FOCUS is a member of the Community Alliance SA. Members might be interested in attending the below consultation session held by the Alliance on upcoming planning reform.

“Planning Reform – The Next Steps”

With Matthew Loader DPTI – Legislative Reform Program Leader

The Community Alliance SA was set up by the founding members recognising that the only way to “Put the People Back into Planning and Development in SA” was to change the law.

This is a must attend meeting because Mr. Loader and his team are responsible for drafting the new planning legislation. If you want an idea what the the legislation might look like then your Committee urges you to attend the meeting which will begin with Mr. Loader’s presentation. There will be plenty of time for a Q & A Session with Mr. Loader after his presentation. We strongly ask you and your members to be at:

The Box Factory “Regent Room” Thursday 30th July for a 7:00pm start

Please let all your members know about this very important meeting

The Agenda for the General Meeting is attached.

I look forward to catching up with you on the 30th and as usual you can enjoy a cup of tea/coffee and some biscuits.


Tom Matthews
Community Alliance SA
0429 337 453

We are an umbrella organisation representing resident and community groups Dedicated to ‘Putting the People back into Planning and Development’ Our goal is a planning and development process that is accountable, transparent and sustainable, and that guarantees genuine community consultation

Eastern Courier Messenger, 1 July 2015

The Development Assessment Commission approval for the Cremorne Plaza redevelopment – the first multi story project under the new Inner Metro planning rules, ignores the City of Unley Development Plan! FOCUS argues that seven stories and other aspects of the project are not acceptable.

Here is a special opportunity to join a discussion with our Parliamentarians:

David Pisoni MP
Member for Unley

Steven Griffiths MP
Shadow Minister for Planning

Mark Parnell MLC
Parliamentary Leader, Greens SA and planning lawyer


  • Development Assessment Commission approval process
  • Non compliance of this project with Unley’s planning policy
  • Impact of this project on traffic, trees and the Unley community life style
  • How to prevent this project setting a poor precedent for future projects.

Following the presentations and discussion a light supper will be provided concluding with a short General Meeting for FOCUS.

When: Tuesday 14 July 2015
Where: Unley Community Centre, 18 Arthur St Unley
Time: 7:30pm

Eastern Courier Messenger, 22 April 2015 


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30 March 2015

Dear Editor,

I refer to the report on page 12 of The Advertiser, March 30; Green light for $80 million complex.  All Unley residents should be rightly concerned about the Development Assessment Commission [DAC] approval of the seven story Cremorne Plaza.

In several significant respects this proposed development does not comply with the City of Unley’s Development Plan, recently amended with State Government approval to comply with the Government’s 30 year plan for Adelaide. This approval ignores various areas of concern raised by City of Unley in their detailed submission to the DAC. This project if it proceeds in the form approved has the potential to set precedence for further non complying development proposals.

This is a city style project being built in suburbia with an impact well beyond the surrounding housing with the potential to significantly disrupt the life of those who live, work, shop and participate in Unley’s community life as well as those who travel through Unley each day.

The Friends of the City of Unley Society [FOCUS] whose focus is on maintaining and enhancing the character and vibrancy of Unley with good development is appalled by the DAC decision.

Ros Islip
Friends of City of Unley Society

27 March 2015

Mr. Lachlan Clyne,
City of Unley,
PO Box 1,
Unley SA 5061.

Dear Mr. Clyne,

We are writing to you to suggest that Council consider a specific suggestion to preserve more of the City of Unley’s treescape.

On the evening of 10th March, FOCUS organised a meeting at which Mr. Lee Anderson, Council’s arborist, gave a presentation on the strategic direction and management of the City’s trees. The meeting was attended by six elected members and by members of the Grow Grow Gardening group, located in Unley.

We would like to congratulate Mr. Anderson on his excellent presentation. He drew from his extensive experience in Australia and overseas and provided an excellent briefing on the issues surrounding trees and their management – including their ageing (and therefore the tree replacement strategy), the impact of climate change on tree species, and the potential for pests to impact Unley’s treescape.

During the course of the presentation, Mr. Anderson explained that 26% of Unley is covered by foliage and highlighted the key role this plays in Unley’s liveability and property values. In the question time that followed, two councillors involved in the Development Assessment Panel discussed the difficulty that they face in assessing arborists’ reports tabled by proponents of developments. In some cases, arborists’ reports on particular trees appear to come to very differing conclusions – some recommending removal and others recommending retention. The councillors explained that, in many instances of such conflicting reports, it appears safer to err on the side of safety and support removal of trees. It thus appears that, in the current circumstances, a number of unnecessary removals of established trees may be taking place. It was noted that these trees are generally larger, older and more significant to the amenity of the neighbourhood.

In response, Mr. Anderson commented on the relatively low actual risk posed by trees and advised that there was not presently a requirement for arborists’ reports to adhere to Australian Standards (or equivalent international standard) and suggested that a requirement to do so might reduce the number of conflicting reports and, more generally, lift the standard of assessment.

We consider that there is merit in the City of Unley requiring arborists’ reports presented in support of a development application to adhere to the relevant Australian Standard (or equivalent international standard) and recommend that Council adopts a policy along these lines. The impact of such a requirement should be to ensure that there is a higher standard applied to trees being assessed for removal – thus eliminating unnecessary removal of trees and preserving the best of the treescape for Unley.

The Government requirement that only immediate neighbours are notified of the proposal to remove a Significant or Regulated Tree deprives residents in a more distant and wider area who also appreciate the trees, the opportunity to comment or object. We hope that this matter will be given earnest consideration.

FOCUS has noted that some inner suburban councils in Melbourne have a simple, clear documented process that where there is a request for the removal of a Significant or Regulated Tree the Planning Department staff are required to consult with the Council Arborist and Policy Planner responsible for developing the Historic and Streetscapes  Development Plans. FOCUS members have reported that in Unley this does not always occur and frequently they are informed by residents.

We are happy to meet with you or Council officers to discuss this matter further if that would assist.

Yours sincerely

Ros Islip

cc Peter Tsokas
Paul Weymouth
All elected members
Trevor Stein
Lee Anderson
Grow Grow Unley


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