Keswick Ward 2022 Election

There were safety concerns of children running out onto the street chasing balls – I worked with Council administration to deliver this fence to increase saftey on Rex Jones Reserve.

Hi, I’m Michael and I am running to be your local Councillor for Keswick ward this council election.

I live in Keswick with my family and am proud to have been active in our community for many years, as your Councillor for 6 years (2010-14 and 2017-18), and more recently as Chair of the Richmond Primary School governing council and previous school soccer coach.

I’ll have more to say about my future priorities for Keswick in coming weeks, but my focus is to work with you, our residents to make our community a better place to live.

I look forward to your support in October! I’m here to work for you, please reach out with any feedback or ideas for our community.

To give an idea of what I stand for and my focus areas, below is a list what I delivered when I was your Councillor 2010-14 and 2017-18.

-New ‘Pocket Park’ on Milner Rd Richmond

-New $2.5m nature play, multipurpose courts, and toilet at Weigall Oval (prioritised over the professional playing fields)

-New Dog park delivered in Marleston

-Playground upgrades, Cross Tce, Peake Gardens, St Georges Ave, Jubilee Reserve, Mile End Common

-New fence at Rex Jones reserve for improved safety for playing children

-Reduced cost of residents parking permits to be more affordable (twice), and less hoops to jump though for residents to obtain a parking permit

-Changes to parking restrictions in several Keswick streets to deter commuter parking

-Moved to speed up the Local Area Traffic Management study of our local suburbs (mostly not implemented yet unfortunately)

-Trial of first residential LED streetlights in Keswick

-Upgrade of lights to LED in Keswick part of Westside Bikeway

-Formulation and consultation of Housing Diversity Development Plan amendment in 2014 to protect Character Areas in Ashford and Glandore

-In 2017, a loophole was discovered 8 storey building at Glandore was allowed- joined with community to fight off

-In 2018 and then lobbied the Planning Minister to agree to an amendment to the Development Plan (unfortunately subsequently abandoned by council in 2019)

-Provision of free kitchen caddies and compostable bags to all residents to encourage large reduction in waste to landfill

-Increased use of recycled water for greening the Westside Bikeway and Richmond Oval

-Arranged for the replacement and addition of many many street trees.

-The move to 2 free on-call hard rubbish collections and free dump vouchers

-Saved the oldest public building in Keswick from demolition (Keswick Mothers and Baby’s)

-Ensured popular summer festival was brought out to each ward rather than centralised to ensure easy access for locals

-Moved for public release of all Council credit card transactions to encourage transparency

-Questioned and moved for release of confidential reports unless for a very good reason

-New safety signs designed and installed at school drop off zones

-Key driver of Council implanting the LEAN efficiency program of doing more with the same or less resources

I believe in an open, accountable and transparent Council that delivers facilities, services and infrastructure for our residents benefit first.

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I live in Keswick

This election for the first time, Candidates must declare if they live in the ward they are running in.

Does your favoured candidate live in the ward? It matters because we know our area intimately and can work with locals on local solutions.

Check the link for all of the candidate profiles and their declaration if they live in the ward. (also they must declare if they are a member of a political party- lets keep party politics out of our council)

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I’m independent.

I’m independent.

This gives me clarity when making decisions, ability to challenge the status quo and integrity the community can trust in.

This is the first election that all candidates must declare their political party membership. Check the profile of your favoured candidate to find out if they are affiliated with a party.

This election candidates must also disclose during the election any financial donations they receive. One candidate in Keswick ward has declared they have received 15 gifts totalling $1,600. With one unspecified donation of $1,000.

I give this guarantee that I have not ever or will never accept any financial donations for my Council campaign. I am 100% independent and free to make the best decisions for our local residents. I do not owe any political party or corporation anything in return.

(See the link to the profiles and campaign donations return forms)

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Local traffic management

Thinking of local traffic management while enjoying wonderful coffee at the famous, always busy Froth & Fodder cafe in Mortimer St Kurralta Park this morning. (My boy not as happy to have his photo taken!) #supportlocal

Right near the end of my last term of Council in 2018 we had agreed on details of a concept plan for this part of Mortimer St to slow traffic on this busy and sometimes dangerous corner. I lived on Mortimer Street for 6 years before moving to Keswick so know this area very well.

The road was supposed to have a ‘paved’ finish in the new roadway, where the road is narrowed. (See pic in the comments) This was to give a boulevard effect to slow the passing traffic. For some reason unfortunately this was not followed through with when the work was done. This part of the new road was part of a trial of using old printer toner cartridges as part of the pavement mix. While a great environmental trial, it could have done elsewhere in the council area.

We need to be innovative in our traffic management solutions to get the desired results of slowed traffic.

Vote [1] Farnden this election for someone that will work on innovative traffic management and follow through with Council Administration to ensure it actually happens.

