Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government Stephan Knoll has confirmed the role of Kangaroo Island Commissioner will come to an end.
“The Liberal Party committed before the election to abolish the KI Commissioner role and we are currently working through the best way to deliver that election commitment,” Mr Knoll said.
“Wendy Campana has done a fantastic job advocating for the Island and we look forward to working with her to find ways to reduce red tape and move towards a more streamlined project approval process so that we can help improve economic development across regional South Australia.”
Mayor Peter Clements and Member for Mawson Leon Bignell have come out in support of the position of the Kangaroo Island Commissioner.
“(Recent news) that the Commissioner for Kangaroo Island's position will not continue to be funded next financial year is very disappointing considering the enormity of work and value currently in the pipeline,” Mr Clements said.
“Over the years the support provided to maintaining this office by small and medium sized business has been exceptional and businesses will no doubt be frustrated and confused by this decision.
“What is more difficult to understand is that the mid term review of the Commissioner's role was undertaken by members of both sides of parliament with a positive report on progress.
“Unless there are well thought out transitional plans for the work currently being undertaken by the Commissioner I have little doubt that progress on the island will suffer and at the least will force decision making off island under the current Development Act.
“Islanders continue to be protective of their future and rightly so, this is why we initially voted through the Citizens Juries in 2013/14 to agree to both the Kangaroo Island Act and for the services of our own Commissioner.
“I would hope that our former Local Member's vocally negative position in Parliament and in the public arena did not unduly contribute to these circumstances, this would be a betrayal of the majority of Islanders wishes to achieve a sustainable and progressive community.”
Member for Mawson Leon Bignell also expressed his disappointment with any decision to end the position.
The Commissioner had given a voice to Island residents when it came to economic development and social issues, he said.
“”I’ve pointed out to them the folly of getting rid of the Commissioner,” Mr Bignell said. ‘I’m prepared to say that any change of position by the Government to keep the Commissioner will not be criticized by me.”