Community, not conflict, must stay focus

The Kimba District Council's Annual Business Plan and Budget were adopted for the 2019-20 financial year this week, which afforded an opportunity for elected members to reflect on what they have committed to deliver for Kimba during the coming 12 months and what has been achieved since the last plan was implemented in June 2018.

Approximately $2.25 million worth of projects have been completed or are scheduled to be finished by June 30, a statistic which makes me proud when you consider our small ratepayer base and limited potential to generate alternative operating income.

How has the council been able to deliver on a range of projects representing more than 130 per cent of our average annual rates income? By not only developing and maintaining exceptional relationships with key stakeholders, but by ensuring the primary motivator of everything we do is based on the principle of creating a better and more sustainable community.

It is an absolute privilege to serve those who work and play in the Kimba district.

It is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly, which is why is disappoints me greatly to see some elected members across the state abandoning their obligation to their community in favour of using the platform of local goverment to fuel petty squabbles, petulance and personal ambition.

You do not have to search far for highly publicised examples of councils behaving badly, a situation that unfortunately tars all of us with the same brush and detracts from the commitment the majority have to championing the development and liveability of our respective local government areas.

Having said that, I thank the Kimba community for recognising that one size certainly does not fit all when it comes to council conduct and that we are committed to outcomes, not infighting, through not only our statutory obligations but also our social obligations as community members.

As small, rural councils, we are always being told that we could learn a lesson or two from our contemporaries in more heavily populated parts of the state.

However, I think this is an instance where the entire local government sector should look to the bush to see why nothing should be more of a focus than community sustainability when it comes to engaged, courageous leadership of those who entrusted us in November 2018 to represent them.

DEAN JOHNSON

Kimba District Council mayor