(Does your favoured candidate live in the ward? It matters because we know our area intimately and can work with locals on local solutions)

This section of Mortimer St was originally to have a ‘paved’ effect in order to slow traffic- this was abandoned after the last Council election. Vote [1] Farnden for someone that will work on innovative traffic management solutions
Traffic speeds past cafe patrons enjoying great food and coffee at Froth & Fodder
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Food waste can stay out of landfill!

In order to divert more food waste from our red landfill bins, I strongly supported free kitchen caddies and compostable bags for West Torrens residents back in 2018.

It is good to see Woolworths cutting the use of single-use plastic by providing compostable bags for all fruit and veg it it’s stores. These can then be re-used for food waste and thrown into your green bin, where it is then turned into garden compost. This is not only good for the environment but saves council money from waste to landfill costs.

Did you know that up to 50% of the volume of the red bin is food waste that could be re-used rather than going to landfill?

I support an extended trial of weekly collection of green bins to encourage more food waste to be disposed of in green bins as one of the reasons residents avoid is the worry of bin odour.

Vote [1] Farnden on your ballot paper so I can work on improving our environmental impact further over the next 4 years

Photo from 2018 when I was promoting the free kitchen caddies and compostable bags for residents
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Voting Integrity

There were reports in The Advertiser recently about a Police and Electoral Commission investigation into irregularities in additions to the Electoral Roll for Keswick Ward.

What does this mean? It is more important than ever for those that may usually not vote, to cast their vote by post to ensure the overall effect of any possible irregularities are minimised.

Election integrity is a fundamental pillar of Australian democracy, and I am providing this Statutory Declaration to confirm I have NOT been involved in the additions to the Electoral Roll.

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Thebarton Oval lease

I was part of a huge crowd of passionate locals that turned out at Thebarton Community centre tonight for a 2 hour community meeting.

I thank Mayor Coxon for answering the many great questions from the locals. It was very clear that the community present have deep concerns about the proposed lease to the Crows for 42+42 years.

Mayor Coxon made it clear this first stage of the process is to gauge community support to lease the land out and for the value that will be leased for and that the detail will then be worked out if there is support.

So now it is very important for residents and rate payers to lodge all of their concerns about the proposed lease now if you don’t want it to proceed to the next stage.

My personal view:

Our community open space is very valuable, especially being so close to the city, and with so much infill development happening. Council completed a master plan in 2018 for this area which had an emphasis on open space for the community to enjoy with little restrictions. It seems not much has be done in the past 4 years on delivering this plan, which in some ways is understandable considering the uncertainty about the South Road expansion.

Your current Councillors voted to support this lease for community consultation with very generous rate rebates (no rates for 20 years) and rent rebates (80% off for 10 years). They have not explained the process well or the community benefits of the lease.

The lease goes for 42+42 years, our land is valuable to our community and we don’t need to hand it over to a private corporation to manage.

This land isn’t in Keswick ward, so why does it matter? The role of Councillor is to work together for our whole city to ensure its best use into the future. This also has the potential to put pressure on future rate increases as Council also plans to spend $9m on undefined infrastructure (in addition to the generous rebates)

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Community Involvement

I enjoy giving back to our local community by being active in giving my time
where I can. I’ve been on the Richmond Primary School Governing Council for the
past 4 years, ever since my daughter started at the school. In the past 18
months I have been Chair of the Governing Council. I try to use my community
knowledge and professional skills to add value to the committee where I can.

The school soccer program is a big part of Richmond, last year I coached one
of the teams for part of the season, and this year volunteered at our famous
bake sale. The bake sale is a great fund raiser, as all money raised goes
towards lowering the cost of the soccer program for our families. We believe
that cost shouldn’t be a factor in stopping our kids enjoy playing.


Me behind the till at our school soccer bake sale
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War on bindii, let’s get back to basics

Visiting our play spaces and ovals recently, many of our grassed areas are being overrun by spring weeds like bindii. While a relatively easy treatment at the right time of year, if left to grow they form prickles which quickly makes our green spaces unfriendly for kids play as well as sports and also seeding next years weed spread.
We need to re-focus our priorities to ensure resources are provided for council to properly maintain out assets.
Some clumps are easily removed by hand as I did in this pic today.
For those with home lawns, I wrote an article back in 2014 on how to treat these types of weeds at home during September for an amazing summer lawn.

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Let’s get back to basics

Out and about in Keswick ward, we can do better with the maintenance of our existing parks and gardens.

It’s exciting spending money on new infrastructure and assets, but let’s ensure enough resources are given to properly maintain our current community assets.

The second photo is of the amazing rain gardens that were installed about 5 years ago in Kurralta Park. They are designed to slow down flood water in heavy rain events and also put more water back into the local water table. Unfortunately many of these rain gardens are full of weeds and overdue for some maintenance.

