Drought assistance funding concerns

New year is once again upon us, and I take the opportunity to wish all Goyder constituents a Happy New Year.

Funding of up to one million dollars has been announced for the Regional Council of Goyder, from the Australian Federal Government Drought Community Package. After careful consideration by Councillors, and consultation with local committees Council has, with the assistance of dedicated community members, submitted a number of grant applications for projects. These include; the Eudunda Regional Sports and Community Hub and Duncan Park, Farrell Flat. 

The Regional Council of Goyder is fortunate to have community members committed to their local townships and sporting clubs. I am confident that these projects will deliver opportunities for those affected by drought, stimulate community spending and use local resources to provide a long lasting benefit to Goyder communities. 

As Chairman of the Legatus Group of Councils made up of fifteen members, I recently sent a letter to Prime Minister Scott Morrison acknowledging the support of the Federal Government. I also outlined a number of concerns including the announcement being twelve weeks later than the Eastern states; therefore creating extremely tight time frames to complete these projects. I also sought an explanation as to why two member Councils whom appeared to qualify for this support, have been excluded. The impracticality around timelines for submitting, assessing, acquitting and finding sufficient local suppliers was highlighted. The most significant impacts will be felt by some of the smaller Councils, with limited capacity, in their endeavours to deliver these projects within such limited time frames. An extremely important area of concern that was discussed at length; is the lack of health services, medical practioners and in particular mental health providers.

Council remains mindful that a number of our communities face extreme difficulties with regard to the drought. Whilst our farmers are at the ‘coalface’ of these extremely difficult conditions, we are also aware that this impacts on our township businesses as well. We remain focussed on supporting our region to ensure our residents remain happy, healthy and participating actively in all aspects of life. 

Peter Mattey

Mayor, Regional Council of Goyder

Chairman, Legatus Group