subsequent rolls of bags free of charge and we found a large amount of misuse of bags happening (I know that may happen now, but it is more cost effective to deliver one to everyone).

We will see how the $10 fee goes compared to $19.45, I think it is an improvement!


In August 2014, I asked Council staff to review the 2 hour parking limits outside the group of shops in Ways Road, Hampstead Gardens, viz:

Cr. Basham moved that the administration bring back a report on removing the parking signs outside the shops at 19 Ways Road, Hampstead Gardens, which includes consultation with all affected businesses.
Cr. Barca seconded CARRIED.

In December 2014, Council staff brought a report back to Council with their consultation and as part of their investigations, found:

“During consultation, Council received three in support to retain the existing 2 hour parking control and one objection.”

I was a little stunned to read this at the time as I had spoken to 3 businesses in the area who had requested the time limits be removed, and only 1 wished for it to be retained. I left it at that, but voted against retaining the status quo:


Cr. Barca moved that the Council resolves as follows: 1. That the Acting Director Technical Services’ report titled “Parking Signs – 19 Ways Road, Hampstead Gardens” be received and noted. 2. The parking control adjacent to 19 Ways Road, Hampstead Gardens is retained.

Cr. Guscott seconded CARRIED.

To my shock, this month, I read a staff report on the same signs being asked to be removed again, and this time, staff agreeing to the request!

During consultation Council Administration sent six letters to adjacent properties and received six responses supporting the removal of the existing Time Limit.

I am happy to support this, but am fascinated to know what has managed to change people’s minds – apparently, again!


After the best part of 20 years of campaigning to have the State Government do something to fix Fosters Road, at last, we have a Draft Road Management Plan out for public consultation.

I have an entire page devoted to this on this site –

which will updated with my full thoughts later this week, but in the short term, I must say that this draft plan is completely underwhelming and a bit of a brush off to residents, businesses and visitors to this area.

I will be distributing a special leaflet to suburbs either side of Fosters Road later this month asking for people to supply feedback to DPTI on their feeble and misguided effort on this one, and I hope for their next attempt at this, we get something that matches community expectations.


Council is looking at reviewing options for management of Council’s golf assets portfolio. This of course (no pun intended) includes our Valley View Par 3 course and the adjacent golf driving range.


I am moving that we add some more dog parks to our current 3 (which were my idea in the first place) across the Council.

We have one in our ward at LJ Lewis Reserve which is really successful, and is being upgraded as I write, and even has its own Facebook page:


Where do you think another one our side should be?


I am asking for Council staff to investigate fixing the parking problem in this street when football games and training is on at LJ Lewis Reserve.

That’s it for now – I will post a post-meeting rundown to let you know how it all panned out.

You can read the full agenda (minus the confidential bit of course) here:

And please, don’t be shy, feel free to post a comment!

New Sporting & Community Facilities in Lightsview

A fantastic announcement from the State Government and Council today, that the government will gift 1.7 hectares to Council at Lightsview for the development of a new basketball stadium with other community facilities.

This is something I have been working on for over 17 years, and I would personally like to thank Dana Wortley MP, who once again has delivered for her electorate, and our Council staff who have been working behind the scenes on this one for some time.

Not only will this become the new home for the North Adelaide Basketball Club who desperately need it, but it can also encompass other sports, and I also hope it can include a new Community Centre to replace the Hillcrest Community Centre which is way beyond capacity, as well as a Men’s Shed which we need in the area.

There is also my motion at Council from 2014 where I called for this facility to include a community swimming pool – I have heard nothing of this since from Council staff.

The Council Press Release is attached for your interest. Council staff will no doubt start a community consultation phase soon to see what facilities the community desire, but we also need some Federal and/or State Government funding to build the centre too!

But once again, thank you and congratulations to Dana Wortley MP who has been the real catalyst behind this fantastic deal.

ross smith land 2016 zoom (1)


Rubbish Collection Information became Garbage

Council’s best intentions in its marketing campaign about changes to its rubbish collection dates went all pear shaped – and it’s not Council’s fault.

And it’s not even the fault of our wonderful rubbish collection contractors, Pacific Waste.

Council staff and Pacific Waste sat down and devised a basic, yet effective campaign to advise residents affected by changes to their rubbish deliveries, said changes to be implemented as of Monday November 2nd.

All was ready: an ad campaign in the local paper, social media and on our website, leaflet and calendar delivered to all householders and a big story in the Pen 2 Paper.

The only problem was that the letterboxing distribution company Council uses didn’t deliver the leaflets and calendars to all householders.