If elected I’ll push for proper funding for our existing assets for our local communities (our residents and rate payers)- not funding assets for the benefit of private corporations or select private clubs

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Campaign for more open space

Amazing weather on this morning to join the community campaign for more open space to be included in the old LeCornu site at Forestville. While not in West Torrens, it’s just over the road from Keswick ward, and especially close to Ashford and Keswick. Any open space would definitely be welcome and usable for these locals.
I’ll always fight for increased open recreation space in our local area, needed so much more now we have increased infill development.
In attendance was our local MP Jayne Stinson and many Unley Councillors and candidates.
The site is owned by the state government, so certainly within their power to influence the final design

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2022 Keswick Ward Election

Nominations have now closed for the 2022 Keswick ward election.

I’m pleased to say my nomination has been accepted.

I’ve been active in this local community for many years, and have delivered some great initiatives and facilities over the years, while offering strong financial management oversight to the budget.

With many challenges ahead, with the increasing cost of living, continued infill development, and the South Rd project I look forward to having the chance to again deliver for Keswick.

I look forward to your support in October.

In coming weeks I will highlight my past achievements and priorities for the next 4 years. Until then, feel free to scroll down for previous posts from when I last served as your local elected member of West Torrens Council.

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Let’s Continue Together

I am happy to announce I have re-nominated to contest the upcoming Council elections for Keswick Ward. For 6 years I have been lucky enough to represent the residents and rate payers of Keswick Ward, and Make Our Community Better Together. I have really enjoyed working with residents and other elected members to drive the delivery of better services and facilities for our residents, while keeping a keen eye on Council spending along the way to ensure we make the best use of every dollar of ratepayers’ money.

Since my re-election at the by-election last January, it has been very good to work with a fellow proactive Councillor in John Woodward. We don’t agree on every issue, but we work well together on delivering real improvements to Keswick Ward and West Torrens generally, while both taking a strong interest in the financial side and don’t just go along with everything suggested by Council Administration. Voting is voluntary by post in late October. Residents that vote must number 1 and 2 for the preferred candidates to represent Keswick ward. I ask for your support to vote 1 Michael Farnden, and also vote 2 for John Woodward as your strong Keswick team. Of course you can choose to allocate your 2 to another candidate and continue allocating numbers to the rest of the candidates as you prefer.

Let’s continue together 👍


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Height is Height

HEIGHT IS HEIGHT: Stand up for our local community
I continue to fight for changes from the State Government to protect local residents from over zealous developers lodging applications that exceed already generous building heights in
Council’s Development Plan (too generous in my opinion), and strict rules on notification of surrounding neighbours.
Below image is a Messenger article from 29 August about the issue, where I am quoted.
FullSizeRender (1)
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Lower Cost Parking Permits, DELIVERED



Increased parking in our local area is an issue I hear about often, and with urban infill, and many non resident commuters using our streets to park all day the problem is only increasing.

What can be done?
Many local streets have parking restrictions installed, in the form of 2 hour parking zones. This can be a very effective way of ensuring all day parkers do not clog our local streets.

What about residents cars?
Car park permits are available to local residents, on a single car or transferable basis, either for a single street or a local zone area.

How much do local parking permits cost?
In my view these have been previously too high, I have been working with my fellow Elected Members to lower the cost each year, earlier this year I moved that these be lowered for the second time in 2 years and from June 1 permits for residents are now down to $30 for 1 year and $50 for the 2 year permit. Pension card holders receive a 50% discount on these prices.


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Free Kitchen Caddy

FREE KITCHEN CADDY: I’m happy to advise that the free kitchen caddy and compostable bags are now available from the West Torrens Library.

….better access, DELIVERED.

This hopefully helps those residents that have given me feedback that it is hard to collect during regular business hours, with the library open longer hours including Thursday until 8pm and Saturday and Sunday.


🆓 FREE kitchen caddy & compostable bags 🌲 for residents 👍

War on Waste! Save our environment 🌏 (& reduce pressure on rates 🏦)

Collect a FREE kitchen caddy and ongoing supply of compostable bags from Council, and do your part to reduce waste to landfill 💪💪

caddy 1

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New $2.5m Play Space, DELIVERED

weigal 2.jpg

DELIVERED: Great to see around 500 local residents at the official opening of the $2.5m new play space at Weigall Oval.

Working with Council staff on this project to make the playground the best it can be, the project kicked off about 6 years ago with the development of the master plan for the oval.

weigal 1

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LOOK: NEW TREES, says my daughter when we were out scooting in Kurralta Park together on Father’s Day 🌲🌲👍.

These are just some of the locations I requested replacement trees to be planted this planting season.

