07 Aug, 2015

Employment Summit Sets The Agenda

SA Mayors have committed to maintaining a high focus on economic development and employment in response to a summit convened by Lord Mayor Martin Haese and the Local Government Association.

LGA President, Mayor Dave Burgess, thanked the Lord Mayor for co-convening the summit. He also thanked Premier Weatherill for attending and underscored the importance of collaboration between Federal, State and Local governments.

Mayors in attendance set tangible outcomes today to help create much needed jobs. These included:

  • Investigating rolling out free WiFi in every main street in South Australia, where possible
  • Proposing that 5 per cent of current local government marketing budgets go towards a central marketing pool for the purpose of attracting visitors to the state
  • Collaborating on international opportunities, including shared databases and working with businesses to bring in investment and encourage exporting
  • Pledging to facilitate quicker planning turnarounds and reduce procurement barriers
  • Looking into how infrastructure projects can be shared with other levels of government and the private sector to create jobs

In the weeks and months ahead, there will be more detail released and targets will be set, and measured.

Mayor Burgess said Councils directly employ more than 10,000 full and part-time employees and have a multi-million dollar contractor spend but more can always be done to support business growth.

"That has a huge impact in economic terms and I think it is important the community understands both the direct impact, and the importance to the economy of basics such as local roads," Mayor Burgess said.

"The importance of local roads in delivering the first and the last mile of virtually all goods in the State cannot be underestimated and the recent announcements of a $118m Federal boost in local road funding places us well in this area.”

Lord Mayor Haese welcomed the funding but stressed that this is far from the only role Councils play.

"Councils may not hold all the levers but we'll be working very hard to implement those we do hold,” Lord Mayor Haese said.

“The State Government is also to be congratulated for supporting today’s initiative and we thank the Premier for indicating that he is keen to keep working closely with local government on job creation.

"Today’s historic gathering demonstrates that when we collaborate and share ideas and best practices, there are opportunities for us to grab with both hands to help create much needed jobs."

For more information

Matt Halliwell 0411 155 061 / Mary Ann Stenberg (LGASA) 0428 860 274