Kelly in the Media

Councils announce election wishlist

The Bunyip, pg 17

THE state’s peak local government representative body has launched its official 2018 state election platform, doubling down on its opposition to the Liberal Party’s rate capping policy.

The Local Government Association (LGA) of South Australia held its annual general meeting last Thursday, in which it announced what issues it would be prioritising in the lead-up to next March’s State Government election.

LGA president Lorraine Rosenberg said the representative body would provide all political parties with a road map for local government reform well ahead of the election.

“Our sector has a strong record of driving its own reform agenda, in order to be the most efficient sphere of government,” Mrs Rosenberg said.

“We are serious about getting better, and we are canvassing reforms for the sector with our members.”

Mrs Rosenberg said the LGA wanted to partner with the government and be part of the solution to the state’s problems, and sought commitments that will ease the cost of living, drive economic development and jobs growth, and support stronger communities.

Among the LGA’s election requests were for the government to address “State Government cost shifting to councils”; provide support for regional planning and development; increase funding for infrastructure; put local planning decisions “back into the hands of communities”; and strengthen support for state and local heritage.

The LGA also repeated its call for the Liberal Party to drop its commitment to cap council rate revenue rises each year.

“Both rate capping and forced amalgamations have hurt communities interstate, and we don’t want to see them introduced here,” Mrs Rosenberg said.

SA Best leader Nick Xenophon, Greens SA leader Mark Parnell, Dignity Party representative Kelly Vincent and Australian Conservatives’ Robert Brokenshire all confirmed their parties would oppose the introduction of rate capping in South Australia, at the LGA’s annual general meeting.

The Labor Party has already confirmed its opposition to the policy.