If you have a tree missing, let me know and we will see if we can add to this years planting program ✔️👍

new trees.jpg

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DELIVERED: Safer Play Spaces

DELIVERED: Safer play spaces for our local kids ✔️👍

A resident petition called for changes to keep kids safe when playing on Rex Jones Reserve and running out on the Alchurch Ave chasing balls ⚽️ or toys.

I moved a motion at Council earlier this year for a safety fence to be installed, which has recently been installed.

Rex Jones

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Jubilee Park Now Open

NOW OPEN: $120,000 playground upgrade in Jubilee Park in Glandore is open.

Great sunny morning to try it all out 👍

Shade structure still to come in time for summer ☀️


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Rate Capping

You may have heard talk about ‘Rate Capping’, or the capping of Council Rates which the Government has introduced into Parliament as the Rate Oversight Bill.

rate capping

The Bill basically gives the responsibility of setting an annual rate increase in Council rates to an external agency (ESCOSA – the Essential Services Commission of SA), at the direction of the Minister.  This will add another cost to be paid for by ratepayers, as the cost for ESCOSA to administer the system will be paid for by Councils (ratepayers).

This process will not ‘cap’ each rate payers rates, but ‘cap’ the increase in total rate revenue that each Council can raise, therefore there would still be individual rates that could significantly vary from this.  What it also does is limit Councils ability to respond to the needs of each community.  For example West Torrens has to fund its part of the Flooding mitigation work of the Keswick Brownhill Creeks of $23 million over the next 15 years.  A variation for this kind of project can be applied for, but again as a huge administrative cost to ratepayers – interstate the cost of these applications can be over $100,000

I personally believe that there are many cost savings and efficiencies to be made in the Local Government sector, however I see this the responsibility of your elected representatives to drive the strategic focus of Council Administration to delivering more for less, efficiency and eliminating unnecessary processes and waste that exist within the administration of the city. Every budget item I’m always questioning the spending of every dollar and if there is a way we can do things more efficiently.

While this year our rates went up by 2.3% on average- lower than the Adelaide inflation rate of 2.7%, I believe there is room for lower increases without a reduction in services provided. While rate capping could hopefully promote spending restraint, efficiency, cut waste and get priorities right, it could also restrict Council’s ability to maintain our community assets to the standards our residents expect. We also need the State Government to commit to no more cost shifting from the State Government like NRM levy and landfill levy which have gone up considerably over recent years.


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Local traffic management…

Local traffic management…Kurralta Park/Plymton/Marleston

As your local elected member of Council, I hear many concerns from residents about local traffic issues, which are becoming more frequent due to the increased traffic from infill development in our local  area.

Fixing local traffic issues is not easy, as changes made on one street have a flow-on effect to other surrounding areas.  For this reason, Council works on a local area to implement changes to make improvements to traffic flows for the trouble spots, hopefully without causing issues in others – this is called a Local Area Traffic Management plan or LATM.

LATM reports can be expensive to produce as there are many traffic surveys and local consultation before physical road changes can be made.  For this reason, Council has a program of completing one LATM at a time, based on a set priority.

It is my view that while a good process, it is taking far too long.  For example the first LATM in Underdale/Torrensville/Thebarton commenced in 2013, the report was completed in 2015, and the physical changes are approximately 50% done.

Kurralta Park, Marleston and Plympton precinct is not due to commence until 2020, meaning the physical improvements are not likely to happen until at least 2022-2024. Ashford and Keswick precinct is due commence in late 2018, and should be complete in 2020, ready for physical works to commence. I think we need to consider our budget and eventually allocate more funding to improving our local traffic management, obviously having to make savings in other areas.  Local traffic management is a core responsibility of your Council, and needs appropriate priority.

I recently moved the below Motion, that calls for a report on the feasibility to at least complete the report part of the LATM for all remaining precincts in one go, which can then be allocated funding in future budget years for the physical works.

That the Administration prepare a report for Council consideration on the likely implication of carrying out the remaining LATM studies for Precincts D, 17, 19 and 20 as a single project to expedite the LATM strategy, having regard to considerations such as cost (in-house and external), consultation with relevant stakeholders, the adopted LATM methodology and other relevant matters that may impact on such a process .

Let’s hope the forthcoming report is supportive of expediting the schedule of LATMs in our local area.  For any issues or questions with this or any other issue, feel free to contact me, or Council administration.

Let’s improve our local traffic together.

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Credit Cards at City of West Torrens

credit cards at CWT

There has been some media attention recently in relation to the expenditure of Council funds on credit cards at another SA Council, many of which may well meet that Council’s policies, but certainly fail the ‘pub test’.

The prudent and efficient use of rate payers’ money is always at the top of my mind during the decision making process and the setting of the annual Council budget.

From my experience West Torrens is a quite open and transparent organisation, with strong controls on place to ensure to inappropriate or unauthorised expenditure does not take place.

Currently the budget process is open to the public, and there is an opportunity for the residents and ratepayers to attend a meeting of Council to ask questions about the budget for the year ahead.

