Federal Mayo MP Rebekha Sharkie visits KI to promote further $1 million support funds

A further $1 million in federal drought funding has been provided to the Kangaroo Island Council this week in a move to upgrade community facilities and spaces within the four main towns.

The funds match the $1 million Drought Communities Program assistance already received by the council late last year.

Federal Mayo MP Rebekha Sharkie, who was a strong advocate in gaining the original funds, visited the island on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week to promote the extra good news.

"Federal funding is flowing into the Island and the feedback from residents and businesses is that community resilience is strong but there is a long way to go," she told The Islander.

KI, meanwhile, was originally excluded from last year's drought assistance program, which prompted the MP to contact the Federal Drought Minister David Littleproud, arguing the council had met the criteria.

"Just how tough some KI farmers are finding it, especially on the eastern end of the Island after recent poor seasons, was brought home to me at the Kingscote Show [last year] when locals stopped to talk to me about their personal circumstances," Ms Sharkie had said in 2019.

The comments motivated her to investigate the Bureau of Meteorology rainfall percentile figures for the Island which she used to plead the case for the island.

The Mayo MP's success meant securing funds for drought-assistance measures to boost farmers doing it tough on KI.

Yet this week, she shared how the further million-dollar funds will be put towards some "great projects".

"I have spent several days on the Island meeting with residents, talking to community leaders and visiting programs and enterprises.

"It's encouraging to see so much starting to happen."

The MP hosted constituent meetings at Parndana and American River.

She further chatted with Fiona Jago from the Western KI Caravan Park following the bushfires and met with the Dudley Peninsula with Landscapes Board SA representatives and project officers.

Importantly, this time round, the $1 million will be used by the council to upgrade community facilities and spaces within the four Island townships of Penneshaw, Kingscote, Parndana and American River.

Projects include:

Penneshaw - upgrades will improve the movement and interaction of pedestrians and vehicles in the ferry terminal precinct through integrated landscaping, road and verge renewal and signage to create shared zones encouraging pedestrians to explore the entire precinct.

Kingscote - the one-way main street and car parking will be reconfigured to create a safe, shared use, pedestrian friendly, and community events zone, through tree planting, street.beautification, landscaping and road and verge renewal.

Parndana - upgrades will provide formalised parking and line marking to improve access to the main street, landscaping and community artworks to improve the roadway and verge environment, with undergrounding of power lines, development of an interlinking walking trail around the township, landscaping and road and verge renewal.

American River - a precinct linking the jetty and wharf will be created, slowing down traffic and separating vehicles from pedestrians through landscaping, street beautification and road redesign, pedestrian crossings, signage, and parking for 4WD with trailers.