Message from the Mayor

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15 September 2020

Spring is clearly in the air with the warmth of the last week or so.   I am sure the farmers are looking for a bit of rain to finish off the season and I hope they get it.  At Council last night we were thinking of our farmers as we considered a range of views from our Primary Production sector on the merits of maintaining the ban on Genetically Modified Crops in our region.  In the end, having had regard to the views expressed in our public consultation process, the Council determined that it will not apply to the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development for designation of our area as an area in which no genetically modified food crops may be cultivated.  We hope that this now provides the certainty to our Primary Producers on this issue moving forward.

Twelve months ago Council started participating in a pilot program for Recycled Product Procurement.  The aim was to help develop local markets for recyclable materials by increasing market demand.  We committed to reporting back to the community on progress and we received the first report last night.  After the first 6 months, the nine Councils involved have identified over 150 suppliers of recycled-content products and materials available in SA and made over 450 individual purchases of these recycled products totalling over 17,000 tonnes of recycled materials and 106 tonnes of recycled plastic.  This is a great result and we are looking forward to further reports in the future.

Council also discussed the new Community Land Management Plan for Wilden’s Way which includes provisions for the leasehold land to be returned to open space at the end of the lease terms beyond 2061. Council noted the overwhelming public support for the plan during public consultation.  A number of submissions in particular noted the importance of future access to the river for the Community which Council affirmed in its decision.

Council also considered a recommendation that Jubilee Park be renamed to recognise Rotary and the significant support Rotary continues to provide to the Park. Council were happy proceed with the renaming noting that, while records have not been found, it is believed that Jubilee was included in the Park’s name to mark the 150th anniversary of colonisation of South Australia in 1986.

Council recently invited the community to comment on the current representation arrangements regarding the Mayor and Councillors, known as a Representation Review.  Some Councils in South Australia have broken up the total Council area into individual Wards, with a quota of Councillors being elected to represent each Ward.  In Rural City of Murray Bridge we have a structure where 9 Councillors are elected from votes across the whole region.  The majority of responses to the consultation supported this current arrangement as consultation continues.

I know I speak on behalf of my fellow Councillors in wishing everyone in our community good health in this current time and look forward to being able to report further work in a month’s time.

Brenton Lewis