Each month every payment that is made, either by electronic fund transfer (EFT) or cheque (yes cheques are still used!) is reported in the agenda of the Finance and Regulatory Standing Committee, both for the Elected Members to ask any questions, but also for transparency to the public of all expenditure.  There are usually well in excess of 500 separate transactions.  The total administration cost for the paperwork and monitoring is approximately $18 per transaction.

In addition to the 500 ‘traditional type’ transactions, there are also around 100 transactions that are transacted by credit card.  The administration cost for these is around $5.75 each, so a much lower cost than the traditional method.  Total annual spending on credit cards is approximately $300,000 out of a total budget of $63 million, so quite a small percentage.  There are currently 20 members of staff that have a Council issued credit card, out of a total of 230 full time equivalent employees.**

Until now, this expenditure has not been reported in detail to Elected Members, or the public.  I was very happy to move a Motion^, suggested by my Co-Councillor, John Woodward recently that directs the Administration to include every credit card transaction each month, in the same way as all of the other payments made.

I am confident that West Torrens does not have any inappropriate, unauthorised spending occurring, but this increase in transparency will help to expose any questionable areas that may exist, and also serve as a deterrent for the future.

credit card exp motion

Motion from Corporate Planning Policy and Performance Committee 13 March 2018

**thank you to Mayor Trainer for the provision of the credit card statistics from Council’s administration
^Cr John Woodward initially moved this motion in a full Council meeting but it was referred to the Corporate Planning Policy and Performance Committee of which he is not a member and could therefore not move the motion himself, although he was in attendance.
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Thebarton Town Hall $7.9m redevelopment



At the March 6 Council meeting, a draft Revitalisation and Expansion project and business plan.  See the plan here: Thebarton Theatre 6 March 2018.

The Thebarton Town Hall in celebrating its 90th birthday in June this year.  The plan focuses on refurbishment of the existing State Heritage  building and expanding the building with a two storey addition, containing further event space and plaza area.

The Thebarton Town Hall was opened on June 11 1928, by the Town of Thebarton at a cost of 30,000 pounds.  It was renamed Thebarton Theatre in 1981 and has since built a following as a local favourite for many local and international bands, comedy events and more.

The proposal has a cost of $7.9m, with the request for Council funding of $2.9m, State Government $4m, and the current lessee Weslo $1m.  The Council and State funding have not yet been funded.

Tell me what you think – do you like the plan, have any feedback or suggestions?  Should Council commit a large sum of money to this redevelopment? Any other ideas?- leave a comment on this Facebook post, send me an email (, or give me a call.


2018-03-05 21_31_11-Clipboard


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192 Anzac – Make a submission to SCAP before Feb 5

You may be aware of an application to build an 8 storey building at 192 Anzac Highway Glandore.

This application had now been released for public submissions by the State Commission Assessment Panel (SCAP). It has been classified as a Category 2 for notification, meaning the SCAP only must consider submissions from the adjoining properties. Other interested parties are able to make submissions, but the SCAP can choose not to consider at its discretion.

Note that West Torrens Council is officially opposed to this development, and has written letters to the Planning Minister voicing strong opposition to this development. The development does not fit with the amenity of the Glandore Character Area 24.

I personally have many concerns about this development. The 8 storeys will impose on the Character of the Glandore area and surrounding residents, and it will cause local parking issues – the development is 9 car parks short of the requirements under Council’s Development Plan.

Full plans are listed here:  Combined_application_documents-_211-M013-17

I urge you to make a submission to the SCAP before submission close on February 5. Submissions can be emailed to SCAP:,  Using this form:  192 anzac submission


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Move to close loopholes to protect Glandore Character Area.


I thank the rest the Elected Members for the support to start this process.

On Tuesday night I moved the below Motion on notice to commence a Development Plan Amendment (DPA) to close a loophole that may allow high rise apartments to be approved adjacent to the Character homes in Glandore along ANAZAC Highway.

Our Administration is effectively recommending against the process, mainly as it doesn’t exactly fit the Minister’s preferred timelines of the new Planning Regulations in SA. (Administration comments here: What I am hearing from residents all over our city is they don’t like what the Minister is doing with our Planning system and in this case just want the loopholes closed. (And don’t really care for his timelines)

The Minister should really support this change as it is the intent of the Housing Diversity DPA that he signed off in 2015, after much community consultation.

There will be a modest financial cost to Council, but we much protect our Development Plan and ensure operates as intended.
Motion with Notice

Urban Corridor changes to Protect Glandore Character Area 24

That the Administration urgently develops a statement of intent for submission to the Minister for Planning amend the relevant sections of Council’s Development Plan, with regard to Anzac Highway, Glandore to:

a. Ensure the community intent of the plan is reflected, as heavily consulted in 2013 and subsequently approved by the Minister for Planning in 2015.

b. Specify that the maximum height limit is 3 storeys for all land in the Urban Corridor Zone between Beckman Street and South Road, to protect the Character of the Glandore Character Policy Area 24.

c. Strengthen the wording with regard to maximum height limits to ensure the relevant authority gives strong regard to the maximum height limit when considering any development applications.


