Policies & Papers


A review of the City of Unley's By-Laws was undertaken in 2015. Following community consultation the revised By-Laws were endorsed by Council and effective from 1 January, 2016.


Our policies reflect the culture, values and strategic direction of the Council and the community.

Policies give an explanation as to why activities are to be undertaken, provide guidelines for action and are a mechanism for dealing with issues as they arise on a day-to-day basis.


Councils have certain functions and duties they must perform, and certain powers they may exercise, pursuant to the Local Government Act 1999 as well as a range of other Acts. In most cases the relevant Acts grant these obligations and powers directly to the Council.

It is not practical nor efficient for the Council as a body of Elected Members to perform the many operational activities that are required in the day-to-day administration of the Council's roles and functions. Therefore Section 44 of the Local Government Act 1999 allows a Council to formally delegate many of its powers and functions to the Chief Executive Officer, who may then sub-delegate the powers and functions to other responsible staff. Council may also delegate their powers and functions to a Committee of Council.

The City of Unley's delegations are based on a template available on the Local Government Association (LGA) website and have been assessed and amended to reflect the powers and functions delegated from Council to the Chief Executive Officer (or a person acting in that capacity). The Chief Executive Officer can then further sub-delegate functions and powers to the persons occupying the role of General Manager and/or other responsible staff (or a person acting in their positions).


The local government system is designed to give the community the opportunity to raise concerns about issues, such as traffic control in their area.

If you or a group of people would like to raise an issue with Council, you can contact your Elected Members or the Chief Executive Officer by letter, telephone, email or in person.

Another way to raise these concerns is through the lodgement of a petition. This is a document containing the names, signatures and addresses of a group of people who have a common cause to present to the Council. As petitions are regarded as a legitimate form of communication with Council, it is incumbent upon petitioners to ensure certain procedures are followed.

Note: Petitions concerning Development Applications are handled differently under the Development Act 1993 and are outlined further below.

Submitting A Petition

Step 1

View the Local Government (Procedures at Meetings) Regulations 2013 to find out how to format your petition and how it will be handled by Council.

The Regulations specify that each page of the petition must:

  • Be legibly written or typed or printed; and
  • Clearly set out the request or submission of the petitioners (at the top of the page); and
  • Show the name of each person printed with their signature and address; and
  • Be addressed to the Council and delivered to the Civic Centre.

Step 2
Prepare your petition using the Council’s petition template and distribute it to the community.
Petitions Submission Process & Template
Step 3
Provide a cover letter with the petition detailing the name, address and contact details of the Head Petitioner(s) to whom we can address correspondence.

The petition must:
  • Be in the English language (or be accompanied by a translation and certified as such by a host petitioner)
  • Be signed personally by every petitioner unless a Power of Attorney exists
  • Not include photocopies or signatures pasted on to the petition
  • Corporations must be signed under Seal
  • No letters or affidavits or other document(s) as attachments
  • Be respectful to the Council and individuals
  • The original copy of each page of the petition must be provided to Council.

Step 4
Submit the petition to the Council by lodging it with the Chief Executive Officer at the Civic Centre, 181 Unley Road, Unley, no later than five clear business days before a Council meeting.

After your petition is received by Council
Once the petition is received by the CEO, it will be tabled at the beginning of the next available Council meeting with a short report indicating the number of signatures and a suggested course of action. In certain circumstances, the Chief Executive Officer may convey the document informally to Elected Members so they are aware of its existence before the Council meeting. Please note a Petition, including names, addresses and signatures of all petitioners, is a Public Document and therefore will be made available to Elected Members and the public as part of the Council Meeting Agenda, including publication on the council website.

Members of the public are welcome to attend all Council and Section 41 Committee meetings but cannot participate in the debate at these meetings. You are able to submit a Deputation, which is an oral way of presenting an issue to all Elected Members at a Council meeting.

The relevant manager will contact you about the status of your petition once a recommendation is made by the Council.
Petitions on Development Assessment Matters
There is no specific provision for lodging petitions under the Development Act 1993. A petition relating to a Development Application is treated as a “representation” before the Development Assessment Panel. The host petitioner is entitled to address the Panel when the matter arises, in accordance with the Development Act.

In these cases the petition/representation should be addressed to the “Presiding Officer and Members of the City of Unley Development Assessment Panel” and must be lodged with the Chief Executive Officer. To be treated as a “representation” a document must meet the criteria in Section 38 and Regulation 35 of the Development legislation.

The document must:
  • Be received within the advertised period of the Development Application;
  • Give the names and addresses of the people making the representation;
  • Nominate the person who is to be taken as making the representation (if no individual is named, the first person listed will be taken to be making the representation);
  • Set out with reasonable particularity, the reasons for the representation i.e. give details of the petitioners’/representors’ views concerning the Development Application in question; and
  • Indicate whether or not the person(s) making the representation wish(es) to be heard by the Development Assessment Panel

Display of Petitions within Council Facilities
Please refer to the Petitions to Council or for Dislay Policy. 


