New president to help Pirie council

MEETING: Mayor Leon Stephens, Andrew McLachlan, Kendall Jackson and Kelly-Anne Saffin.
MEETING: Mayor Leon Stephens, Andrew McLachlan, Kendall Jackson and Kelly-Anne Saffin.

The new president of the Legislative Council was in Port Pirie on Tuesday to familiarise himself with local leaders and discuss their plans and concerns for the region. 

Andrew McLachlan met with Mayor Leon Stephens and chief executive officer Peter Ackland to learn and understand the aspirations of the people they serve. 

"This is my first regional trip as president of the Legistlative Council and it is to meet locals, but also the new mayors in the region," Mr McLachlan said.

"I met the mayors and chief executive officers when the Liberal party was in opposition but now I am president, I am keen to revisit those issues and see what can be done in the next three years."

Mr McLachlan used to work in the region as a lawyer for Port Augusta, Port Pirie and Whyalla and says he is quite familiar with the cities. 

"Port Pirie has so many opportunities, in particular in the surrounding regions and I know the community are very keen to diversify and open up tourism opportunities and other industries that will provide increased employment.

"Port Pirie has an advantage that it is only two hours away from Adelaide, it is not only a beautiful place but has very industrious locals and I am very keen to see it thrive," he said. 

The role of the president of the Legislative Council is politically neutral but Mr McLachlan says that this does not mean he has left the people with the issues they have raised to him. 

"You can advocate, explain and articulate the needs of the people in the region and get a consensus going on all sides of politics, of how we can help and facilitate growth."

Mayor Leon Stephens believes having Mr McLachlan as a contact will be beneficial for the council when they require specific ministers for their projects and concerns. 

"I am very thankful that Andrew had come to see us today. We were looking at navigating our way forward with some of our future plans and Andrew is actually instrumental in having the opportunities to get us in front of the right ministers.

"What has come about it is that some of the processing that the Port Pirie Regional Council is doing in the background, as far as trying to generate extra jobs- he has given us a platform that relates to what the federal and state governments would be keen to see.

"I think it has been invaluable to have a moment of his time one on one. The great thing is that he is such an approachable guy and has told us to send our processes through and he will help," Mayor Stephens said.