Worse still, I understand two of the areas that missed out include areas where the bin collection days had changed, causing a lot of confusion for residents and extra costs for Council and our waste management contractors, which will ultimately be borne by ratepayers.

I could name and shame the firm concerned, but as I am a competitor, that could be seen to be a bit of a conflict of interest (not in a legal way), but it is in the public interest that you know this as Council’s reputation has taken a bit of a beating.

It takes a beating deservedly from time to time, so I think it is fair to make it clear when it isn’t Council’s fault.

Council staff will be sending a letter to all residents in the areas we believe were not informed. I congratulate the staff on their initiative on undertaking this difficult and expensive exercise to reassure residents.

The two areas of which I am aware affected are Northfield north of Grand Junction Road and Klemzig west of OG Road.

It just goes to show that private enterprise can make as much of a stuff up as governments can, but it’s just that we don’t have The Advertiser on side to protect us.

UPDATE 5/11/15

Evidently some residents of Northgate south of Folland Avenue and Lightsview also did not receive flyers last week as planned and Council staff have sent letters to them to resolve the situation.

They’re at it again – Rubbish

There are very few matters that have residents more in a lather than fortnightly rubbish collections…

If I was to write a book on Public Relations in Local Government (which I may yet do), one chapter would be written thus:


Don’t even think about them.

    Chapter 22             ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE

Every time someone in local government raises fortnightly rubbish collections, the local government haters go into overdrive, the State Government get another chance for a free kick and every day residents get upset for no good reason. Why?

Because it won’t happen for many, many years, if ever.

The abolition of slavery was inevitable, as was banning child chimney sweeps, landing a man on the moon and removal of the death penalty. I also believe that even South Adelaide will win another Premiership before fortnightly rubbish collections happen in SA.

So, this week’s thought bubble by East Waste (see article here:*), the multiple Council owned subsidiary that runs waste pickups in some of Adelaide eastern suburban Councils, wishing to explore this issue, again, is a waste of time, because:

  • It is illegal under current legislation, which this Government brought in, for Councils to collect general waste fortnightly (I support this) and the State Government is not even remotely interested in changing this;
  • Most experts in the waste management field in SA oppose fortnightly general waste collections;
  • I can’t find any everyday residents who support fortnightly general waste collections;
  • The vast majority of people in local government (elected members and staff) oppose it;
  • The weather in summer in Adelaide (or, for that matter, autumn and spring now) is so hot that fortnightly waste collections would be a public health hazard.

The touted reason for bringing in fortnightly general waste collection is that it will reduce waste to landfill. This may be the case, but there are far better ways to do it, and these other ways will happen first, even though they also may not be popular, they are workable.

For those that point out that a lot of Councils (including ours) have fortnightly green waste collection that includes food waste where people often put stinky food in (mine this week includes some fish fillets that were off when we bought them, I think), the amount of food waste is still relatively small compared to the food and other putrescible waste people put in their general waste bin.

Having spoken to literally thousands of people at their doors over the years, I meet many people who refuse to recycle, refuse to care a chit for the environment, or the problems we leave the next generation, and tell me that as far as they are concerned they are paying for a weekly general waste collection and they will put what they ****ing well want into the general waste bin.

So, unless the law changes and we fine or throw these people in gaol for putting recyclables into the general waste bin (I am not suggesting this), there will be large amounts of putrescible waste, a lot of it being what is politely termed ‘soiled’ nappies, in those weekly bins. As urban infill increases ever more, the proximity of bins to neighbours’ bedrooms & living rooms increases, and other technologies and systems are put in place, the very thought of compulsory fortnightly collections will become redundant.

So, if you are like my family, now down to 3 adults and 2 pets, and due to a combination of small household, recycling and kitchen waste going into the green bin, we choose to put our general (blue) bin out fortnightly, then well and good, but I am not expecting everyone to do that.

Also, for the record, a vote taken last year at Council showed unanimous opposition to the fortnightly general waste idea with both Councillors and staff throwing their hands up in horror at the proposal, like the priests holding crucifixes in The Exorcist.

So, East Waste, thanks a lot for raising that fortnightly collection idea, but please, bin it.

* Do not read the comments in the Adelaide Now article or you may be subject to a loss of IQ. Apart from the usual Council haters, some of the information supplied is simply not true. If you have queries, contact your Council.


Agenda of September Meeting of Port Adelaide Enfield Council

I still remember the first time I heard Sting, the lead singer of The Police (the band, not the force), belt out Roxanne – the vocals jarred on the nerves and forced you to listen to the lyrics, which I find for much modern music is the last thing one wants to do.

