Pressure mounts over APC flood withdrawal

PRESSURE has been put on Adelaide Plains Council (APC) to rescind its motion to withdraw from the Gawler River Flood Management Authority (GRFMA), after the authority resolved to undertake a review of its charter.

Last Thursday, GRFMA board members voted to proceed with a review of its charter, which includes the percentage contribution member councils will be required to pay for capital works along the Gawler River.

APC, currently, has two motions that have been adopted by council – one to withdraw itself entirely from the GRFMA subsidiary, and another to pursue a review of its percentage contribution to infrastructure works.

The GRFMA’s decision to review its charter came following debate between constituent council board members, who questioned how APC plans to go forward, whether it is a member of the authority, or not.

Playford Council chief executive Mal Hemmerling said APC elected members must consider rescinding the motion to withdraw, in order to allow the GRFMA enough time to review its charter, before continuing down their withdrawal path.

“The procedure has to be, rescind the motion and pass a new motion, which seeks a time delay until such time as the GRFMA can review the charter,” he said.

“They (Adelaide Plains councillors) should have left the door open, because at the moment you have no door open, your door is closed and your council has resolved to withdraw.”

APC chief executive James Miller was sceptical whether councillors would agree to make changes to a drafted letter, which will be sent to Minister for Local Government Geoff Brock, outlining the council’s intention to withdraw.

“I can’t talk for the elected members, but it’s going to take a huge change of heart from our elected body if they wish to reverse that decision,” Mr Miller said.

APC’s main concerns with the GRFMA’s proposed $27 million Northern Floodway project is its large financial contribution to something which, it believes, provides minimal protection on its side of the Gawler River.

At a recent special meeting of council, APC moved a resolution to engage a financial
analyst to undertake an independent review to determine what its appropriate percentage contribution towards flood infrastructure should be.

Tom Staggard

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Born and raised in Adelaide's northern suburbs, Tom attended Tyndale Christian School in Salisbury East before studying journalism at the University of South Australia. Tom joined The Bunyip in June 2017 after previously working in the Adelaide Hills for The Courier newspaper in Mount Barker and the Weekender Herald in Crafers. As part of his role, Tom will cover the Adelaide Plains and Playford council regions. Away from work, he is a massive sports fan and loves all things football, cricket, basketball and soccer.

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