Newsletter - March 2023

This newsletter contains the following items:

  • Spies, Secrets, Clandestine Operations and the St Peters Town Hall like something from a John le Carre novel!’ - a talk by Historian Denise Schumann
  • AGM on Wednesday 22 March at 7.30pm
  • SPRA is 50 Years Old
  • Submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Adelaide's Urban Forest
  • Our Local Councillors
  • Traffic Matters
  • St Peters Street Streetscape Upgrade

The newsletter is available as a PDF for downloading and printing.

Spies, Secrets, Clandestine Operations and the St Peters Town Hall like something from a John le Carre novel!’

Wednesday 22 March at 7.30pm
In the St Peters Banquet Hall
St Peters Street, St Peters

In late December 1962, on a scorcher of a day, an attractive woman waited outside the St Peters Town Hall, a double agent, she was part of an ASIO sting to uncover a ring of Soviet spies. But who was really watching who?

Historian Denise Schumann will tell the intriguing story of not only that day but of how one of South Australia’s most respected scientists, and a local St Peters resident, controversially claimed that the British tests at Maralinga had led to a deadly fall- out over Adelaide.

  • Why did this man’s trips to a local delicatessen lead to a series of raids by ASIO?
  • Were there really ‘Reds Under the Beds’ in St Peters?

All will be revealed in what promises to be an entertaining talk that takes back to the Cold War.

Presented by Guest Speaker Denise Schumann OAM

Historian & Cultural Heritage Consultant, Schumann & Associates, Stepney SA.

Denise has been recognised for her innovative and creative approach to the preservation and strategic development of cultural heritage and civic assets across South Australia. Recently, she completed the redevelopment of the new Charles Sturt Museum Visitor Interpretation Centre which since its opening in December, by Her Excellency the Governor of South Australia, is receiving great acclaim. For many years, she also played a key role in documenting and promoting the unique history of the City of Norwood, Payneham & St Peters.

The talk emerged from historical research undertaken a few years ago for Sydney documentary filmmaker Peter Butt of Blackwattle Films and is a fascinating story.

Agenda for the 2023 SPRA Annual General Meeting

To be held prior to Denise Schumann’s presentation.

It will be very short!

  1. Report from the Committee.
  2. Financial report.
  3. Election of Committee for 2023.
  4. Amendments to the Constitution. Please follow the link for details and an explanation of the proposed amendments.
  5. Other business.


Should you like to be more involved in SPRA by nominating for the Committee, please make contact.

SPRA is 50 Years Old

In the early 1970s the St Peters Council proposed rezoning large areas of the Town. Council at the time considered that many of the dwellings built in the years before, and immediately after 1900 were past their prime and they would be best replaced with two- storey cream brick walk-up flats. At the same time the Dunstan Labour government proposed that most of Hackney North should be demolished and replaced with 12-story Public Housing flats similar to the pre-cast towers blocks in Inner Melbourne. These proposals stirred both established and young recently arrived residents into action to oppose these moves.

The St Peters Residents Association was incorporated in October 1972 and is probably the oldest continuously operating resident association in South Australia.

Over the last 50 years SPRA has had many successes including: -

  • Much of the former St Peters Council area becoming an Historic Residential
    Conservation Zone,
  • Successfully supporting likeminded candidates for election to Council.
  • Supporting the implementation of traffic control measures on local streets
  • promoting many amenity-enhancing benefits for residents.
  • And much more.

Hopefully SPRA will continue to be active for residents for the next 50 years.

Submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Adelaide's Urban Forest

SPRA has made a submission to the Parliamentary Enquiry into Adelaide’s Urban Forest.

A recent Conservation Council study estimated that Adelaide is losing about 75,000 trees a year. This is due to a range of factors including population growth, housing densification policy, life-style changes, a failure of the planning system to reserve space around built structures for vegetation and trees, weak legislative protection for existing trees, commercial development and powerline clearance. Government must encourage suitable Council policies and control developers and government bureaucrats from razing trees.

The full submission, is available in the SPRA Submission to the Parliamentary Enquiry into Adelaide's Urban Forest article.

Our Local Councillors

Our re-elected and new councillors have provided the following for this newsletter.

Kester Moorhouse – St Peters Ward

Thank you to everyone who lent me their support at the recent Council elections. It was a nice opportunity to catch up with neighbours and hear what matters to you. I feel confident that over the next four years, working closely with fellow St Peters Ward councillor Claire Clutterham, we can make our beautiful suburb even better.

The St Peters Street Streetscape Upgrade is nearly completed, and we will soon see works commence on upgrading Burchell Reserve, the Dunstan Adventure Playground and the River Torrens Linear Park Shared Path. There is, however, much more to be done. 

