Minister Ian Hunter said today –
Seven thousand invitations have been sent to residents in the State’s South East, inviting participation in the process to determine the future management of the region’s drainage network.
Sustainability, Environment and Conservation Minister Ian Hunter is encouraging interested parties to be part of the Community Panel that will consider the evidence, explore options and deliver recommendations on the future plans for the network.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for the South East community to play a major role in the future of this significant infrastructure asset,” Mr Hunter said.
The Community Panel will follow a citizens’ jury model and will hear evidence from all interested parties in the community. At the completion of the process the panel will deliver its recommendations to the South East Natural Resources Management Board to provide to the Government.
Mr Hunter said well-respected research organisation New Democracy had been contracted by the SE NRM to coordinate the community panel process.
“Once people have registered their interest, a randomised process will be undertaken to finalise the Panel. The membership will reflect the profile of the South East community including age and gender. It will be representative of a range of occupations and be geographically spread.
“This is a community driven process that will investigate funding models to maintain the important South East drainage network now and into the future.
“The State Government has committed more than $2 million per year to help maintain the drainage system, but more is required to ensure the ageing infrastructure is maintained to an adequate standard.
“To date we have not been able to resolve the issue of the ongoing funding arrangements so we are taking a different approach to make sure the community has a say in developing options.
“We want South Australians to be involved in decisions which affect them. The Community Panel will give the South East community significant input and influence in solving this issue.
“I urge those who receive an invitation to register their interest. The management of the drainage network is important to all residents of the South East region, be it though agriculture, tourism, or the wider benefits this brings to the regional economy,” Mr Hunter said.
Further information about the selection process, how the panel will function, and a time line for the Community Panel meetings can be found at http://www.newdemocracy.com.au/our-work.
Minister Ian Hunter
Minister for Sustainability, Environment and
Minister for Water and the River Murray
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation