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#Article: Lord Mayor Harbison's Three Super Councils Plan

#1 Post by AG » Sun Jul 20, 2008 8:57 am

Lord Mayor Harbison suggests three 'super councils' to boost economy
July 20, 2008 12:30am
LORD Mayor Michael Harbison has suggested the creation of three "super councils" across Adelaide.

Mr Harbison labelled the existing system of 19 separate metropolitan municipalities as a hindrance to South Australia's progress.
He said three separate councils could represent north, south and central zones to boost the economy, aid planning and increase efficiency.


The State Government indicated it would examine any proposal as long as it had overwhelming community support and would deliver benefits.

Harbison's plan: Three council map

Comment: Bigger is better for all SA

Mr Harbison, 55, this week said the pace of change had been the most frustrating issue for him during his five years in office."Everything takes three times as long as you wish it," he said.

Mr Harbison said councillors from Christchurch visiting Adelaide last year were amazed it had 19 councils.

"They said, `We can't believe you get anything done'.

"And they're right - you can't."

Mr Harbison said the dramatic revamp would give SA a crucial competitive edge.

"We are a small city in a small state. We have to do better than most other places," he said.

He said the councils could be in the north (loosely covering Playford, Salisbury and Gawler), central Adelaide (including Unley, Adelaide, West Torrens and Port Adelaide), and in the south, based on Onkaparinga.

Under his idea, they would be created from scratch rather than one body taking over another.

Mr Harbison acknowledged there would be challenges, such as finding a way to maintain local democracy and how to run the CBD.

He said a solution to the CBD issue would be to manage a separate department within the central council, with sole responsibility for city development. Mr Harbison's concept, based on an idea by 2003 Adelaide thinker in residence Charles Landry, received strong support from Business SA.

Chief executive Peter Vaughan said that "we have held the long-term belief that all metropolitan councils should be amalgamated". "It would reduce duplication of services and improve consistency of planning and other decision-making processes in similar areas," he said.

The State Government said any changes would not be imposed on communities against their will.

Local Government Minister Jennifer Rankine said it was only a couple of weeks ago that an amalgamation between the Adelaide City Council and West Torrens Council "was being proposed without any consultation".

"The Government has maintained a consistent position of no forced local government amalgamations, however we are happy to look at any proposals that have the overwhelming support of the community, as well as delivering significant benefits," she said.

The Opposition took a similar line, local government spokesman Michael Pengelly saying amalgamating councils or creating super councils "should be encouraged by the State Government", but should not be imposed.

"I can see already a number of councils are happy with their lot, ratepayers included, who would say no," he said.

The Local Government Association said there was no evidence big councils were better than small ones.

"Communities are in charge and if communities want to restructure, there is an opportunity to talk to their local councillors," executive director Wendy Campana said.

The control of power in Adelaide has been under scrutiny since the Government this week removed from the city council planning approval powers for projects costing $10 million or more. Describing that decision as "unfortunate", Mr Harbison praised the Government for picking up the pace of state projects.

"The tram project was delivered quickly, but in government things just take forever; that's my biggest frustration," he said.

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Re: #Article: Lord Mayor Harbison's Three Super Councils Plan

#2 Post by AtD » Sun Jul 20, 2008 9:22 am

I agree entirely with Harbo. There's too much bureaucracy.

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Re: #Article: Lord Mayor Harbison's Three Super Councils Plan

#3 Post by Wayno » Sun Jul 20, 2008 9:45 am

i agree with Harbo's approach, but it would take a very brave politician to make this happen...
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Re: #Article: Lord Mayor Harbison's Three Super Councils Plan

#4 Post by Jim » Sun Jul 20, 2008 10:29 am

The Adelaide CBD and its immediate surrounds are for all South Australians, I would be in favor of the State Government running this area and leaving the rest to local government.

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Re: #Article: Lord Mayor Harbison's Three Super Councils Plan

#5 Post by Will » Sun Jul 20, 2008 10:46 am

Our local councils are a throwback to the era of colonialism. There is no point in having 19 councils administer Adelaide. If we were to begin building Adelaide today in our modern era, there is no way that we would end up with 19 councils.

