SIR: The case is plain for the District Council of Mallala to AMALGAMATE with or just be ABSORBED into another Council.
For a long period of time the District Council of Mallala (DCM) has been unable to maintain its existing facilities to an expected standard.
The townships and coastal areas have been particularly put at a serious disadvantage while the resources of our council have been so limited in scale.
Local communities have struggled to bring their areas up to an acceptable level of presentation and also to be provided with an acceptable level of services.
It is evident that we have not been even able to maintain that which we have inherited in some areas, let alone develop the extra facilities that are needed for our community.
Our DCM’s budget is consumed by staff wages to a much larger extent than all adjoining Councils.
This was confirmed some months ago when comparisons were made between DCM’s budget and those of each of the adjoining Councils.
A recent examination of the staff positions identified in the DCM’s website organisational structure showed ten (10) staff positions, of these there are 2 positions listed as vacant, but of the remaining eight (8) positions, only one is held by a resident in our local Council area.
So therein is a stark realisation – that there is a disproportionate amount of our DCM’s rates going directly to places elsewhere. Any economist would be horrified and dismayed by that particular revelation particularly if the economist is paying DCM’s rates.
This circumstance really acts like an extra tax burden on our particular region and needs to be addressed with some urgency, as we deserve much better.
There is another downside to this cancerous situation we are in.
Much of the advice being given to our councillors to vote on is being biased by outside influences, with single-minded agendas being promoted which are often in direct conflict with our own community’s needs.
I’m afraid to say that occasionally our own local councillors have been blinded by the spin presented to them coerced into supporting some of these agendas, even when it’s against the general will of our own community.
I refer mainly to a prime example of this with our council denying public access to our remaining open vista beach.
Just have a look at the current state of the Heritage Wells site and you will see the abject neglect of what should be a well-presented area as an iconic site for our visitors to see and take in.
What condition would the main street of Two Wells be in now, if it were not for the efforts of local committees and their predecessors?
Why did it take so long for council to establish an office in Two Wells when 70% of the rates came from south of the River Light?
When sizable infrastructure developments are needed and justified in our area, the only way to get access to the level of resources required is to be a member of a much stronger and larger resource base.
Access to the many grants that we once enjoyed is now quite limited and very specific in their requirements.
Therefore, we in the DCM area need to AMALGAMATE with or be ABSORBED into a larger council so that the level of overheads we suffer now are not so dominant.
I don’t expect the DCM staff or the councillors to support these necessary changes to council boundaries, but I’m sure the ratepayers want something much better than we have now.
For any boundary changes to take place, it would need a State Government state-wide review. I say bring it on sooner than later.