But Roxanne’s lyrics are important – the song is about a man who falls in love with a prostitute – and thus as a twelve year old I worked out what the song was about and what those ladies who walked the streets were doing…

Which takes me to the September meeting of Council, where the most controversial topic is Cr Iammarrone’s Notice of Motion on the Lensink Private Member’s Bill on Prostitution. More on that later.

So, here we go again on my trip through Council’s September Meeting Agenda and the items I believe most relevant to Northfield Ward:


I moved that Council review its grant programs earlier in the year as I felt our programs were not meeting community expectations as many were small project focussed and not on a long term goals or projects to benefit the wider community.

This process has begun and we should have a new regime in place for the new financial year. Of course in depth public consultation will be a part of this process.


I moved that Council look at this earlier this year as well. This report outlines what government and its agencies, as well as local groups, currently do, and Council does have some minor program involvement in preventing this scourge.

The report by Council staff is excellent and deserves reading by anyone with an interest in the subject.

However, I am disappointed that Council did not apply for Federal Government grant for domestic violence programs that were available this year. I am waiting to hear why.


Council is intending to put in a No Parking Zone adjacent the current Community Bus site on Floriedale Road, Greenacres, next to the Greenacres Shopping Centre.


I moved back in July that Council suspend action on improving James Reserve in Northfield (north of Grand Junction Road) until the current Northfield DPA was completed as it may have considerable impact on that reserve and its surroundings.

Council agreed to this, and to my suggestion that the relatively tired looking FJ Garrad Reserve in Northfield (West Avenue) be upgraded by starting with the $66,000 we had saved on the James Reserve, in this financial year.

Consultation with local residents as to what they would like to see on the FJ Garrad Reserve, also my idea, will be undertaken shortly.


Council’s response to an LGA Discussion Paper on boundary changes is to create a two tier system so that smaller boundary adjustments are carried out between the Councils concerned and the Local Government Minister rather than using a Government Panel.

This is interesting as 1) there is no panel any more, the Government abolished it so if there is any Council boundary changes in the future, there is confusion as to how it will occur; and 2) Council staff in their report make mention of tidying up some of the Council boundary anomalies in the area. This is news to me – stay tuned to what that could mean if you are living on the Council boundary in areas such as Valley View!


Cr Boan would like a report on how to increase recycling in the community which includes looking at a weekly recycling collection and an increase in the materials to be picked up.

This is well worth a look as waste management technology is improving all the time and there is a concerted push by many residents for a weekly recycling collection.


As I said at the top of this post, I am sure this issue will garner more controversy than any other, and media coverage, yet it doesn’t deserve it.

The Bill, by Liberal MLC, the Hon Michelle Lensink, is riddled with flaws which would take too long to explain here, but substantially her Bill would make Councils responsible for dealing with sex work and absolves the State Government of all responsibility (I should add that that does not mean the current State Government supports this Bill).

One of the problems is that the sex industry wants to have it both ways.

They want to operate as a legal industry, but don’t want anyone to regulate them. Well, sorry, that will cause problems for people outside the sex industry so that is hardly a great idea.

The State Government (both flavours) want to dump as much work on Councils as possible, with less resources to boot. I don’t see people clogging the streets protesting that they want Councils to regulate prostitution, and Councils are amongst those I can promise you.

As it is another problem is that the Police have more important things to do than ping prostitutes and their customers – heck, they even advertise in the Yellow Pages – how brazen can you be – yet, street prostitution DOES cause many problems in our Council area – I used to work in Wingfield and the activities used to take place in our work car park. I put a stop to that with the aid of a forklift one morning.

It is not a secret that many of those in the sex industry work for Outlaw Motor Cycle Gangs or other criminal organisations. Only the Police have the training, equipment and jurisdiction to deal with these people, yet Lensink want to take the Police out of the equation. Yikes!

Council back in 2008 voted unanimously that we supported the legalisation of prostitution. It didn’t rate a mention in the media at the time, I seem to recall.

The problem is that every prostitution decriminalisation bill that comes up seems to satisfy the sex industry whilst creating problems for everyone else.

If we could have a Bill that banned street walkers and only allowed brothels in denoted industrial areas, and that SA Health registered brothels for a fee, and regulated them, I am sure the current issues would substantially be eradicated, but I doubt that will happen.

The link to the Bill is here:

So, we are here and we will have to oppose another badly worded, virtually consultation free prostitution decriminalisation bill.

But, it does remind me – back in the 90s I used to stay with a friend of mine when visiting a major capital city interstate and he told me the following – an advisor to the Premier rushed up to the Premier one day and said, “Mr Premier, what are we going to do with the Prostitution Bill?” The Premier didn’t even look up from his desk and replied, “Just pay it”.


