Eyre Peninsula Strategic Plan aims for cooperation

Eyre Peninsula's councils are working together on a regional strategic plan to deliver a cohesive direction on the region's key areas and increase chances for grants and investment.

In conjunction with Regional Development Australia Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula (RDAWEP) the Eyre Peninsula Local Government Association's member councils have developed the draft Eyre Peninsula Strategic Plan to allow a focused approach to regional priorities.

Actions identified in the plan include targeted training to meet the needs required by local industries; help improve development and governance in Aboriginal communities; targeted projects to support health, aged care and disability services; and boost access to tertiary education by expanding remote access to online courses.

RDAWEP chief executive officer Dion Dorward said feedback from councils on the plan had so far been very positive.

The plan has a big focus on cooperation between councils and addresses the issue of local government areas with small populations lacking the critical mass and policy leverage to influence state and federal government decision making.

Part of this focus includes an emphasis on collaborative regional planning and a push for councils to work together on projects, as well as identifying grant opportunities and councils working together with local organisations to increase their chances of getting funds.

Mr Dorward said it was essential the region as a whole could identify and communicate its priorities to all levels of government and relevant industries in one consistent message.

"By doing that we increase our ability to compete with other areas of Australia with similar issues and needs.

"Speaking together in one voice will help us be heard at state and federal level."

EPLGA president Sam Telfer said it was key the Eyre Peninsula worked together to achieve outcomes and a major part was a strong relationship between the EPLGA and RDAWEP.

"Collaboration is key, council boundaries shouldn't be an inhibitor for our region going forward.

"We've all got individual perspectives but the same issues."

Mr Telfer said the plan would be considered by all councils on the Eyre Peninsula as it was important they had their own input in the process.

Port Lincoln City Council endorsed the draft plan last week, with recommended changes to include liaising with universities and training providers to expand education opportunities in Whyalla to Port Lincoln as well, and for tourism actions to include strategies for capturing the drive market.

Port Lincoln mayor Brad Flaherty said it was great to see the councils starting to think more on a regional basis.