SA restructure gains momentum
With six further amalgamations, proclaimed by the South Australian Government in January, the number of Councils has fallen to 81 from 118 in January 1996. Over the past 12 months, 26 new amalgamated Councils have been formed.
"This latest influx of amalgamations has meant the State Government is moving closer to its goal of halving the number of Councils in South Australia by mid 1997," said Scott Ashenden, Minister for Local Government.
"This is an incredible feat because the Local Government Reform Board has been able to achieve this massive reduction entirely through voluntary amalgamations."
The Minister said that Local Government is to be congratulated for taking up the challenge of structural reform and for the commitment and enthusiasm it has shown during the reform process.
"The State Government presented Local Government with the opportunity to bring about change for the better, and Councils and their communities have accepted the challenge with outstanding results," Scott Ashenden said.
Pointing to the latest round of mergers, he said that the 15 Councils forming six new local authorities have increased estimated annual savings as a result of the reform process to approximately $12 million.
Recently announced amalgamations include the following.
- Mid Murray Council (merging Mannum, Morgan and Ridley Truro)
- Wattle Range Council (Penola, Beachport and Millicent)
- The Coorong District Council (Meningle, Peake, and Coonalpyn Downs)
- City of Playford (Elizabeth and Munno Para)
- District Council of Naracoorte (Naracoorte District and Town Councils)
- City of West Torrens Thebarton (West Torrens and Thebarton).
The new City of West Torrens Thebarton came into being on 1 March, while the City of Playford and Coorong District will be proclaimed on 3 May. The remaining three will commence on 1 July.