Outback Communities Authority to oversee town management of Leigh Creek
The State Government announced on Monday 6 June that it is continuing negotiations with Alinta Energy for the Outback Communities Authority (OCA) to take over operational management of Leigh Creek from 1 January 2017.
The announcement follows the State Government’s decision to continue the provision of essential services beyond mid-2018 with support for Leigh Creek to remain ‘open for business’ into the future.
The Township will continue to provide essential services to about 700 people both in Leigh Creek and surrounding communities with existing buildings, including those for commercial use such as the caravan park, tavern, school, parks being maintained.
Maintenance of essential town services and assets includes water, wastewater, roads and aerodrome and municipal services such as the rubbish dump, footpaths, parks and gardens, barbecues, public toilets, street lighting and other recreational facilities including the swimming pool, ovals, gymnasium, and sports stadium.
Manufacturing and Innovation Minister Kyam Maher made the announcement in Leigh Creek yesterday in support for the northern Flinders Ranges Communities affected by the closure of Alinta Energy’s Leigh Creek coal mining operations.
The Minister also released a report by former South Australian Education and Tourism Minister Dr Jane Lomax-Smith, which contains 30 recommendations made to the State Government to maintain and revitalise the township.
The Leigh Creek Futures Report includes the establishment of an Advisory Body with representatives from surrounding communities along with representatives from the Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands Association (ATLA) so that residents in the surrounding communities who use the regional service town can have a say in its future.
Residents will be encouraged to stay in the town with tenancies being rolled over and the town transitioning to be an open community in a staged and considered process over the next year.
Of the current housing stock, some dwellings are intended to be kept and upgraded for current use, other dwellings to be retained for future use and depending on future demand there will be a progressive program to demolish dwellings which are surplus to requirements.
The OCA is committed to ensuring that the community can transition successfully and is able to grasp future economic opportunities.
Government will appoint a Transition Manager to work with OCA to develop commercial and marketing opportunities in the town and the region, including opening an Expression of Interest process for commercial businesses like the tavern and caravan park within the next six months.
Cecilia Woolford Chair of the OCA said that she welcomes the release of the Leigh Creek Futures Report and commitment from Government that has provided a degree of certainty along with a strong financial commitment for the future social and economic direction of the Township and region.
“The Outback Communities Authority is the State Government’s Statutory Authority that has a legislative responsibility to provide for efficient and accountable administration and management of outback communities, it is therefore completely appropriate for the Outback Communities Authority to manage the transition of Leigh Creek to a town that is open for business.
For a copy of the Leigh Creek Futures report, visit leighcreekfutures.sa.gov.au
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