From the wording of the motion it appears Cr Hogan’s constituents in Semaphore Ward may have had issues with the community consultation (or lack of it) in regard to a development application in that area, and she is seeking “strategies Council can use for development applications that do meet community consultation expectations”.

Well, unfortunately for Cr Hogan and her constituents, I can answer that one now in a paragraph and they won’t like the answer.

All development applications are handled as per the Development Act 1993, and Council has to abide by that legislation and its regulations. As part of this legislation, relevant public consultation guidelines are laid out for each category of development application, which is decided by Council staff using criteria in the Act. These Categories are 1, 2 and 3. For Category 1, no consultation is to be done. For Category 2 and 3 not only are adjacent neighbours advised, but there is also an ad in the Public Notices of the local Messenger and The Advertiser and anyone in SA is able to lodge a representation in response to the application. For Cat 2 developments there is no right of appeal to Council’s (or the Development Assessment Panel’s) decision, whereas for Cat 3 an appeal can be lodged by a ‘losing’ applicant or ‘losing’ representor. To change the above legislation requires changes by Parliament, Council cannot do that.

Hope that helps.


Cr Hogan would like to investigate Council becoming a White Ribbon advocate. I think this is a fine idea. I am waiting for the howls of protest about ‘this is not a Council matter’, from those who use this as a crutch when they oppose something, yet don’t when it is something with which they agree.


My NOM is to for Council to have a workshop to look at major infrastructure projects we can undertake soon by using loan borrowings in order to generate local economic activity and improve our assets base.

Interest rates are at historic lows, and local government can borrow at ridiculously low rates at a FIXED rate for part of the loan as well. As a Council, our loan borrowings are less than $9M  and we could pay them off tomorrow if we chose. We are one of the most financially safe and well off Councils in Adelaide and SA, if not Australia.

To give you an idea, to compare our level of borrowings with a mortgage; it would be like someone whose household income is $100,000 per year owing $9,700 on their mortgage, and paying $2,700 per year off it as well.

When you’re in that situation, you’d be fairly secure financially – less than 1% of our income is paying off loan interest where local government standard recommendation is no more than 10%.

So, we come to the situation where we know we need some infrastructure to be replaced, we know we have needs unmet in the community and we know there is a huge downturn in the local civil engineering and building industry.

I see here an opportunity not only to help stimulate our local economy and employment but replace some infrastructure that needs replacing and build some community assets that the local community have been screaming for – on carefully targetted loan borrowings.

I am not suggesting the amount we should borrow – we need to decided what projects are urgent and what can be undertaken later – we need a strategic look at this, but knowing we have the ability to borrow.

My plan is to start for next financial year, or earlier, so we can take advantage of interest rates and help the economy as soon as we can.

What do you think?

If you want to read the full agenda, you can download it here:

I notice that Council staff are now tweeting the link to Council’s agenda, which is a good thing, but of course they cannot comment on it like I can.

Or you, so let me know what you think!

Agenda of August Meeting of Port Adelaide Enfield Council

Hello again. I am writing this month’s version of my take on Council’s Meeting Agenda listening to the rain and perchance playing Jose Feliciano’s beautiful love song Rain. Of course after the rain comes the rainbow…but more of that later.

I have pulled the most relevant issues to Northfield Ward (IMHO) out of the agenda and you can read them here for your pleasure, or pain, or something to do.


Back on June 30th we had a Council Workshop where we found out that due to the growth of Lightsview, our contractors were struggling to collect all the waste on Tuesdays, so we will need to rearrange some collection dates in certain areas of Council. The only area affected in Northfield Ward is Northfield, north of Grand Junction Road. Council and Cleanaway will give people affected lots of notice and a generous changeover period for people to get used to it. Well done staff and Cleanaway on this!


This is a fantastic organisation whose directors reside in Northfield Ward, and who put on wonderfully engaging theatrical performances, many involving local youth as performers and assistants. Most of their performances are targetted at younger audiences.

They also hold drama workshops in Hillcrest and Klemzig. One of the few professional art enterprises we have in the Council east of the Port River.

Council is undertaking a Memorandum of Understanding with them look at some ongoing funding of their shows of which I am really excited.


Parking adjacent the Lakeside Cafe has been a problem whenever it is open, since it began. Council supplied some on street, bay parking just to the north of the cafe but cars park here often overhang outside the lines, which then puts them at risk of having their front or rear collected by passing vehicles.

Staff have recommended that painting a yellow line, and making parking outside of the bays illegal, will help solve the problem. I think it will help a little, but more work needs to be done to solve the parking issue longer term in the area.


