Government meeting key

USG: The Spencer Gulf Cities Mayors are seeking a meeting with the new Liberal state government.
USG: The Spencer Gulf Cities Mayors are seeking a meeting with the new Liberal state government.

Mayors from the three Upper Spencer Gulf cities say it’s important they get the chance to meet with key representatives from the new Liberal State Government.

Representatives of the Spencer Gulf Cities held their recent meeting in Port Augusta, with issues around development planning and opportunities for sharing Council resources discussed.

Whyalla Mayor Lyn Breuer said it was important for the three cities to meet with key representatives from the new government over the next couple of months.

“We will give the new Government time to settle in, but we need to make sure they have a good level of understanding of the issues and opportunities our three cities and our region is facing,” she said.

“We have come so far over the last few years in our economic transition, but now is not the time for us to rest. We must keep pushing forward with opportunities to diversify and strengthen our economy and our communities, so we are more resilient the next time we have a downturn.”

The meeting also discussed inadequacies in current planning assessment and compliance around renewable energy developments that are causing issues for nearby residents and Councils.

Port Augusta Acting Mayor Brett Benbow said the planning system has not kept pace with the rate of growth in renewable energy developments.

“We need to make sure that state approval, monitoring and compliance regimes are urgently updated so nearby residents and communities and environments aren’t adversely impacted,” he said.

The Councils also considered their next steps to progress a number of joint operations that could result in financial and resourcing efficiencies across the three cities.

Port Pirie Mayor John Rohde said the councils are continuing to look at how they can save costs, reduce duplication, increase organisational capacity and maintain a more sustainable workforce by working together more effectively.

“Our next step is to formalise an agreement between the three Council administrations and get some expertise to help us analyse where we can best target our effort to gain the best results for our collective communities,” he said.