Friday, 7 September 2018

Spring News

I moved a motion to encourage the use of the filtered tap water already available on tap in the council building rather than bottled water paid for by ratepayers in bottles with very limited recyclability. Little did I know that the homework on the safety and recyclability of bottled water were serious issues we need to address. In 2016 The children pictured in 2016 wrote to me to have a drinking fountain in their park that would enable them to fill their water bottles or drink direct would be the start of a change across the world.

Real Cost of bottled water Queensland University

If I am elected Mayor of Unley I will be seeking a report from staff followed by action to enable our children and community to also have access to water for drinking or to refill safe reusable water bottles. 

Thursday, 26 July 2018

Rate Capping Support but make Councils responsible.

Rate Cap but make Councils responsible.

The evidence from Unley council is that the State Government is correct to ensure councils operate with a program of rate capping. 

However to remove from Councils the responsibility and authority to set their own rates is to the disadvantage of rate payers. Councils can, and some will just blame government for poor services or over borrowing leaving future ratepayers in debt.

Unlimited money is unlimited waste. I support each Council being required to set a rate cap and cut their costs to fit the income. Unley Council in this term set a target rate and the cost of rate increases fell over the full four years. The June 2016 motion to ignore the rate cap against which the 2017 budget drafted was defeated and rate capping in this council term held.
My suggestion would be to recommend to Government that Councils be required to introduce rate capping and that each Council is required to set the rate cap for three years ahead. Each year Council sets the cap for the third year out. The cap would be informed by each Council’s long term financial plan. This way each Council is both responsible to set the rate and is accountable in a very public way each election because the forward rates against the long term financial plan is known.
During the four years that Unley council set a rate cap, debt was paid down and services improved. Real financial efficiencies were found now totalling over 3.5 Million per annum.

Unley Council should …….
                Advise the LGA and State Government to separate the two issues.
1.  The first is the responsibility and accountability of local Governments to set their own rate and
2.  the second is a requirement to set rate caps. If two Councillors had changed their vote in 2016 Unley council would not have capped rates.

Council Meeting Minutes June 2016

Cr Schnell seconds Cr Boisvert amendment to raise the rate by 0.5% from a 2.2% increase to 2.7% for the 2016-7 rates and the vote is lost. 4votes in favour and 7 against. “Those voting in the negative: Councillors Smolucha, Hewitson, Palmer, Hughes, Lapidge, Sangster and Rabbitt The AMENDMENT was declared LOST “

Written and authorised by Michael Hewitson 10 Ramage St Unley SA 5061

Sunday, 3 June 2018

Michael Hewitson

Really thrilled to be opening my campaign for Mayor of Unley.

Thanks to my family for their support - and for helping post out the flyers which will be hitting your letterbox in the coming weeks.

Please give me a call for all things Unley!
Scooter-post with Ala


Voting is postal late in October. We have started now so that you can contact me with your thoughts and ideas. My newsletters and actions in Council have largely been your ideas, my listening and then "getting it done". Click on the website for the opening campaign themes.  Please Click on this link and visit the campaign website. I would love to receive your feedback, ideas and suggestions.

The links in the news letter are

The Highgate Primary Story

The draft Parking Policy

King William Road.... have your say

The ABC Radio with David Bevan on trees in Unley go to 1 hour 12 min


Monday, 28 May 2018

Silencing of Councillors

Our Council staff asked for a legal opinion on what Councillors are allowed to put into their reports. The legal opinion is not allowed to be shared with the Unley Community.  

"The purpose of EM reports as part of a Council agenda is to contribute to the openness, accountability and transparency of Local Government, to provide information about the activities of Elected Members undertaken in the conduct of their office...…"   

This is the report I submitted after we were told what was legal. It is quite different to the one published in the Council May agenda which our staff helpfully prepared...… no photos allowed..... no opinions allowed.... and no reports on the opinions the small sample of traders gave on King William Road. Hence I am moving a  motion to reinstate items of interest or concern. I believe it is vital for open and transparent government that elected members are able to present matters of concern or interest..... even if I disagree.

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Dear Friends and Owners of Unley,
Once again five of the stories in the newsletter are initiated by you… the owners of Unley. It is a privilege to serve our Unley Community with so many great ideas coming from you, and working with me to see our community improved. Listening… getting it done…. Delivering.
The world is on the cusp of a revolution greater then we have seen to date. The Heywood park story hides the dramatic impact it will have on the way we live. Artificial Intelligence, Robots that learn like Children, and the low level example of autonomous cars we dial up and the car takes us to our destination are also hints of the coming revolution. Heywood Park with smart city technology
20% Tree cover loss
We have just lost 20% of our tree canopy across Unley since 2013. We had 26% cover and now it is 22% in 2017!  Please click on the link in my website where you will find a copy of my presentation to Council to come up with real solutions…. Not just words with targets.
For Michael’s presentation to Council on saving and growing our tree canopy click the link below.
Michael's Council workshop… saving our Tree Canopy