Cr Deane Rohrlach
Elected Member, Light Regional Council, Dutton Ward
Since November 2006 I have been one of your three Dutton Ward Councillors. I have lived in Kapunda for more than 34 years with my wife Mary and was Principal of Kapunda High School for 18 years.
Boundary Change Threat Post 2
Cr Deane Rohrlach, Dutton Ward
Council has considered the impact of the boundary changes proposed by Barossa and Town of Gawler Councils at the last 4 Council meetings and has passed resolutions at each. Mayor Bill and CEO Brian Carr have also met with their opposite numbers at the other Councils to explain our position.
We have received a lot of feedback from many members of the community, including petitions, opposing any changes to boundaries. Council’s strong preference is to maintain boundaries as they are, and we have asked Barossa and Gawler Councils to defer or withdraw their applications.
We believe the interests of residents and the wider region must take priority, never the self interest of individual councils that make up the region. We believe the current approach of Barossa and Gawler Councils puts individual Council self interest ahead of the interests of the wider community.
There is a better way….keep boundaries the way they are and return to the regional cooperation approach that has served the residents of Light, Barossa, Gawler and Adelaide Plains so well for so long. The current Barossa/Gawler approach results in too few winners and too many losers. Under Light Council?s options, there are only winners.
Since Barossa and Gawler have so far resisted withdrawing their proposals, several resolutions were passed at the December Council Meeting, which seek a response from Gawler and Barossa by February 28 2020. I will outline these resolutions and the implications of them in my next post.
In recent years, Council has been able to deliver some outstanding programs. This ability is likely to be severely compromised if the current boundary change proposals get up. One of the most beneficial is the Gawler River Water Re-use Scheme (GRWRS) that:
– Delivers 1.6 Gl of recycled water annually to the Barossa.
– Saves 800 Ml of Murray water annually.
– Delivers around $1m annually to our Council, for use on infrastructure and other projects.
This project started with Light, Barossa, Gawler and Adelaide Plains Councils receiving a $10.7m Federal Government Grant to join with a private partner to set up a water re-use scheme. The private partner withdrew at a late hour, the other Councils could not see their way clear to continue, Light found a major customer for the water, and turned a potential disaster into a highly successful and profitable scheme.
I am committed to:
- Acting with honesty, fairness, integrity and transparency.
- Working hard to fully understand issues.
- Doing my best to serve the people in Dutton Ward while making decisions for the good of the whole Council area.
- Promptly addressing concerns from residents and ratepayers.
- Advocating on behalf of individuals and groups in their dealings with Council.
- Promoting mutual goodwill and working together for mutual benefit.
- Respecting individuals and the contribution they can make.
- Handling funds raised through rates carefully and wisely, aiming to get the best value, delivering required services as cost effectively as possible.
- Being creative in looking for ways that give more ?bang for the rating buck? while tightly controlling risk.
Below are some examples from the previous Council:
Example 1 ? Accelerated Infrastructure Program: My greatest frustration on Council has been the slow pace we have been able to seal roads in Kapunda. The Government?s Accelerated Infrastructure Program, which our CEO helped shape, has led to a $15 m program that will, in two and a half years (instead of 30 yrs.) seal almost every unsealed road in all Council?s towns, provide over $1m paved footpaths and $3m stormwater works, all at no cost to ratepayers. The program is funded by a $3m Government grant, and income from the Gawler River Water Re-use scheme, itself a highly innovative program.
Example 2 ? Freight Route, Black Spot and Bridge Funding. Council has been very successful at obtaining Federal and State funding for freight routes (Hancock/Kidman Roads, Perry Rd/East Tce and Kingsbridge Rd), Bridges (Orchard Bridge) and Black Spot (Seppeltsfield Road Roundabout). These generally provide about half the funding, and Council has been willing to fund the rest, greatly improving safety, access and productivity.
Other noteworthy achievements of the previous Council include:
- Initiative that led to the Government re-introducing Zebra Crossings in SA, enabling Council to install one in Kapunda?s Main Street.
- The introduction of rolling 4-year budgets.
- The Roseworthy Township expansion.
- Tourism plan with specific goals outlined.
- Permanent fix of the lake leak and upgrade of Davidson Reserve.
Concerns Raised by the Community
Over the past twelve years I have strived to address promptly issues raised by community members and shall continue to do so. I have a mutually respectful working relationship with our excellent staff, who I have found most helpful in quickly resolving problems or improving them whenever possible. Please feel free to contact me if you have a concern
I strongly believe that listening to and working with others is the best way to achieve worthwhile goals, and am committed to working with other Councillors, staff and community members to achieve the best outcomes for our region.
I will continue to support joint Council/community cooperation on projects to achieve cost effective community facilities and efforts made to look for creative ways to meet community aspirations and create economic development opportunities with minimal rate funding input. Some examples of this approach in action include:
- The excellent new undercover bowling facility is an outstanding example of effective Council/Community cooperation, and through greatly increased use by outside groups is justifying the huge voluntary effort put in by many community members.
- The Kapunda Town Square, where an ambitious design is being delivered by the end of 2018 for hundreds of thousands of dollars less than the cost estimate, through creative redesign, the involvement of community groups and the support of community minded local businesses.
- The Freeling Agriculture Multi-purpose Centre which will provide major benefit to the whole Council Area.
Council and Community Involvement
Local Government covers a wide range of often quite complex areas. I believe it is important for me to be as fully informed as possible. I am committed to continue attending workshops and training sessions and regularly reporting back to Council.
My involvement in community groups includes: Rotary Club of Kapunda (Secretary); Pines Reserve Committee (Secretary); Kapunda Mural Committee; and the Kapunda Business Alliance (Chair). I also serve on four Council committees, including chairing the Economic Development Panel.
As your Ward Councillor I will :
- Serve your needs to the best of my ability by working with you, elected members and Council staff in a respectful and cooperative manner.
- Support reducing operating costs to provide more funds for roads and other infrastructure renewal and new works by rigorously pursuing spending discipline, reform and responsible growth.
- Promote creative ways to meet community aspirations with minimal rate funding input.
- Promote economic development, better freight routes, water re-use and tourism.
- Promote responsive customer service.
Please feel free to contact me on 0417829631 or firstname.lastname@example.org