APC creates economic development role to support senior staff

The position of an economic development officer will be created at Adelaide Plains Council following a decision at its January meeting.

The move comes after discussion in the chamber to support the general manager of finance and the CEO on a number of economic-related fronts.

Council is hopeful the candidate will deliver successful results on immediate priorities to facilitate business and investment attraction.

Initially, council sought government funding for the position, although this was not successful.

However, due to a number of staff resignations, in particular council’s finance and strategic projects coordinators, council is able to fund the position of a part-time, economic development officer.

APC’s general manager of finance and economic development, Rajith Udugampola, spoke about the position at APC’s January meeting.

“There have been some staff resignations and we have done some restructuring,” Mr Udugampola said.

“As a result, some additional funds were identified within the existing budget.

“With these funds, a position will be created without any additional cost to the ratepayers, but we still continue to seek additional funding for the position going forwards.”

The role is expected to focus on the facilitation of business breakfasts – a precursor to the establishment of a business council, business and investment attraction associated with the NAIS and food bowl, the unlocking of crown land to facilitate retail development in Two Wells’ main street, RDA engagement, promoting tourism, and the application of grant
funding.

Elected members expressed an understanding of the importance of the role and stressed the need for a suitably qualified individual to fulfil the position.

“Looking at the role itself, it’s very intensive in terms of knowing the community and applying for grants,” Cr Margherita Panella said.

“We need someone who has very clear communication skills and is very well established.”

Cr Marcus Strudwicke also spoke in support of the position.

“With the idea of a business council, issues of tourism, and with the development going on in Two Wells, it just has to happen,” he said.

“It is a position I have been pushing for 15 years.”

Elected members voted in favour of the motion and applicants for the role of an economic development officer are now being sought, initially among APC’s staff, then wider afield.

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