South Australia’s Northern Areas Council is embarking on a project of a different kind as it looks to capitalise on a growing number of people looking to relocate from the city to the country, as many local business operators struggle to recruit staff.
“We’re hearing from a lot of business people that they’re having difficulty in being able to recruit staff, particularly with tradespeople and other skilled staff, so it’s important that we are able to attract people to the Council area,” said Mayor Ben Browne.
Assisted by Regional Development Australia Yorke and Mid North, Northern Areas Council is looking at ways to address these issues and has invited community members to get involved.
Council has appointed specialised consulting firm, Algo Mas, to facilitate workshops where community members are encouraged to share their views and help shape the future of their local area.
“Our plan is to hopefully receive input from a number of different people across the community, with involvement from people of different ages and social demographics, business people from farm and non farm enterprise, education, school students, youth, parents, grand parents, we appreciate everyone’s views,” said Mayor Browne.
“Council took the view that this is too important for the community for Council staff and elected members to tackle alone, which is why we really want to hear from people and get them to come along to a workshop where we can work together and look to set a platform for how this can be developed and rolled out.
“We appreciate it’s not a simple task and probable something that hasn’t been done a lot in the regions before, which is why we’re encouraging our local community to get involved, their knowledge and experience is highly valued”.
The project has five key themes including:
- Improving Perceptions and Better Promotion of the Northern Areas Council District;
- Inclusive and Purpose-Built Infrastructure;
- There are places for people to live, rent, buy, and build a home;
- The Business Community is Innovative and Proactive;
- The Northern Areas Council is a place people want to live.
“From a health perspective, we have excellent services with hospitals at Jamestown and Laura, as well as GP services at Gladstone, visiting specialists in Jamestown, mental health services in both Jamestown and Spalding, public and private physiotherapy, a hydrotherapy pool for rehabilitation and public community gyms in Jamestown, Laura and Spalding,” said Mayor Browne.
“These are always some of the considerations for people looking to relocate from the city to the country.
“As for education, we have two secondary schools, as well as multiple public and private primary schools and we now have University education available only a short distance away in the neighbouring Council via the Spencer Gulf Uni Hub. There are local students from our Council area who study at the hub, which is great as it delivers an significant cost saving for their families by not needing them to relocate to the city.
“Our sporting and community infrastructure has undergone and continues to undergo major upgrades aswell as fantastic greenspace experiences in places like the Bundaleer Forest, while there are opportunities to go fishing in the Bundaleer and Beetaloo Reservoirs.”
The region also has 24-hour fuel service in several of towns and 7-day-1-week supermarket facilities.
“And we’ll continue to advocate for improved child care services,” the Mayor said.
“While we as locals know about the great services and facilities that we have, combined with an affordable lifestyle comparative to the city, we’ve perhaps not been the best at letting our city cousins know that Northern Areas Council is a well serviced and affordable place to bring up your family or to move in to retirement.”
People can register via Eventbrite at the following links, find the links below or contact the Northern Areas Council office on 08 8664 1139 or firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Workshop 1 – Tuesday 24 August 2021, 7:30pm-9:30pm, Caltowie Bowling Club https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/northern-areas-council-economic-population-growth-project-workshop-1-tickets-166760018705
Workshop 2 – Wednesday 25 August 2021, 9:30am-11:30am, Caltowie Bowling Club https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/northern-areas-council-economic-population-growth-project-workshop-2-tickets-166760325623