The Islander editorial - Hot topics at the KI Council

There was a wide range of subjects discussed at the Kangaroo Island Council’s February meeting on Tuesday and with permission The Islander live streamed the entire meeting on its Facebook page.

One of the topics discussed was the proposed development of luxury accommodation on the KI Wilderness Trail in Flinders Chase National Park. This was also subject of a video made by the Westbrook family, young Jed is pictured to the left.

Just as we were going to press, we were contacted by the development proponent Australian Walking Company with the news that the company will hold an information session on its proposed Kangaroo Island Lodge Walk on Thursday, February 21.

“The public are invited to share their views prior to the submission of the Native Vegetation Application and hear more about the walk experience. The session will be held from 3.30pm to 5.30pm at the KI Yacht Club.”

The council received six letters of concern from residents that were tabled for consideration. Clr Bob Teasdale said his biggest concern was people staying at the lodges being trapped by a bushfire. Clr Sam Mumford said the proposed service trails to the lodges would help in firefighting efforts. Councillors heard from staff that the development technically complied with zoning.

There was a brief discussion about fire danger at American River and other locations with clr Graham Walkom, who noted he had been contacted by a number residents fearful after the recent fires. Mayor Michael Pengilly said while he was sympathetic, living with fire was part of life on the Island and people had a responsibility to develop their own fire plan and keep vegetation down.

On a different subject, clr Sharon Kauppila is urging anyone with information about the publication of the widely distributed booklet prior to the last council election to contact the Electoral Commission or her by the end of the month. KI resident Allan Henderson appeared before the last council meeting urging the council to find out who was responsible for the booklet publication.

Ending on a positive note, well done to the American River Progress Association for taking over the lease for the health service building to open a visitor and history centre. The council is worried about River residents taking on too much, what with the hall, RIG project and more. Let’s hope you prove them wrong! – Stan Gorton