I moved last year that public consultation be done in the Redward Avenue area of Greenacres regarding extra traffic due to Lightsview and other nearby urban infill. Staff have recommended that this be deferred to next year’s Greenacres LATM, which didn’t exist at the time of my original motion. This is therefore appropriate under the conditions.


Cr Hubycz asked for a report on additional car parking for this park. Staff have reported that once the local streets are fully built more on street parking will be available so no extra car parks are required to be built by Council.


Residents have contacted me regarding this footpath, which abruptly stops at no 9 Whistler, continues across the other side of the road, and the across a number of side streets before it hits the end of the street.

The problem here is that the State Government sold and developed the land after house number 11 many years after the rest of the street, and the street eventually meets up with Trinity Way, which used to be a dead end.

As the housing on the western side of Whistler Drive after no. 11 is all Housing SA properties with a lot of residents who rely on public transport, and the local bus stop on Ross Smith Boulevard is to the west of Whistler Drive, people are not going to cross the road TWICE, and multiple side streets as well, to get to their home. They walk on the road instead. This is dangerous due to the curves in the road and poor visibility thanks to the parking bays, when cars are in them. The photo below sort of shows this. A visit to this street is really needed to see just what a mess it is.

Whistler FP 7

To build a footpath on the rest of the western side is the only solution in my opinion. This will require the axing of some trees on Housing SA land, and Council to build some of the footpath on some of their land, which I understand will be approved.

Unfortunately Council staff have only recommended completing the footpath on the eastern side, from around numbers 2 – 8, which ignores the unique issues in this street.


If you own a house worth over $1Million or don’t care about Council services then rate capping is great for you!

Rate capping, simply, is where Government forces Councils to cap their rates at a maximum, This means, depending on exactly how it is worded, that business and/or those in the most expensive homes, pay less – and everyone else pays more AND Councils, if interstate experience is anything to go by, slashes services too.

It is a terrible idea. If you think Council rates are too high, then vote us out or suggest what we cut back on, but rate capping is just crap.


Council’s submission, effectively, is that we do not have an opinion on many aspects of the mining and other processes in the uranium industry, but prefer to support renewable energies which are safer, cheaper and more amenable to our locality.

There are also concerns for transport and disposal of waste.


Cr Obsorn had raised this as an issue when he first stood for Council, and I understand he has been active on this matter since he took his seat, calling for this report.

This has been a matter that is raised every so often, but Council has opposed this in the past due for various reasons,some of which I believe may no longer be valid.

Staff still oppose this, citing some of the old reasons, but have suggested instead we install signs saying that the nearest public toilets are 500m up the road. I am not sure that will be met with overwhelming joy from those proposing toilets in that area.

Using the cafe toilets also failed as patrons left them in an undesirable condition.

In the meantime, cross your fingers, as your legs are probably already crossed, that a solution to this is coming along soon.

Well done to Cr Osborn for raising this again.


My motion is to fly the Rainbow Flag during the Feast Festival (November 14th – 29th) as Council has done for the past 3 years, and to continue to do so every year at that time.

By the way, Council at its last meeting granted the Feast Festival $5000 for an event it is holding in our Council area. If we were hosting a Lawn Bowls event in our area and they asked us to fly their flag, that would be fine by me too, or even if, for argument’s sake, the Influencers Church were having a big convention in our area and asked the same, that would be fine by me too. I just hope they don’t all clash dates.

I trust my fellow elected members will not say that they oppose this as it is not a local government matter, apart from this is ignoring s6 of the Local Government Act 1999:

6—Principal role of a council A council is, under the system of local government established by this Act, established to provide for the government and management of its area at the local level and, in particular— (a) to act as a representative, informed and responsible decision-maker in the interests of its community; and (b) to provide and co-ordinate various public services and facilities and to develop its community and resources in a socially just and ecologically sustainable manner; and (c) to encourage and develop initiatives within its community for improving the quality of life of the community; and (d) to represent the interests of its community to the wider community; and (e) to exercise, perform and discharge the powers, functions and duties of local government under this and other Acts in relation to the area for which it is constituted;

it would be especially hypocritical of those elected members who voted to have Council write to the Adelaide Festival of Arts to have the show “Come Heckle Christ” banned. I did not say then that was not a local government matter.

The cost of the flag, if we choose to buy some, is around $60 for two.

Flying this flag is not in support of Marriage Equality, or Kermit the Frog (he sang The Rainbow Connection) or anything other than the above. If people read more into it than that, then that’s their belief, not mine.


After having been approached by residents once again on this issue, I believe it is time Council undertook some improvements to the eastern side of Fosters Road as the western side will be well looked after by Lightsview (paid for by the people buying land there, remember).


