The fundamental focus at the heart of The Barossa Council’s boundary reform conversations is community. Council understand that the idea of boundary reform has long been discussed within the community, and is championing an open dialogue on this matter, which engages and includes everyone that identifies as ‘Barossan’.
In having this conversation it is critical to remember that the possibility of boundary reform isn’t about one Council ‘taking over’ another, but instead is about what is best in the long term for the communities that Council represent. The potential to bring together communities of similar culture, identity, social, economic and environmental interests under one Council has the ability to empower.
There are many steps on the boundary reform journey, of which consultation is key. However, the first step is a general proposal to be submitted to the Local Government Boundaries Commission. The Commission will assess the proposal in regard to relevant legislation and guidelines to determine if there is merit to the proposal. If the Commission deem the general proposal has merit, Council may then decide to proceed with a formal proposal submission which will include extensive analysis, and, importantly, community consultation.
It is worth noting, that the decision to alter boundaries cannot be made by a Council itself – it is a lengthy process (at least 12 -24 months or more) in which much analysis and consultation is undertaken to ensure all financial, economic and social factors are thoroughly investigated both at a community, Council and Commission level.
The Barossa Council is in good stead with more than sufficient land for long term development, is highly financially sustainable, and therefore is well placed to consider strategic connections and above all, listening to the broad community and if the results are supportive uniting the Barossa communities one of common interest.