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Update: proposed 8 Storey Development at 192 Anzac Highway

Update with regard to the proposed 8 Storey Development at 192 Anzac Highway.

Council has released legal advice, with the opinion that the development should be a ‘Category 2′ development.

A Category 2 development enables adjacent property owners to make submissions to the State Government Authority (SCAP) that will make a determination for the approval of this development. As owners of the verge, Council would also be able to make a submission to the SCAP for consideration.


A developer lodged an application to SCAP for an 8 Storey mixed use building at 192 Anzac Highway, utilising a right of way access to the driveway of 190 Anzac Highway for access to the building.

I moved a motion that Council write to the Planning Minister, strongly opposing the development.

SCAP made an initial determination that it was a Category 1 Development, which was reversed upon questions from local residents.

I asked questions of Council Administration for Council’s Opinion as to the categorisation, leading to Council Administration seeking legal advice to this regard.

This legal advice has now been approved for public release by Council, and is attached here – Legal Advice regarding 192 ANZAC pg1-5

2017-10-18 10_32_54-ClipboardWhat does it say?

I’m not a lawyer, but reading the legal opinion it states that in the legal opinion of the writer, this should be a Category 2 development due to the fact that the ‘subject land’ is adjacent to a ‘Residential Zone’, as using the driveway of 190 Anzac Highway means that this becomes part of the ‘subject land’.

The SCAP is yet to make a determination of the Category, but if it determines to be a Category 2, then council, along with adjoining residents will be able to make submissions and be heard at the meeting of the SCAP to determine approval.

If SCAP determine it to be a Category 1 development, Council (and adjoining land owners) would be able to appeal this decision in the ERD Court. This would need the approval from a Council vote prior to Council expending time and resources on any appeal. I hope that Council would approve this to defend our Development Plan.



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Objection to 8 storey development at Glandore

It is now the official position of the Council to strongly oppose the proposed development at 192 ANZAC highway, after Council carried my resolution (below) at the August 1 Council meeting.

Minister Rau must enforce the intent of the Development Plan he supported in 2015 to protect the Character Zone of Glandore from developments greater than 3 storeys.



Moved: Cr Michael Farnden
Seconded: Cr Kym McKay

That Council writes to the Minister for Planning, John Rau (cc Steph Key. State MP for Ashford) stating that:


  1. Council strongly opposes the proposed 8 storey development, currently under consideration of the Development Assessment Commission at 192 Anzac Highway Glandore.
  2. Consideration should be given to Council’s intent for the three storey height restriction on allotments abutting Glandore Character Policy Area 24 (PA24) within the West Torrens Development Plan. This policy is intended to ensure that Urban Corridor development in proximity to the PA24 does not impinge on PA24’s character regardless of whether or not the development shares a direct property boundary with PA24.
  3. It is Council’s opinion that any multi-storey development proposed along the southern side of Anzac Highway between Beckman Street and South Road Glandore, should be developed with consideration to the potential impact on the neighbouring Character Area of Glandore and limited to 3 storeys in height.
  4. The relevant authority should give strong weight to the car parking requirements of the West Torrens Development Plan as to not impact the amenity of local streets with additional car parking.
  5. Council seeks his views on which of the following approaches he would be prepared to support to address the unanticipated anomaly created by hammerhead allotments in the application of Urban Corridor Zone Boulevard Policy Area 42 adjacent Glandore Character Policy Area 24 and provide clarity on the matter so that development is assessed in the way in which Council intended:
  1. A Section 29 amendment to the West Torrens Development Plan to provide for the inclusion of a concept plan that illustrates and details acceptable building heights in proximity to the interface between the two zones in the locality.
  2. A Development Plan Amendment for the subject area that would enable a concept plan to be included in the West Torrens Development Plan that clearly delineates acceptable building heights in proximity to the interface of the two zones and identifies precisely which allotments are covered by the policy variations.
  3. Policy clarification to be included through mechanisms available for local variations in the upcoming Planning and Design Code.
  4. An alternative remedy nominated by the Minister.


Posted in General

Proposed 8 story development in Glandore

You may have seen media reports about a proposal to build an 8 story high rise development in Glandore at 192 Anzac Highway.  This development is being considered by the State Government’s Development Assessment Commission (DAC), and not considered by Council.

I am personally strongly opposed to this development being approved.

