Bid for efficiencies across the Upper Spencer Gulf

LEADING THE WAY: Mayor John Rohde is spearheading moves for cost reductions among the Upper Spencer Gulf cities.

LEADING THE WAY: Mayor John Rohde is spearheading moves for cost reductions among the Upper Spencer Gulf cities.

Mayor John Rohde says the three Upper Spencer Gulf councils are looking at how they can reduce costs and duplication.

He said they also aimed to increase organisational capacity and maintain a more efficient workforce by working together.

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

Mr Rohde spoke after representatives of the Spencer Gulf Cities met in Port Augusta.

Issues surrounding development planning, opportunities for sharing resources and meetings with the new Liberal state government were discussed.

Whyalla Mayor Lyn Breuer said it was important for the cities to meet government representatives in the next couple of months.

“We will give the government time to settle in, but we need to make sure they understand the issues and opportunities for our cities and region,” she said.

“We have come so far in the past few years in our economic transition, but 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.”

Port Augusta Acting Mayor Brett Benbow said the planning system had failed to keep pace with 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 considered their next steps to achieve joint financial and resourcing efficiencies.

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