During this term of Council I will push for an expansion of the Council’s program to replace the gravel on residents' verges with greenery and a review into how Council can offer best practice for its green waste collection program. I will also be supporting Council efforts, already in motion, to reduce speeding and rat-running throughout St Peters’ streets. 

Many residents have been telling me they have been appalled by recent two-storey box extensions in their neighbourhood, which are highly visible from the street and have a dominant impact on surrounding properties. As such, at the first Council meeting after the local government election last year, I persuaded the Council to investigate whether the State Government planning system legally allows the Council to bring in tighter restrictions on large scale two-story residential additions in historic areas such as ours. That planning system is currently being reviewed, and as such, the answer to that question is unfortunately still unclear. Watch this space. 

Cr Kester Moorhouse 0402 655 101 or

Claire Clutterham St Peters Ward

I was delighted to be elected to represent the St Peters Ward at the Local Government elections in November 2022. I enjoyed campaigning through the streets of our beautiful Ward, meeting residents and listening to their ideas and concerns.

My first three and a half months as an elected member have not only been interesting but also a wonderful learning opportunity with respect to the machinations of local government; in particular, it has been important to me to quickly develop an understanding of what I can influence and achieve to the betterment of our community. I also firmly believe that all residents of our Ward are interesting and unique, with stories to share.

One of my favourite parts of being an elected member is liaising with residents, and I am always happy to have a chat. I invite residents to contact me.
Cr Claire Clutterham 0484 600 414 or

Victoria McFarlane – Maylands Trinity Ward

It has been both a wonderful privilege and a steep learning curve since joining the Council of Norwood, Payneham, and St Peters (NPSP) late last year. I love our City and always enjoy walking my personality-packed cavoodle Harry around the streets on the way to Otto Reserve. I am convinced we live all in the best City, arguably anywhere in Australia.

A little about me, I have a background in finance, governance, business operations, facility and asset management in the private and not-for-profit sectors. It’s quite possible that I am an infrastructure nerd and when in the chamber, I aim to use my skills to ensure we maintain our public assets and deliver our services effectively. When it comes to capital investment in major projects, I seek to ensure our investments meet the needs and aspirations of the community, yield enduring and tangible benefits, and get delivered in a transparent manner, on time, and within budget.

A big motivator for running for Council was to connect with and advocate for our residents, community groups, and local businesses. Recently I was elected to the Council’s Business & Economic Development Committee, the Norwood Parade Precinct Committee, and as a Deputy Board Member of the East Waste Board. 

I am excited to be part of a group of people whose motivation is to serve and build the wonderful community of NPSP. Please reach out if I can be of assistance.

Cr Victoria McFarlane

Traffic Matters

Council’s Traffic Management and Road Safety Committee met on 21 February. One of the items discussed was a consultant report on Marden & Royston Park Traffic Management.
While not in SPRA’s membership area, any traffic control measures will affect the St Peters & Joslin Avenues as well as College Park and Hackney. Many of the ‘rat-running’ vehicles enter the area from Lower Portrush Road and then travel down River Street, Eighth & Sixth Avenues. Other traffic enters from Payneham Road into Lambert & Battams Roads and then proceeds down First and Second Avenues.

The Committee supported the introduction of a 40km/h speed limit for the area bounded by Lower Portrush Road, Payneham Road, North Terrace and Hackney Road, which has already been endorsed by Council, and which should be in effect within the next 12 months.

It was also recommended to Council that a range of engineering treatments be undertaken in the study area including single-lane slow points, landscaped median islands, landscaped kerb build outs and a wombat crossing on Battams Road. All this work however is to be staged over 3 years and subject to Council’s budget processes. In short it will be sometime before there is much progress on deterring the ‘rat-runners’ by physical means!

The full report and supporting documents can be downloaded from the NPSP website.
SPRA supports the committee decisions and response to traffic issues raised by The Avenues Community Project..

St Peters Street Streetscape Upgrade

The St Peters Street upgrade is almost complete after 12 months and $4.5m of Council and Federal Government funding. While there are still finishing touches to be done and more plantings to go in, the residents can already see the benefits of less vehicles and lower speeds along the road as well as the greatly improved visual amenity.

A SPRA member recently wrote to the Mayor to suggest that there should be a street party rather than a formal opening, with all residents invited, along with the contractors who carried out the work. A section of St Peters Street between two of the Avenues could be closed and residents encouraged to bring their own chairs, tables, food and drinks. A favourable reply has been received from Mayor Bria and will be followed up.

When the works are complete the biggest problem is likely to be the ongoing maintenance. It has been suggested that a “Friends of St Peters Street’ group could be established, with residents ‘adopting’ a section of the central median or the footpath garden beds, and doing any weeding, rubbish collection and the reporting of issues to the Council.
If anyone is interested in this proposal, then give Pauline Cree a call (0400 366 215) or contact SPRA.