You may remember a change in development planning rules for Glandore, which was consulted with the public in 2013, and was approved in 2015. Most of Glandore, north of the tramline was zoned ‘Glandore Character Policy Area 24 (PA24) ‘.  The intent of this zoning is to protect the historic  character of Glandore, recognising the older style homes on large blocks.  Part of the changes made after public consultation was to ensure the ‘Urban Corridor Zone’ on Anzac Highway did not include properties fronting Waymouth Avenue, and importantly, properties that abut Glandore Character area should be a maximum of 3 stories high as to not impinge on the character of the Glandore area. The rest of Anzac Highway is set at 8 stories.

Clearly this proposed 8 story development does not fit with the intent of the plan to limit
developments to 3 stories as to not impinge on the character of Glandore.  This building is proposed to be 28.2 meters high, and will certainly affect the character feeling of Glandore, as well as cause much overshadowing and parking and traffic concerns.  The parking proposed falls at least 10 car parks short of what is required under the development plan.

Unfortunately the DAC does not take public submissions, however I am working with Council Administration to ensure the strongest possible objection is submitted on behalf of Council and residents.   For reference, the DAC recently approved a 5 story apartment building near Ashford Character Zone, 2 stories above what is allowed under the plan, with a shortfall of 5 carparks.

I will also be moving a Motion at the next Council meeting for Council to write to the Planning Minister to express disappointment that Glandore’s Character is not being protected as intended, and requesting he act to ensure future protection of Glandore.

If you would like to let the Minister and local MP know your thoughts on this development, and desire to protect Glandore from this kind of development, contact details are:

Hon John Rau MP, Planning Minister email :,

Our local Member of Parliament Steph Key email :

Labor’s candidate to replace Steph Key, Jayne Stinson email:

Please join me in contacting the Minister and local MP to campaign against this type of development.

Character houses like the below, face the prospect of being overpowered by an imposing 8 story building…



Posted in General

It’s tree planting season…

Let’s green our streets together with more street trees

I’m out in the local area and have noticed there seems to be some missing street trees outside some houses, this could be due to a tree dying or being removed due to damage, and not being replaced.

Presently there isn’t a process for Council to audit missing trees for replacement, and this is generally done on resident request.

Council’s annual tree planting season in now upon us, so it is a great time to request planting of a new tree in your street if there is one missing.

If you would like to request a new tree be planted, the best way is to contact Council’s customer service team on 8416 6333 or email  Or if you prefer, feel free to send the request to me and I will forward on to the correct department.

Unfortunately I can’t guarantee all requests will be done this planting season, as there are only limited budgets each year, but if not this year, hopefully your request can be actioned next planting season.

Let’s enjoy greener streets together.



Posted in General

Let’s reduce our Parking Permit fees

Parking Permit fees are to be reduced from 1 July.

I thank my fellow Elected Members for tonight supporting me to lower Parking Permit fees in next years budget.

Parking in our residential streets should give priority to local residents. This change now makes it more accessible for residents to be able to obtain a permit to be exempted from timed parking limits.

It will also hopefully give some residents confidence to request timed parking zones in their street to deter all day parking from commuters.



Posted in General

Let’s help make our #infill better

I understand the need for increased population growth close to the city, but this doesn’t mean the quality of this development needs to decline.
Much of the approval process is out of the control of Council, especially come July when council loses another 2 elected members from the West Torrens Development Assessment Panel (DAP) that approves much of the questionable #infill.
Please support the petition of my co-councillor in trying to get change from the state government.


Posted in General

Farnden for Keswick 17

Voting is this week.
I ask for your support.
Let’s make our city better together.


Posted in General

Let’s protect our Character areas

Our character areas add a great value to our diverse city.
I have a proven record of standing up to protect these areas from the impact of high rise development and other infill.

During the last term of Council I was able to significantly reduce the impact of high rise developments on the streets of Keswick, Ashford, and Glandore, while retaining Character areas in Ashford and Glandore.

Contact me and we can chat about the details.

I have a track record of standing up for the residents concerns.



Posted in General

Let’s fix parking issues together

Our streets should be for residents and their visitors and businesses and their customers, not for commuters to clog our streets all day.

Some progress has been made, but there is still much to do.  Parking issues need more attending to in Keswick, Ashford and Glandore.  These streets should focus on parking for residents.  While some permits are now available, the cost is set too high and must be brought down to be affordable and not for revenue raising.  Particular is the problem of hospital workers and visitors parking in Ashford.  This can be fixed through changes to parking restrictions, of course with permits available for residents and their visitors.

Vote Farnden to prioritise traffic and parking for residents, not commuters.

Let’s fix parking and traffic issues together.


Posted in General

Let’s open new green space

It is more important than ever to focus on adding new green open space where possible as the State Govt forces increased infill on our city.

There are locations were Council could create new green space, either through leasing or purchase of land for the future.

