The partnership between the Kimba District Council and the community to secure social and economic sustainability was examined by more than 200 local government representatives at the 2018 Council Next Practice Showcase last week.
Kimba mayor Dean Johnson made the final presentation of the day on what the council was doing to deliver community sustainability during periods of population shift, with a focus on the resources elected members had committed to providing Kimba residents and visitors with general practitioner services.
“You certainly won’t find sourcing medical professionals in the core business model of any local government but we are one of several councils in regional South Australia who are leading the local charge to find a solution to the provision of medical services,” he told the conference.
“Talking medicine and the set-up of a practice is a long way from waste management and local road maintenance but our council has assessed the situation in a black and white manner – if we don’t do it, who will?”
Mr Johnson said while the council had traditionally focused on tourism as the primary driver of economic development in Kimba, it had been identified the community needed a doctor to remain economically healthy, a new challenge shared by numerous councils.
“It’s clear that the business of council in 2018 in a regional area is constantly evolving,” he said.
“If our regional communities are to remain social and economically sustainable, Councils have to play a diverse role as their greatest advocate.”