Council currently doesn’t have a policy on dealing with these, which I only discovered last month, which can be a problem if a licensed premises causes trouble for residents and they expect Council to intervene for them. Council can do so under limited circumstances, but at the moment, we do little in this area and I think that needs to change.

That’s it for another month – the full agenda is here:

What do you think?

Civil Contractors Federation want Your Money Spent on Them

On one of my bookcases I have a book written in the 1930s which my father donated to me in the 1980s, but which is still relevant today. It is called How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie.

It’s message could be summed up as “be positive in all aspects of your life and you will be successful”, more or less. I surmise that the current President of the Civil Contractors Federation of South Australia, Mr Phil Sutherland, has not read this book.

One of the strangest letters I have ever received was from the the above gentlemen in April this year.

In this letter which was sent to all local government Councillors and Council CEOs in South Australia, the Federation demands that Councils pass civil works onto them, accusing Councils of taking work from their member companies; of which Councils comprise around 40 of their 550 members; or, rather, did, at time of writing.

The letter, a copy of which is at the bottom of this post, was written in a very aggressive style and amongst other things accuses Councils competing with their members for private work.

I have not been able to find in my research any Council in SA who has done this, so based on this apparently false premise, they continue to berate Councils and demand that civil construction work is handed all to them. What are we to do with the Council staff that we sack if we give in to these demands? Curiously, they don’t say.

They continue on in what can only be described as a rant, including a ridiculous and obviously false assertion that Councils employing their own staff and owning their own equipment is not good for the local economy.

I suppose paying more for contractors and them employing interstate staff makes us better off? Oh, that’s right, they don’t employ people from interstate or overseas. My time working in civil construction proved to me otherwise. I worked on the Adelaide Desalination Plant, SAHMRI and Tonsley sites amongst others and I was shocked at the high number of interstate or overseas based workers in the industry. That’s right, they moved around Australia (or the world) following the big paying jobs.

But even ignoring this, the CCFSA letter is simply insulting at best, and an illogical, irrational and ultimately counter productive diatribe at worst. It could be South Australia’s first ever essay on civil contracting rights.

The irony of this situation is that Councillors felt put out by the correspondence and less inclined to listen to the Federation’s wishes. If they had written “Dear Councillor, we all know the SA economy is in the you know what; could you please consider bringing forward some big projects so our Federation’s members could be employed” I think they would have received a very positive hearing.

As it is, no thanks to their misguided communication, it looks very likely that they will get their wish anyway, as some local Councils in SA look to borrow to undertake some big and necessary local infrastructure projects.

In Port Adelaide Enfield, our standard construction and maintenance programs are delivered by a mixture of in house staff and contractors – depending on what is best for cost, efficiency and level of expertise.

In other words, we choose according to value for money – would any resident/ratepayer expect anything different?

When we do choose to use a contractor, not only do we have strict and scrupulous procurement procedures in place, but Council added in an additional item to that mix so that local suppliers are used where the difference in price is less than a certain amount (not relevant for large tenders), and we assess their performance during and after the work.*

At the September meeting of Council I will be moving that Council look at investigating starting some needed infrastructure projects across Council, and to borrow to fund them whilst interest rates available to Council are at a record low. Most of these works would be undertaken by contractors due to the size and nature of them – which I am sure will please Mr Sutherland of the CCFSA.

In the meantime, Mr Sutherland, you can learn more about how to win friends and influence people here – and it’s free!

Two local media stories dated July 27th on this issue are here:

And a story dated July 30th:

The letter sent to Council itself is here: CCF Letter 270415

* The below effort was executed earlier this year by a Council contractor, not Council staff:

Oakden Footpath Tennis

PS For what it’s worth, I have supported the CCFSA in the past, choosing to undertake courses with their training arm, CivilTrain, for my White Card, First Aid and Traffic Control qualifications.

July 2015 PAE Council Meeting Agenda

Another Council meeting beckons and the sky is a hazy shade of winter, as Simon & Garfunkel didn’t quite put it.

I will attempt to unravel and explain the most relevant matters to Northfield Ward (in my opinion) from the agenda of July 14th’s Council meeting.


At the above workshop held on June 23rd Councillors were gobsmacked to hear of the Federal Government’s cutbacks and rule changes to vital community assistance programs Council administer.

Home and Community Care (HACC) is where Council is funded to provide various in home assistance to those people who need minor assistance to live at home. Now, apart from massive cutbacks in funding, the new model requires people needing care to be referred through the government’s website for assistance rather than directly. This will lead to people who are in need to be overlooked.

Council also looks after the conditions and programs in Supported Residential Facilities (SRFs) but their Commonwealth funding has been pulled for the NDIS – which doesn’t cover SRFs.

