Monday, 9 May 2022


Dear Friends and Owners of Unley,

Together, we have achieved so much during this term on Council. Thank you for your continuing help.

In addition to the topics in my newsletter I wish to draw your attention to the following….

Our Community is concerned with overdevelopment, the destruction of heritage and the ongoing loss of our cooling tree canopy.

As you are aware from my previous communications to you, we were successful with the previous government in avoiding the overbearing developments the new PDC could have created. We have protected our heritage areas, which is 80% of our City. We also succeeded in securing the 30° rule for building over 3 storeys.

We have yet to win however our battle to protect our tree canopy loss resulting from over development.


We are now seeking permission from the current Minister for Planning to go to public consultation for a tree offset fund for FUTURE new developments that increase the built form. If we don’t succeed in establishing such a fund, we are heading to 13% tree canopy cover and very hot summers.

Council elections are coming up at the end of this year. I am being encouraged to run again to ensure issues of governance, climate policy implementation, better waste management, and ensuring new developments contribute to mitigating rising temperatures across Australia over the past 100 years are progressed.

Should I decide to run again I will need your help to succeed.

You are welcome to contact me over any issue of concern or interest,

With my best wishes,


Monday, 7 March 2022

 Autumn News Rusty Cannon

Dear Friends and Owners of Unley,

We are heading into State Elections, and I hope whoever is elected to be the Government of SA will enable Councils to have the powers we need to deliver for our local community.

Councils want to have greater powers to be able to ensure our waste is recycled and not going to land fill. We want to be able to meet our tree canopy targets and have local rules to enable us to do so.

I look forward to working with our next Government to be empowered to deliver for our Unley.

It is easy for Councils to blame the State Government and avoid making decisions that may not be universally popular

Sunday, 6 February 2022

 Dear Friends on Mayor Michael' tree email group,  

I regret that Council voted 4/7 against the motion to support in principle and to draft a policy for public consultation to provide financial incentives for private land owners to retain or plant trees.

I am disappointed but not giving up.

The main game is the permanent loss of both trees and the future capacity to plant trees ……..  Your Council has taken a UNANIMOUS decision to fight this ….. either new developments will have a 15% tree canopy or they pay 10% higher rates to buy land elsewhere to plant trees on. This will make existing large trees valuable. 

We need the State Minister for Planning’s approval to be able to do this.

We have had three years searching for every idea… most have been implemented.

We have had three years implementing all other ideas such as tree giveaways and education and this has made a 2 Hectare difference each year. We are losing 4+ Hectares each year.

As a result, we now have the following situation…

If we are successful with the state government agreeing to an Unley Offset Scheme, we will over 50 years drop to 20% canopy.

And if not to under 13% Canopy cover.

Some members recognising this shortfall spoke about asking for new ideas and going into public consultation, such as the one we are undertaking for a city-wide parking strategy. A great idea, but we will lose at least 2-3 years of action. If those voting against the motion are still unhappy that the “perfect idea” is not forthcoming…. 13% canopy is coming for Unley’s children.

Thank you, Mary, for the article… ‘Ultimately uninhabitable’: western Sydney’s legacy of planning failure (

Tree Canopy LiDar Data Summary


Annual M²

Unley Council has a 27.99% 2021 canopy cover


We need to save 40,748 m² each year (p/a)


We need to plant 21,435m² p/a to increase to 31%


State Offset Scheme support will save 20363 m²


Free giveaways education street trees plant….




Wednesday, 12 January 2022


This is a very big story and one I am passionate about.   

If our Citizens have to consider the facts, help make hard decisions, then we will gain understanding and a better community, one we can all share. I have submitted this to the Eastern Herald.

Shaping Unley

24,000+ Owners of Unley are wanted to become strategic planners.

Is parking a problem where you live? Are there more cars parking in your street than there are parks available?

Early Unley was built before cars existed. Some houses and streets have no off-street parking. Parking is now a problem across the City of Unley.

Just outside Unley, a hospital grows ever larger. The nurses want to park in Unley streets. Residents complain they have no parking for visitors. Some local businesses in Unley have no parks for staff or customers. 

Who should get the parks?

For decades we have been making changes in one street to enable fairer access to parking generally with permit or timed parking zones. What happens is that parking problems just shift to the next street. Should Unley become a car park for people not paying rates?

The big story is not parking.

The big story is how Unley plans to allow all ratepayers to become partners in planning. Two smart cities in Europe already do this.

One of their most successful Smart City projects was “e-Dialogos”, where the City of Trikala provides a platform for citizens to participate in the Council’s decision-making that combines online deliberation and voting processes.

Council has chosen our parking problem to become the first issue to develop how participatory democracy works in Unley. This is beyond consultation. We involved our community in designing our planning brief for King William Road. Hundreds participated but with ‘Shaping Unley” no one is excluded, all 24,000+ are encouraged to shape our future.

We have chosen “parking” because no decisions have been made and work will commence on a holistic city-wide planning strategy. If this works well in Unley, I hope this will be the way we plan in the future. Our citizens already pay for council, choose their Mayor and Councillors, and now as owners of Unley, all will be able to be involved in our City-Wide strategic planning.