Prosperity remains collaborative effort

The council is still revelling from delivering what many are describing as one of the best local government event in recent memory, the 2019 Eyre Peninsula Local Government Association Conference held in Kimba.

I believe we put on an absolutely sensational event for more than 150 delegates from across the Eyre Peninsula and further afield, with the council's corporate services and works teams going above and beyond to ensure the event ran seamlessly to exceed all expectations.

One of the highlights was the calibre of the speakers who took to the stage on February 26, as well as those who played a vital role in the Small Town Reinvention Workshop hosted by the council the following day.

One key takeaway came from Champions Academy founder Sarah Powell, who reminded delegates that a champion is someone whose "actions motivate, inspire others and leave a legacy."

Mayor Rhys Williams from the City of Mandurah - who knows something about engaging youth as the youngest elected mayor in the country - stressed the importance of asking the young leaders in our communities about their vision, rather than telling them or assuming.

The irrepressible Tom O'Toole drove home the message that communities need to take time to look at themselves with fresh eyes while doing everything they can to ensure the towns they call home are braggable.

The constant in all of these messages was that people are the vital factor in the vibrancy and prosperity of communities on the Eyre Peninsula, and councils cannot be expected to go it alone to drive projects and innovation.

People know our communities better than any council, consultant or keynote speaker, which means they have a role to play in sustainable social and economic growth.

It's no longer enough to come to the council, plonk an idea for a project on the table and assume magic will happen. All presenters during conference week were adamant success hinges on collaboration, engagement and presenting an idea with a battle strategy and how, if required, to acquire funding.

The future of communities on the Eyre Peninsula looks bright, however, getting there will depend on a collaborative, strategic approach that does not rely on councils being the panacea for every concept.

DEAN JOHNSON

Kimba District Council mayor