Regions made to matter on collective platform
Many are still sore from having the referendum to recognise local governments ripped away just before it happened, but councils are now gearing-up to ensure they are not forgotten in upcoming state elections.
Councils in regional parts of South Australia are banding together to make sure they are heard, launching the ‘Making Regions Matter’ campaign to push for a better deal before next year’s vote.
A draft report from the SA Regional Organisation of Councils found that the state’s non-metro electorates were well behind counterparts across the country, so they decided to do something about it.
The group is now putting together its ‘Making Regions Matter’ platform to bring together the smaller populations in SA to make sure the state government hears and supports them.
One of the calls under the pre-election banner will be for a commitment to moving 30 per cent of the state's governance outside of Adelaide, spreading public services out into regional areas.
Tony Irvine, from the Eyre Peninsula Local Government Association, says it is about re-balancing the scales.
“There's a lot of funds and stuff being spent where the votes are in the city and we need some fair compensation,” Mr Irvine said,
“We've got to get this equity - in country areas we seem to be disadvantaged all the time - it's about actually trying to get that balance back.”
Many of the platforms’ basic elements are expected to mirror those from remote councils in Queensland and Western Australia, including the ‘Royalties for Regions’ program.