Councils finalise funding for regional development

THE Port Lincoln City Council has committed to a new three-year funding agreement with Regional Development Australia Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula.

The Eyre Peninsula Local Government Association has been negotiating a new agreement with the RDA since the previous agreement ended in June.

The agreement has now been finalised and the Port Lincoln council voted last week to endorse it.

The council will contribute $55,643 this financial year, with minimal increases each year for the rest of the agreement.

Under the agreement the proposed contributions from other member councils would be: Lower Eyre Peninsula $22,424, Tumby Bay $19,517, Ceduna $22,424, Franklin Harbour $14,119, Kimba $14,119, Cleve $17,768, Streaky Bay $17,768, Elliston $14,119, Wudinna, $14,119 and Whyalla $134,406.

The Port Lincoln council's chief executive officer Geoff Dodd said one of the main changes from the previous agreement was that there would be a review of the funding arrangements with the 11 member councils.

The recommendations of the review will be provided to the councils by the end of January 2014, with changes to take effect from July 1, 2014, subject to the agreement of all councils.

The aim of the review will be to adjust funding arrangements to be fair and equitable for all member councils.

Mr Dodd said the overall level of funding provided by local government to the RDA was unlikely to change, the review would look at the proportion of funding contributed by each council.

An additional review will look at the board membership of the association, the operational structure, human resource requirements, organisational policy, procedures, registers and other issues raised by member councils.

Recommendations will be provided to councils prior by the end of June 2014 and incorporated into the annual business plan with changes to take effect from July 1, 2014.

Mr Dodd said the council should be kept well informed about the review of the councils' funding formula and be involved in the review process.

"Council needs to be assured that the Port Lincoln and wider regional community is receiving best value for its significant investment."