Kangaroo Island Council adopts 2020-2024 strategic plan

COUNCIL VOTE: The Kangaroo Island Council votes at its September meeting.
COUNCIL VOTE: The Kangaroo Island Council votes at its September meeting.

The Kangaroo Island Council adopted its 2020-2024 Strategic Plan at its September meeting.

Mayor Michael Pengilly said he was pleased that following considerable public consultation and elected members' deliberations, the council administration now has a clear direction forward over the next four years.

"Strategic planning is a difficult exercise, particularly when you live and work in such a diverse community, with wide ranging views and needs and dreams," Mr Pengilly said

"Councils have pressures from legislated must do's and core responsibilities, that over the years have diversified and certainly are more demanding.

"Finding the balance is always a difficult task, especially now as we try to recover while maintaining a back to basics approach.

"However, I think we have found that balance in a world that has certainly changed for council and our ratepayers over the past nine months."

The council's latest strategic plan had been very much impacted by last summer's bushfires, he said

"Recovery from the bushfires is our prime concern, and more lately, COVID," Mr Pengilly said.

"I want to acknowledge the community input into the process and the input of the entire council staff, whose comments have helped shape the final document.

"The coming years will no doubt produce challenges for us, but there will also be opportunities to help us meet the core expectations of our communities, businesses and all those who visit our Island".

Clr Graham Walkom unsuccessfully attempted to pass a motion excluding three items from the final plan.

These were a not specific enough, in his view, commitment from the council to support arts, heritage and culture.

He also opposed any commitment from the council to the redevelopment of the Kingscote jetty area as his view was that was a state responsibility.

Finally he opposed a statement that the administration would automatically comply with legislation and state requirements, as this was an operational and not a strategic matter.

But despite these items staying in the plan, he said overall it was a much more "concise and strategic" document.

Clr Rosalie Chirgwin meanwhile opposed the plan in its entirety saying it gave too much power to the administration and not elected officials.

She requested, unsuccessfully, to have her name removed from the document.

Deputy mayor Bob Teasdale on the other hand said based on his experience developing strategic plans for Pacific island nations, it was an excellent document.