A deputation is an oral way of presenting an issue to all Elected Members at a Council meeting. This can be a particluar matter of concern to an individual or group of people.

It is undertaken in accordance with the Code of Practice - Procedures at Meetings and the Local Government (Procedures at Meetings) Regulations 2013.

Making a request
If you or a group of people (maximum of three people) want to make a deputation, you must deliver a written request or a completed Deputation Request Form to the Council's Civic Centre. Either the written request or form should be lodged with the Council’s Chief Executive Officer at least five clear business days before the meeting at which you wish to speak.

Submit your deputation request to:
Chief Executive Officer
City of Unley Civic Centre
181 Unley Road
Unley SA 5061

You are required to provide sufficient information regarding the issue and indicate the preferred meeting at which you would like to be heard. The details you supply should be clear in stating the topic you wish to speak about at the Council or Council Committee. The topic you specify MUST be relevant to matters which the Council or Committee has responsibility over.

To determine what topics are going to be scheduled at any forthcoming Council or Committee meeting you can access meeting agendas on our website or contact us on 8372 5111.
What happens with your request?
Once your deputation request is received by the Chief Executive Officer, it will then be provided to the Mayor (or the Presiding Member of the Committee if the deputation request relates to the Council Committee).

The Mayor or Presiding Member will then confer with the Chief Executive Officer. The Mayor or Presiding Member will advise the Chief Executive Officer whether or not the deputation is allowed. Council will then contact you to advise the outcome of your deputation request and if permitted confirm the date and time of the relevant meeting.

If consent for a deputation is refused by the Mayor or Presiding Member, it must be reported at the next Council or Committee meeting. The Council or Committee does have the power to allow you to make a deputation even though the Mayor or Presiding Member initially refused your request.
Making your deputation
Once you have received confirmation that your request has been granted, you are ready to attend a Council or Committee meeting. Your deputation will start approximately five to 10 minutes following the opening of the meeting at 7pm (this timing cannot be guaranteed).

The Mayor or Presiding Member will invite you to come forward and make your deputation on the topic or issues you have nominated.

You will be asked to state your name which will be recorded in the minutes of the meeting.

You and other representors will have five minutes in total to present your deputation. If you have briefing notes, handouts or an electronic presentation to assist in your deputation to the Council or Committee, they will be included in or appended to the meeting minutes.

After you have made your deputation, Elected Members will be invited to ask you questions for a total of five minutes.

You are expected to conduct yourself in a professional manner at the level of formality appropriate to the meeting. You are to refrain from making defamatory or derogatory comments and any comments that are critical of Council members or Council staff. Council and Committee meetings are open to the public and there are no privileges protecting you in relation to defamation. Any matters of concern regarding Council Members and Council staff can be raised formally in writing with the Chief Executive Officer or as per the Complaints Handling procedures.

Representors cannot participate in the debate or ask any questions of Council.

Members of the public are welcome to attend all Council and Section 41 Committee meetings but cannot participate in the debate at these meetings.

Deputation Information Sheet & Request Form

Internal Review of a Council Decision

The City of Unley recognises the importance of transparency in Council decision-making and the need to provide a fair, objective and consistent process for the internal review of Council decisions.

Are you unhappy or dissatisfied with a Council decision, and would you like to see this reviewed? Please come and talk to us. Visit the Customer Service Centre at 181 Unley Road, Unley during office hours or complete an online feedback form.

If you’re still dissatisfied, you can ask us to conduct an internal review of the decision.
Council has established a procedure for an Internal Review of Council Decision, in accordance with Section 270(1) of the Local Government Act 1999, that provides guidelines for how we will deal with the formal requests for a review of a decision of Council, its employees and other people acting on behalf of Council.

For further details and instructions of how to apply, view Procedure for an Internal Review of a Council Decision.

If you have any questions or need help completing the application, please contact us.

Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information Act 1991 gives you the right to access documents in the Council's possession (subject to certain restrictions). It also allows amendments of documents in defined circumstances.

The Act only allows access to documents in Governments' possession and not documents owned by the private sector.

To apply, please read and complete the relevant form.

We suggest discussing your requirements with the Freedom of Information Officer before lodging an application. You can contact the Freedom of Information Officer by phoning 8372 5111 or by emailing pobox1@unley.sa.gov.au 

Freedom of Information Statement - City of Unley

Reconciliation Statement

The City of Unley recognises that the Kaurna people are the traditional owners and occupiers of the land that now comprises the City of Unley.

We apologise for the pain, the grief and suffering experienced by Australian Indigenous people as a result of past laws, government policies, actions and attitudes. The City of Unley expresses deep sorrow that these actions and attitudes have occurred and has determined that such occurrences will not be repeated.

The City of Unley commits itself to an ongoing process of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and recognises the historical and environmental significance of Kaurna sites within the City.

We recognise the significance and richness of the Kaurna culture and language.

Signed by Kaurna Elders Lewis O'Brien and Doris Graham and Mayor Michael Keenan on 30 November 2001.