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Re: #Article: Lord Mayor Harbison's Three Super Councils Plan

#6 Post by Shuz » Sun Jul 20, 2008 1:02 pm

I'm suprised the State Government is maintaining a 'encouragement' policy towards the issue, given that it sort of contradicts their view on transferring planning powers from the ACC to the DAC. If the move has been positive, I see absolutely no reason why they shouldn't force the abolishment of the council system and introduce the 3-councils idea - a good government should maintain the same stance on similar issues, and it would also help in sync with the planning reforms and the ACC development powers transfer.

I should also point out that a lot of ideas 'touted' of late have actually come to fruitition. Here's hoping this follows suit.

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Re: #Article: Lord Mayor Harbison's Three Super Councils Plan

#7 Post by Wayno » Sun Jul 20, 2008 1:31 pm

Shuz wrote:I'm suprised the State Government is maintaining a 'encouragement' policy towards the issue, given that it sort of contradicts their view on transferring planning powers from the ACC to the DAC. If the move has been positive, I see absolutely no reason why they shouldn't force the abolishment of the council system and introduce the 3-councils idea - a good government should maintain the same stance on similar issues, and it would also help in sync with the planning reforms and the ACC development powers transfer.

I should also point out that a lot of ideas 'touted' of late have actually come to fruitition. Here's hoping this follows suit.
There's a big political difference between demoting the ACC and amalgamating Suburban councils. Most voters (i.e. AdelaideNow readers) are very happy with the ACC demotion because it gives the impression of impacting only "high society" and therefore is a win for the masses. The govt is not stupid - this was a big vote winner for them.

Merging suburban councils, on the other hand, will put fear into the heart of too many voters. It makes sense and may happen, but not before the next election.
Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

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Re: #Article: Lord Mayor Harbison's Three Super Councils Plan

#8 Post by Paulns » Sun Jul 20, 2008 2:05 pm

Wayno wrote:Merging suburban councils, on the other hand, will put fear into the heart of too many voters. It makes sense and may happen, but not before the next election.
I tend to agree but I can't see this happening for a long while yet. Like what's been said, it would take a very brave politician to ever make this happen..

ACC is a classic example where by a small amount of people seem to think Adelaide itself is their exclusive little domain and fail to realise that the city is infact the capital of this state. I find it hard to imagine residents within that particular council giving up any more powers after the State gov just striped some of their building and development decisions away. What happens within the bounderies of the ACC is almost a mini relfection of the prosperity of SA to the rest of Australia and the world.
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Re: #Article: Lord Mayor Harbison's Three Super Councils Plan

#9 Post by Shuz » Sun Jul 20, 2008 3:07 pm

How the plan could look.

http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/files/councils2.pdf

I think Port Adelaide Enfield should be Central, not North.

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Re: #Article: Lord Mayor Harbison's Three Super Councils Plan

#10 Post by AtD » Sun Jul 20, 2008 3:10 pm

I would say the 'Tiser just threw that 'allocation' together themselves, rather than anyone with any knowledge or power.

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Re: #Article: Lord Mayor Harbison's Three Super Councils Plan

#11 Post by Hippodamus » Sun Jul 20, 2008 3:53 pm

Harbison can be a hypocrite... his only suggesting this based on the governments recent decision to strip ACC from power of major developments.

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Re: #Article: Lord Mayor Harbison's Three Super Councils Plan

#12 Post by AtD » Sun Jul 20, 2008 4:54 pm

No, he's been talking council mergers for some time now. Adelaide and West Torrens, specifically.

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Re: #Article: Lord Mayor Harbison's Three Super Councils Plan

#13 Post by Wayno » Sun Jul 20, 2008 6:03 pm

i'd like Unley, Mitcham, & Burnside to be merged. So silly to have multiple councils for such a mature area of suburbia.
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Re: #Article: Lord Mayor Harbison's Three Super Councils Plan

#14 Post by Mants » Mon Jul 21, 2008 11:36 pm

Wayno wrote:i'd like Unley, Mitcham, & Burnside to be merged. So silly to have multiple councils for such a mature area of suburbia.
exactly, i think i said the same thing a few weeks back

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Re: #Article: Lord Mayor Harbison's Three Super Councils Plan

#15 Post by Jim » Tue Jul 22, 2008 10:58 am

The sooner all South Australians can have a vote on what happens in our own capital city the better. Make the CBD a state government responsibility; it’s a disgrace that we have to rely on the intelligence and self interest of the small minority of individuals that bother vote.

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