Mayor Jayne Bate
I note the comments from Mr Pengillyin last week’s paper concerning the KICommissioner Bill and his belief that therole of Council will diminish, and that weare acting as “the Labor Party agents in thecommunity”. Both statements are incorrect.
The Kangaroo Island Council has receiveddeputations from both sides of politicson this Bill.
Mr Pengilly and Mr Steven Griffith, oppositionspokesperson for Local Governmentand Regional Development attendeda Council meeting to voice opposition andseek feedback.
Shortly after, Minister Rau and Mr RaymondSpencer, chair of the KI Futures Authority,attended a meeting with Council toinform Council of their reasons for the Billand to seek comment and questions. Bothmeetings were open to the public and wellattended.
Since that time the Council has soughtthe advice and expertise of the Local GovernmentAssociation and has provided alist of suggested amendments to strengthenthe consultation with the Council and thecommunity and to provide for regular reviewsof the work of the Commissioner.
All amendments have been readilyagreed to by Minster Rau.
In addition, Minister Rau has held wellattended and positive consultation meetings,both on the island and on the mainland,which generated additionalamendments.
Unfortunately Mr Pengilly was unableto attend either of these meetings.
The Council has received many lettersof support for the Bill from individuals,businesses and industry groups on the islandand we are yet to receive any negativecomments.
The Council’s role will not diminish norwill the democratic processes or communityvoice and input. On the contrary, our collectivevoices will be strengthened.
The Commissioner has the responsibilityto work with us all to address and improvethe unique needs and challenges weall face on a daily basis as a remote islandcommunity.
This extraordinary opportunity for theisland lies in the objectives of the Bill,which are to improve the management, coordinationand delivery of state governmentservices to the island and to assistwith improving the local economy.
Like many in our community, the Councilhas unanimously and strongly supportedthis reform, and we are disappointedthat this opportunity has not received thebipartisan support from our local Memberthat this island deserves.
Mayor, Kangaroo Island Council
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