Some of our most vulnerable people will be adversely affected by these changes – and as these usually isolated, sick people have no voice other than the handful of community organisations who help them, once these are defunded, who will then listen to them?

More importantly – who will then be looking after them?


On the March 30th Council wrote to the State Health Minister, Jack Snelling MP, asking for the Council meet with him or nominee in a workshop meeting in regard to the above matters, after its February meeting voted to do just that.

On June 30th a reply was sent off to Council saying that a representative of the Minister would be “delighted” to attend as his nominee.

Some tardy work there from both sides I think. Expect said workshop by 2018.


Council participated in an interesting study of requirements across our Council, Charles Sturt and West Torrens of sporting facility requirements and uses. Some of its findings include a shift to regional sporting facilities away from smaller ones, and that there are enough soccer pitches – if school facilities are able to be used.

It also said there are too many small lawn bowling greens, tennis courts and netball courts.

Of particular relevance to our ward is that LJ Lewis/Edward Smith Reserves (better known to locals as the Greenacres Football Club grounds) are considered a priority regional facility for possible enhancement. I don’t know what that means – yet.

This will be considered as part of our Council’s Sports Development Strategy.

If you would like a copy of this study, please let me know.


I note that only one submission was made during our community engagement on our community engagement policy.

I think that says something. What is says I don’t know, but it says something.


In answer to criticisms at the last local government elections where the Local Government (Elections) Act allowed political party members to say they were ‘independent’ on their electoral material, Robert Brokenshire MLC (Family First).

His proposal is for any political party member standing for Council to have their political party affiliation printed next to their name on the ballot paper – thus at the last election, the Northfield Ward ballot paper would have looked something like this:

OSBORN, Matt                  Australian Labor Party

COUSINS, Simon              Liberal Party

McCARTHY, Kevin James

CUMMINS, Eric                 Pauline Hanson’s One Nation*


HUBYCZ, Anne-Marie

Some people have said this would encourage people to just vote for their normal political party. Some have argued instead that it would cause problems for those who are political party members but wish to represent their constituency independently of their party. Some have also said they doubt it would make any difference at all and that the transparency of it all is what is important.

FYI, I will be moving that we write to the government suggesting that if a candidate is a member of a political party in the 12 months before an election, that party name is listed on the candidate profile ONLY. That I believe will make the issue transparent without giving any candidate an advantage or disadvantage with their party affiliation on the ballot paper.

Our current Council has 4 current ALP members, a number of former ALP members, and a few former members of other political parties of which I am aware. Does that matter? Perhaps not, but I believe you should know who is a party member and who is not.

What do you think?

* One Nation split for a while into two groups, one of which was affiliated with Pauline Hanson and one was not. I am not sure if Mr Cummins was in the Pauline Hanson version or the non-Pauline Hanson version at that time.

PS In the interests of complete transparency I declare I was a member of the Australian Democrats between 1987- 1994 and the ALP in 1997-1998.


All this means is Council wrote to Mr Desai to inform him that Council would not be building a playground and meeting place on the road reserve in the Martin Street cul de sac, Northfield, which happens to be opposite his home, on a reserve full of trees and about the size of a very small house block, and only 100m from the massive Duncan Fraser Reserve which has a large playground and a club rooms.

However, Council will consult him on the Masterplan for Duncan Fraser Reserve where his suggestions for upgrades will be welcome.

Lest you think Mr Desai received short shrift from the Council, I negotiated with Council staff on his and many of his neighbours’ and Council has installed a park bench as per his request on the road reserve.


“That a report come back to a subsequent meeting of Council on the following:


“That a report come back by the October meeting of Council on fixing the issues with traffic and parking control signs in the vicinity of St Martins Catholic Primary School Greenacres on Whysall Road, Vasey Street, Princes Road and Sutcliffe Road, Greenacres…”

This was after I met with the President of the School’s P&F on the issue and discussed the matter with the School Principal.


Whilst I was at the recent Australian Local Government Association Conference in Canberra, I had the privilege of listening to Australian of the Year, Rosie Batty, speak, and her words on domestic violence moved me.

Our Prime Minister talks a lot about terrorism but the real terror in our country is the number of women killed, maimed and hurt by domestic violence each year. That is estimated to be 100,000. It takes about a third of police time, and costs our country tens of billions in lost production, medical expenses and welfare payments.

Fifty Australian women each year on average die at the hands of their current or former husband/partner. At the time of writing, we are already at 49 for this year. If this was the result of terrorists, there would be a soldier on every street corner.

I have called for a report on what Council can do about this situation because it is blindingly obvious the Federal Government doesn’t give a shit if Australians are killing each other in their homes at the rate of one a week.


