More Than Rates, Roads and Rubbish

At our last meeting on the twelfth of February, the lucky few members who were in attendance were treated to a wealth of knowledge about our Unley community by the eternally youthful looking councillor Michael Rabbitt. (no relation to Peter or Jack)!
A locally born native, Michael  left the area for only a short period, returning for the duration of his life in 1972 and finally settling in Millswood.
He is a father,  grandfather, husband for 50 years and the proud owner of a Dalmatian dog named Denver (named after the late singer, John).
Having been involved in the finance sector for 46 years, Michael retired in 2010 and was elected to the Unley council in 2014.
At that time the council comprised of one woman and twelve men, but Michael was extremely happy to inform us that the new recently elected council introduced seven new members, the balance now being eight women and five men.
Councillors are expected to put in ten hours a week, with many working at least twenty.
The council is comprised of the Mayor and twelve ward councillors,  two for each ward.
As a member of the” Save our Streets” group Michael felt a great deal could be accomplished by joining council.
He spoke to us in a very informative fashion alluding to several projects close to him and sharing his knowledge about the projects that Unley have accomplished or are planning to achieve in the forseeable future.
Of particular interest, was the Centennial Park Cemetery café project, a new development which will offer a place of refreshments for those visiting their loved ones.  Along with this , Michel spoke of a behind the scenes tour that is available for the adventurous at heart who  have the courage to visit the crematorium.
Sworn to secrecy, Michael spoke of wayward and tardy rate payers, some more than three years in arrears and of tree loppings in Hyde Park.
It was interesting to know that the city of Unley has four community centres, one museum, two libraries, a community bus service and a swimming centre.
Add to the above a men’s shed, a Buddies at breakfast group and other varied activities and forums for both youth and the elderly, the council is providing very functional services to its community.
Gala events such as the Tour down Under, the Gourmet Gala event and the French themed gourmet event, add to the cacophony of delightful experiences offered to the palates of an appreciative public accustomed to fine dining and good wines. King William Rd , although recently renovated and re paved also offers delicacies which would easily convince the diner they were in a cosmopolitan street of Paris or Italy.( let’s forget however the lack of parking since the re vamp)
Unley council has 250 paid employees and many volunteers and a very highly paid CEO.
The council is comprised of the Mayor and twelve ward councillors, two for each ward.
Michael mentioned that some of the council’s future plans include upgrade of both Unley and Goodwood ovals owing to a two million dollar grant offered by the previous Labour state government.
Proposed five storey apartment blocks proposed for Unley Rd were not passed by council but overridden by Local Planning act.
By the end of the evening this resident of Mitcham council  was left a little envious of those lucky “Unleyites"who are governed by such a progressive group.