As summer comes around we all turn to talk of the weather and enjoying our great outdoor lifestyle.
The December 14 council meeting was no different, with consideration of a significant report addressing our response to and management of, the climate emergency.
Receipt of the report followed our deliberations in August when we asked that an integrated Environment Management Plan and Climate Emergency Action Plan be prepared for our region.
The resulting plan, which sets new achievable, realistic and measurable goals and targets across key themes of River and Water, Biodiversity, Development, Community Capacity and Waste Management, was approved for community consultation.
Also approved for consultation was the Draft Murraylands and Riverland Regional Public Health and Wellbeing Plan.
Prepared as a broad collaboration across the eight councils in the region, the plan sets out a series of imperatives including improving mental health and reducing psychological stress, encouraging healthy lifestyles and addressing drug and substance abuse.
Subsequently, a series of key actions to address these is also presented. Council looks forward to hearing from the community regarding this very important initiative and to then commencing its delivery.
Council was particularly pleased to receive confirmation that it has been successful in obtaining a further $1.15m in Federal Government funding to support further development of our transport infrastructure.
The funds will be used, with some Council contribution, to reconstruct Flagstaff Road as a strategic element of our Primary and Secondary Freight Network.
Further development at Sturt Reserve was also discussed, aiming to identify alternate locations for a planned boat ramp following advice that the planned boat ramp works cannot be progressed due to geological limitations.
The intent will be to retain the existing boat ramp and find alternate sites for a two or three lane ramp providing access to the river in the area.
One other matter was finalised with acceptance of a report and recommendations on the structure of Council through the Representation Review.
Following consideration of community feedback, Council has agreed to retain the current structure with a principal member (Mayor) directly elected by the community, retention of an area structure rather than wards and nine area councillors directly elected by the community.
This will be reflected in future elections.
I know I speak on behalf of my fellow Elected Members in wishing everyone in our community a happy and safe Christmas and New Year.
I am looking forward to getting 2020 behind us and to a new start in 2021.