“That is be a recommendation to Council that a report be brought back to Council on Council reviewing its Community and Arts Programs so that instead of grants being one off project based, that they are based on long term projects which may include being based on Council’s core values for its community and that Council staff may include a workshop on this matter if they so desire.”


Around 5 to 7 cars per week day park near this bus stop (which is located on Walkleys Road) on the adjacent service road which has residences one side and by parking both sides of the road it prevents anything larger than a car moving down the street.


“That a report come back to a subsequent meeting of Council on the construction of a footpath on the western side of Whistler Drive, Oakden, between numbers 11 and 47, and that provision for same be brought back to a subsequent budget meeting.”

And if you really want to read the whole agenda – here it is on the CoPAE website:

Your thoughts?

2015/16 Budget Meeting – tonight!

Budget Draft 15-16

Tonight’s the night – as Rod Stewart once sung (although on a different topic I suspect).

We sit down as a Council and pass (or, on one famous occasion, didn’t pass) the Council budget for this financial year.

This budget has been months in the making, having undergone hundreds of staff hours, 2 Council workshops, community consultation which only elicited 2 responses, 2 special meetings before this one, and quite a bit of juggling of what goes in or out.

Councillors (at my behest) kicked out a proposal for some public artwork in conjunction with Charles Sturt Council somewhere in Port Adelaide, and also deleted a change of fencing for Council’s main depot.

Overall, the average rate rise will be 3.9% which will be the highest for a few years, but still less than many Council’s rises, but more importantly, we are still charging far less than many Councils and getting a better job done with the money.

We are also proposing to increase the residential rate in the dollar to $0.00269, which I believe is still the 4th lowest of Adelaide’s metro Council’s RITD.

We are also increasing the minimum rate to $775 per property which is still the second lowest in the Adelaide metropolitan area (Unley just beats us).

Our overall average amount of rates payable per residential property are, and have been for many years, the lowest in metro Adelaide by a mile. We are I believe lower by over 10% to the next lowest.

All of this didn’t happen by accident. It takes hard work and scrutiny from dedicated elected members who are focussed on getting the best deal for residents and ratepayers.

This is what we are proposing to spend some of that money on –

In our ward alone in the Parks & Gardens budget:


Upgrade fencing, Greenacres Reserve*

Hampstead Gardens

Installation of BBQ and shade picnic set, The Parkway Reserve*


Upgrade car park, Hillcrest Community Centre


Pedestrian lights and shade structure, Vickers Vimy Reserve*

Installation of shade structure, Butler Grove Reserve^


Masterplan Duncan Fraser Reserve, inc upgrade cricket nets, playspace, shade structure^

Installation of lighting, and landscaping, James Reserve#


Footpath resurface and bridge repair, Roy Amer Reserve (part)

Valley View

Masterplan Thomas Turner Reserve; fitness station and playspace slide, cricket nets*

Walkey Heights

Installation of shade structure over playground^


* I personally moved in Council/asked staff to submit for budget

^ Cr Hubycz personally moved in Council/asked staff to submit for budget

# I am moving at next week’s meeting that this work not be done at this stage due to proposed rezoning of adjacent land and the money allocated instead to FJ Garrad Reserve which is in need of upgrading.

The total for the above in our ward alone is $928,000.

There are also footpath replacements happening in many streets in Greenacres, Hillcrest and Oakden.

Road replacements to the value of $2.957M are occurring in:

Greenacres –

Floriedale Road (part); Lindley Road;

Hillcrest –

August Street, Duthie Street, Hawkins Avenue, Oxford Street (part), Voss Street;

Oakden –

Dorset Street, Kew Drive, Sir Ross Smith Boulevard;

In addition to the above, I personally asked staff and elected members that Council’s Obesity Prevention and Lifestyle Program, hitherto mainly funded by Federal and State Governments but now defunded by them, be continued due to its value to our community. This is at a cost of $131,000 for this coming year.

Our budget agenda is here: and if you wish for a copy of the actual Draft Annual Business Plan and Budget (pictured) then please contact me as it is not on our website even though I shall be moving tonight that it be put there, so watch this space for an update.

Who knows, maybe the above budget won’t be passed after all, but I think it will.

What do you think?

UPDATE 8/7/15

Firstly, all budget matters were passed, almost all unanimously.

As mentioned above, whilst seconding the budget acceptance motion, I added in that the 2015/16 Draft Budget & Business Plan (which after last night should have the word ‘Draft’ dropped) be uploaded to Council’s website – Cr Croci who moved the budget agreed to this and it was passed, I think, unanimously.

This document should be on the website by Friday afternoon.

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