In my last term of council, I was able to deliver for Keswick, a brand new green Pocket Park in Richmond next to Richmond Oval, as well as West Torrens’ first dog park in Marleston.

Farnden delivers for Keswick.


Posted in General

Let’s improve our play spaces

Fun playing the other night with my daughter in Glandore.
Let’s continue to invest in great open space in our community.


Posted in General

Farnden for Keswick 2017

With the resignation of Rishi Dua, there will be a by-election in Keswick Ward in January 2017.

Having considered my options, I have decided that I will nominate to again represent you at Council.

There will be much more information as to what my priorities and plans are for Keswick in comings weeks.

I hope to get your support in January to help make our community better together.

Thank you


Posted in General

2014 election result

Dear Keswick Residents,
It has been a privilege to represent you over the past 4 years.
Unfortunately I have not been returned for another term in Saturday’s count.
I have enjoyed representing you and delivering for the area and making our city a better place.
All the best.

Posted in General

2014 Keswick Election Result

With the results of all wards now in, I just wanted to take a moment to thank all of the current Councillors that were not returned for another term.
There will be 6 new elected members in the new Council. Of the 14 current Councillors, 13 stood for re-election (one retired), with 5 being voted out (almost 40%). This is a huge loss of some great hard working and community minded Councillors in this group – this is a big loss for the residents and City of West Torrens.
I expected a little change, but I am very surprised of such low support for current Councillors in a Council with one of the lowest rates in metro Adelaide, a strong financial position, little controversy, great asset management plans and investment in new community facilities. I believe it shows such low interest by the general community, and little support for current members, rather support for new candidates, where it is much easier to make great promises costing millions of dollars rather than the realities of managing a balanced budget.
Having said that, it is the residents decision, which I accept gracefully.
I will continue to do my best to keep our city the great place that it is, and to be involved in the best way I can to improve it.
Posted in Campaign

Richmond Road Works

Richmond Road Update


You may be wondering what is happening with the road works on Richmond Road.

The State Government is performing an upgrade of the South Road, Richmond Road intersection, as well as widening the north side of Richmond Road. This will accommodate two lanes from South Road to Railway Terrace (east bound). This will help ease traffic congestion heading into the city.

The cost of $10.45 million is State Government funded.

Council has also allocated funds to fully upgrade the kerb and footpath on the southern side of Richmond Rd, which is long overdue!  Much of the footpath currently is bitumen, with much of the road not even having constructed gutters.  The whole verge will be paved, as has happening currently.  This will add a much needed upgrade to the entry to West Torrens from Greenhill Road.

photo (95)

photo (94)

Paving being completed currently on Richmond Road

In terms of time lines (for early works at this stage) the following times and activity are proposed:

  • Tree removals – commenced 4  August 2014
  • Setting up site compound on DPTI’s land east of Keswick Creek – 4 August 2014
  • Directional Boring under Keswick Creek – Mid August 2014
  • Service relocations – end of August to November 2014

One area which is disappointing is the removal of all of the vegetation that was screening the not so nice looking bus depot.  Council did request that the State Transport department to include vegetation in the design, unfortunately this was not included anything in the final design.  I moved the motion below at the Council meeting on 19 August. Hopefully they will reconsider and add screening of the bus depot on Council’s further request.



Unsightly bus depot now visible


Posted in General

Summer Green Lawn Tip: Treat your weeds now

If you want to have the greenest lawn in West Torrens this summer, now is the time to treat the weeds in your buffalo or kikuyu lawn. Doing it now, before they have a chance to grow large amounts of seed – often the brown prickles that are uncomfortable in summer, give a better result than waiting until spring.  Also reducing the amount of new weeds you will have next spring, germinating from this years seeds.

The verge out the front of my house is full of weeds.  It seemed they grew almost overnight this week, with a couple of warmer days in Adelaide this week.

This is what the weeds looked like this afternoon:


and a close up of the offending weeds, if you you look closely you can see the small prickles forming:



For weeds in buffalo and Kikuyu, I use Amgrow Bin Die (active ingredients Bromoxynil and MCPA).



This is available from any hardware or garden shop.  It is available in the concentrate bottle above, which I mix with water in a 5L pressure sprayer, then spraying all the lawn area, with extra application to any trouble spots.


It does take a couple of weeks to work, and the lawn may yellow a little.  Sometime a second application is needed in approximately 4 weeks time to treat all of the weeds.

This will allow your lawn to not have to compete with weeds for nutrients, and allow strong growth leading into spring.  I usually feed the lawn 4 weeks after weed treatment.

Posted in Gardening

all content on this website is authorised by Michael Farnden PO Box 103 Marleston SA 5033, and is the opinion of Michael Farnden and not the City of West Torrens.

We live on Kaurna Country. I acknowledge the Kaurna people as the Traditional Custodians of the Adelaide region and pay my respects to Kaurna Elders past, present and emerging.