Legislation to appoint a commissioner to represent the interests of people living and working in South Australia's cross-border communities, has been passed in both houses in state parliament late yesterday.
The establishment of a cross border commissioner was a key election commitment by the Malinauskas Labor Government and led to the State Government introducing this legislation in the first sitting week of the new Parliament.
The commissioner will provide a new mechanism to address issues. facilitate collaboration and engagement with residents, businesses and community organisations, as well as all tiers of government.
The bill requires that the Commissioner should have a detailed understanding of the issues affecting cross-border communities and should live within a cross-border community.
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister Clare Scriven said the need for a commissioner was highlighted during COVID-19 border closures, which caused significant disruption for people living in border regions, but many issues existed long before the pandemic.
An extensive and thorough recruitment process will now be undertaken with the intent of announcing the successful candidate later this year.
Attributable to Clare Scriven
We’ve delivered on another election commitment for our regional communities, and I thank Member for Mt Gambier Troy Bell for his hard work in helping pass this important legislation.
Cross-border communities face a range of complicated issues on a daily basis, from firefighters experiencing difficulty fighting fires on the border, families who have children that attend schools in border communities, tradies who have several layers of red tape and regulation to service both areas – just to name a few.
This government is committed to ensuring that the needs of regional residents are heard and addressed, and this legislated role is a very positive step.