Here we are at the beginning of another exciting year on KI and I am looking forward to a year where many of the developments that are in the planning stages will move to consultation and community engagement, while others will finalise management plans and other planning conditions to move to turning soil.
These are interesting times for the island, and one of the biggest learning curves for me in this position has been to see how the developers work and how the wheels of government take proposals through the various stages of approval. Also, how community engagement occurs.
Housing continues to be an important issue for the island and I look forward to moving into the next phase of our housing management plan.
We have undertaken some very sound research into demographic changes, housing affordability, movements in rentals and sales, planning approvals going through Council, lending policies of banks and some of the challenges for our construction industry on the island, as well as looking into housing design to suit a build on KI.
A series of activities will occur over this year to generate opportunities and interest in affordable housing and I look forward to working with the community, the construction industry and other interested stakeholders as we move this project forward.
We are about to commence our media support project that will pilot a program of assisting businesses across a range of industries to further develop their media profiles. Some of our participants are also in the digital project being conducted by TKI and KIFWA, so we will collaborate with them to explore various media options as well.
The success of the Council’s application to the Federal Government’s Building Better Regions Fund will see us working with them to roll out a range of support programs for local businesses, progress our work in workforce planning, support the industry associations to further explore collaborative opportunities and launch a leadership program for 10 islanders.
More information will come out shortly. This overall program with State, Federal and local funding and in-kind back-up will deliver over $400,000 of support to the Kangaroo Island community and businesses.
I wish all residents, businesses and tourism operators a great 2018 and look forward to meeting up with many of you in the coming months.