Kimba hosts region

READY: Kimba District Council corporate services manager Lyndon Keane, mayor Dean Johnson and CEO Deb Larwood get prepared.
READY: Kimba District Council corporate services manager Lyndon Keane, mayor Dean Johnson and CEO Deb Larwood get prepared.

The goodie bags are filled, the wine delivered and the program is on its way for the 82nd Eyre Peninsula Local Government Association (EPLGA) conference, to be held this year in Kimba.

The conference is rotated through the 11 Eyre Peninsula councils, and mayor Dean Johnson is ready to show off the town to his peers.

“You only get one every 11 years, so it’s our time to shine,” he said.

The conference, held on February 26, will bring in mayors, chief executive officers, council staff and elected members from across the region, and accommodation across the town is booked out.

Chief executive officer Deb Larwood said the council was expecting about 150 locals and visitors to attend the gala dinner after the conference.

She said the EPLGA conference always put a spotlight on the host town.

“You tend to have a closer look at the the township while you’re there… this year it’s our turn,” she said.

She said visitors would be putting their money into the district for the duration of their stay, and local businesses would have a chance to promote themselves at a market at the institute gardens on the day.

Mr Johnson said the event would be an opportunity for the council to showcase recent projects, including the $200,000 institute upgrade.

He said while the town had had some luck in finding funding for projects, thanks to the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility Community Benefit Fund getting a long list of projects off the ground in the past year, it had been “good planning” by the council that allowed them to capitalise on the opportunity.

The theme for the event is ‘Positioned For Prosperity’, which Mr Johnson said was about promoting collaboration across the region.

“Because of our small population size overall, EP councils recognise that we have to work together,” he said, noting that the Eyre Peninsula is the only regional LGA with a conference of this kind.

Mrs Larwood said as the first conference after the council elections, the event was a “real opportunity to build networks.”