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26 March 2004 (amended: 26 March 2004)

More than 200 delegates from SA's 68 Councils met in Adelaide today to consider key issues of importance to South Australia and to local communities, in the Local Government Association's half-yearly General Meeting. Resolutions included the following:

Planning and Development
The meeting deferred adoption of the LGA's draft "A Better Direction" document on planning reform to allow Councils to consult with communities on the State's recently issued Sustainable Development Bill (Moved Burnside). The meeting also resolved that negotiations in relation to the Bill should emphasise the "rights of residents to have their elected representatives play an active role" in Development Planning and Assessment (Moved Norwood, Payneham & St Peters).

Stobie Poles & Telecommunciations facilities
Other Councils supported Mitcham's legal action against Hutchison Telecommunications and ETSA Utilities regarding the replacement of electricity infrastructure to carry telecommunications equipment and will be invited to contribute financially to the case. Attorney-General Michael Atkinson told the meeting that the SA Government would support the Mitcham case when it reached the High Court (Moved Mitcham).

Open Space funding
The meeting endorsed an approach to ensure Developer Contributions in lieu of open space be directed into the Councils in which the development takes place (Moved Tumby Bay).

Local Heritage
The meeting called on the Government to provide powers for emergency protection measures for local heritage and to seek tax incentives for local heritage protection (Moved Mitcham).

Telstra Sale
The meeting supported a call from the Provincial Cities Association to urge all SA Senators to oppose the full privatisation of Telstra. The meeting was concerned that the majority of South Australians were opposed to the sale and that taxes would have to rise to replace the $3 Billion in annual revenue paid by Telstra to the Commonwealth if full privatization went ahead (Moved Pt Lincoln).

National co-ordination & Commonwealth Funding
The meeting endorsed a comprehensive response to the Commonwealth House of Representatives Inquiry Report "Rates & Taxes : A Fair Share for Responsible Local Government". It included support for an Intergovernment Agreement between Federal, State and Local Government to sort out relationships and minimise cost shifting between governments. The response incorporated a motion of appreciation for Prime Minister Howard's recent announcement of $26m extra in local road funding for SA over the next three years (Moved Murray Bridge).

Economic Development
The meeting noted an analysis of activities in Local Government which support the directions of the State Economic Development Board's Framework and Recommendations - including the bulk contracting of $15m of Council electricity needs saving $1.2m a year (Moved Light Regional Council). In addition a motion highlighted problems experienced by Councils supporting development as a result of the role of played by various State agencies
(Moved Pt Lincoln).

Elections & Representation
The meeting endorsed a two-stage approach to reviewing Council election & representation provisions with the timing of elections in 2006 being addressed in the first stage. The fixing of State Government's own election timing to March 2006 ahead of scheduled Council elections in May 2006 requires re-scheduling of the elections (Moved Mitcham). [The LGA is currently consulting Councils on options for moving the elections]

Pensioner Concessions
Councils unanimously urged the LGA to continue lobbying the SA Government to index its concessions to pensioners and self-funded retirees on Council rates to CPI and to maintain education programs in relation to Council services and rates (Moved Charles Sturt). The meeting also called on the Government to index rebates on electricity bills (Moved Marion).

Policing of road traffic offences
The meeting resolved to ask State Government to apply more resources to policing 50kmh Speed Zones (Moved Norwood, Payneham & St Peters). The meeting also asked the LGA to investigate ways in which Councils could achieve greater levels of enforcement of traffic incidents such as "wheelies and burnouts" (Moved Marion).

Septic Tanks
The meeting was advised that the State Government has agreed to a further $6.1m aimed at improving septic tank problems in country towns over the next two years and that ongoing work was planned to improve the viability of common septic drainage schemes into the future (Moved Barossa).

The LGA General Meeting was proudly sponsored by:

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