Thursday, 27 July 2023


Dear Friends and Owners of Unley,

You may think that the hottest event is the unprecedented 46°C temperatures in the European cities. The TV pictures show lots of baking houses and very, very, few trees. The hottest until our summer seems to be……

Following publication in the Advertiser, the Council and Mayor have received many complaints about Council holding our Australia Day Citizens’ ceremony on the evening before.

 The facts,

·                       The date of Australia Day is a Commonwealth responsibility, not the Local Government.

·                       The Commonwealth gave us the decision to make as to whether to hold our Citizenship ceremony                     on any one of three days.

·                       The elected Council on behalf of our community voted 7-5 to hold the Citizenship ceremony the                         evening before in Jan  2024

·       For 2025 Council will need to decide once again what to do.

I was asked, “ Shouldn’t you consult and find out what your community wants?” Answer: Our Unley residents can contact their local Ward Councillor. Our Councillors listen. However, whatever Council decides, it tends to be only those who disagree who speak up.

·       Australia Day celebrations these days are rightly far more inclusive of Aboriginal communities and issues.

We have much to celebrate as a multicultural democratic nation. I am glad I was born an Australian Citizen, and I am pleased to welcome others who wish to join us.

With my best wishes,



Thursday, 27 April 2023


Dear Friends and Owners of Unley,

Please find attached my 2023 Winter Newsletter. Items include:

4 Unley Ovals to go?                                           Keswick TOD over Wayville Station

10 Business Proposals                                               Tour Down Under 24

Rates 3% below CPI?                                                 More Highrise SCAP

Forestville Overpass                                                  Brews & Bars

Parkside walking tour                                               Brown Hill Creek Trees to go

 Once again, my newsletter includes stories you have shared with me which I highly value.  We all own our Council, and it is a privilege to work with you to make Unley a better place.

Our new Council is working well together with a unanimous draft budget going out for consultation. A number of the newsletter items cover the budget issues for you to consider. We have close and contentious votes, but we are still working together.

You will also find attached the links for items in the newsletter. For example, an ABC article stated that last year wages went up by 3.3% and costs by 7.8%.

With my best wishes,


Buying Carbon offsets vs direct action

Australian councils told to cut emissions rather than spend millions on overseas carbon offsets | Carbon offsetting | The Guardian


Australians experienced their largest real wage decline on record in 2022

Friday, 3 March 2023


Dear Friends and Owners of Unley,

Please enjoy the Autumn News, having survived last week’s 41°C you may like to see the link on my new Mayoral Unley Facebook page the link to the article, ‘We’re doomed’: Expert loses it over the jaw-dropping image.

This new page seeks to build our community with accurate information about things Unley. You are welcome to join in to provide links to your story and events. Please ‘like’ or ‘follow’ the page to show your support.

On Monday night our Council unanimously resolved to approve the submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry to the Urban Forest: Parliamentary Urban Forest inquiry Unley Council Submission.   The link to my complementary submission is, Why we lose our trees, $552,857.07 submission to Parliament Mayor.

This newsletter contains the following stories

ROLE OF Council?  Australians want more from Councils or do we?

Unley loses $552,857 

Unley Road Plans

Free Fringe events

Citizen of the year

Two more schools safe to cycle to.

LeCornu park needed.

Reformed smoker?

At the Council Meeting on Monday; with the Council vote I expect to result in spending the estimated $190,000 of Australian carbon credit shortfall to be Carbon neutral within Unley. This will actively reduce our Carbon emissions within Unley, but we would not be Carbon neutral until 2030. I hope we can achieve Carbon Zero by then! I have attached the motion and voting for this and the Tour Down Under motion and voting as a late press release. Go to the Mayor’s Facebook page where I will discuss the meeting and the 2023-4 budget.

With my best wishes,


Mayor Michael Hewitson AM

Council’s submission to the parliamentary inquiry into trees canopy can be found and to Council Planning Rules submission to Ministerial review here.

  • Every Year we lose another 2 Unley ovals of trees and we have less than 200 across the whole city,
  • A once-off offset payment is a license to never plant trees.
  • In four years of accelerated planting Unley will run out of Council land, we need to increase from 22% to 27% canopy on private property.

I have made a complementary submission as Mayor to highlight the lack of power the Council has to enforce even the weak current rules. and what we need to do, Mayor Planning Rules submission on trees to Ministerial review

Saturday, 25 February 2023

 2023 Summer news

Dear Friends and Owners of Unley,

                                We have a new Council. Thank you for returning me as your Mayor. We have four years to deliver the reality of a future Unley that is liveable.

Please let either Justine or I know if you do not wish to receive the four times a year emails with the quarterly newsletters attached.

Planning     Council Assessment Panel (CAP)   Vote 6/5

On 12th of December Council voted not to have any Councillor on the Council Assessment Panel. (CAP) Unley Council has no power over planning matters. The six members who voted not to elect a Councillor to CAP, did so to underline the reality that Council has no say. Our planning rules have largely been taken over by the State Government. The Unley CAP is made up of professionals who have to apply the State Planning Rules. We are trying to have the State Planning Minister give us the power to have a ‘tree offset fund’ so we can deal with a well-known local tree canopy problem. Our problem is not shared by so many Councils in outer areas like Playford with large tracks of open space. Council does however have the right to select the membership of the CAP. We will be looking for people with an understanding and empathy for our City. Five members opposed the motion because they believed that CAP would be improved with a member who understands the political will of the local people. Please open the link to the Council agenda and Minutes for December to see who voted each way. Cr Don Palmer moved the motion and Cr Michael Rabbitt seconded it.

Tree canopy and our future 50°C hot summer days? Vote 9/2

One of my key election commitments was to voice the reality of life in Unley with a loss of tree canopy. I was extremely relieved at the strong commitment of the new Council to continue to tackle head on the known loss of tree canopy in half of the new developments that increase the built form. Council voted 9/2 in favour of the motion for Unley Council to be able to have an offset fund.

After everyone else has had the opportunity to speak, I was able to address the concerns of the two members opposing the motion.  I argued that our motion did not let the State Government off the hook. Whole of SA planning rules do not address the particular need of the inner City Council with the least amount of open Space in SA. Should the State Minister give us some power to deal with our local issue, the State Government is addressing one real problem with the working of the code… the loss of trees on private property in an inner city suburb. No amount of public consultation and new ideas can address a problem over which we have no power to act. Please open the link to the Council agenda and Minutes for December if you wish to see who voted each way. Cr Jack Gaffey moved the motion and Cr Don Palmer seconded it.

Wishing you and all those you love a Merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous 2023.

I hope you enjoy the attached newsletter,

With my thanks and best wishes,

Mayor Michael Hewitson