Governing for Knox
Mayor Karin Orpen is enthusiastic about the City of Knox, its residents and its future. She said the people of Knox are eager participants in community life. They value the wide open spaces, beautiful parks and reserves and spacious residential blocks that contribute to the Knox lifestyle.
"The City is great because we enjoy a wonderful melting pot of community groups, activities and community services," she said. "Council has a long tradition of supporting volunteers and community groups and places a very high value on their contribution."
Cr Orpen said Local Government in Knox is set to take on a greater governance and advocacy role as it heads into the next millennium. "Council's role is to be transparent in its operations, accountable to, and advocating on behalf of its community, as a responsible and legitimate sphere of Government," she said.
"As we head into the year 2000, the feeling from our community is that it is time to revisit the issue of Local Government as a third sphere of government. "Local Government is accountable to its community and not just a pseudo State Government Department."
Among some mooted changes is a movement towards the development of portfolios for Councillors to ensure their areas of expertise and interest are utilised for the betterment of the community.
As Knox matures Mayor Orpen said the emphasis is shifting from provision of new infrastructure, which was necessary when residential growth was high, to maintenance and redevelopment of existing infrastructure.
Nonetheless, she said Council is continuing a steady upward trend of attracting large corporations and new initiatives to the City, such as the recently announced $98 million Retirement Village/ Golf Course complex to be built in the City.
Cr Orpen noted there is a resurgence towards a regional role for Local Government. She said Knox has recently formed a regional body with six neighbouring municipalities, representing almost one million citizens, to advocate and lobby for improved public transport and provision of new services.