Council action items behind

Picture: File

Charlotte Varcoe

ROBE District Council will remain focused on strategic planning despite 13 out of 24 council actions being behind schedule.

Of these 13 actions, five are below 50 per cent behind with the rest being between 58 per cent and 100 per cent behind.

The Lake Butler Marina remains an important topic within council with five action items listed and only one on schedule.

The heavy vehicle rest areas initiative grant and the Lake Butler Marina water house berths remain 100 per cent behind.

Council chief executive Nat Traeger said the council owned and operated the Lake Butler Marine and there were “three things” which related to the operation of it.

“One is the long outstanding asset management plan, another is the sinking funds and how that is managed and the other is having a look at the Marina Berth and the sale of it,” Ms Traeger said.

“Council was part of the Electoral Commission of South Australia review and one of the main things in the review was the management of assets on long term financial planning.”

She said council had a “backlog” of legacy issues where it had not been renewing its assets as fast as they were being consumed.

“We have those three things relating to the Marina and my priority at the moment is the asset management plan which is determining the assets that are in the labor or marina and the condition of the assets, at what rate they need to be replace or renewed,” Ms Traeger said.

“That has been a priority and that is now at the draft completion stage.”

She said other matters related to the Marine was in regards to the application or operation of sinking funds, the sale of the short term berth and was in exchange for the long term berth.

“There is some economic analysis that needs to be done there,” she said.

“Due to us being short staffed we still did not have a corporate director and we have not had those leadership roles in place for a long time.”

She said council was also working hard on its 2024/2025 annual business plan and budget as well as a 10-year long term financial plan.

“I have been focusing on the strategic issues and asset management issues so they continue to fall behind in terms of other areas in the Lake Butler Marina,” Ms Traeger said.

“Those resolutions have been sitting there generally since August last year which was before I started so it is managing workloads and priorities and councils strategic direction before I turn my attention back to toher issues to do with the Marina.”

She said it was not as though the other action items were not important but it was about prioitising with the Marina and asset management plan relating to the marina top of the list.

“I am the sixth chief executive to occupy the seat in a short amount of time os when you have unrest in leadership the strategic things often get left behind because the staff here were focused on keeping the doors open and keeping up to date with service levels,” Ms Traeger said.

“Some of the more strategic directions and harder complicated projects were left until there was someone in the chair on a more permanent nature.”

She said council was in the middle of community engagement of the strategic plan with the first of five “long outstanding” asset management plans out for engagement.

“We are currently engaging on our buildings and structures asset management plan, we have got the Lake Butler Marine asset management plan to adjust where it is going and we have almost for the 2024/2025 annual business plan and budget ready to go,” Ms Traeger said.

“We will also be coinciding the community engagement process on the next year’s budget and we are using those figures and feeding them into our long term financial planning.

“This means council is no longer driving along the freeway with low beams, we have our high beams on and we are going to get a better handle on what it actually costs to run this organisation but also with clear transparency and accountability about the projects.”

She said while council had a number of challenges being a coastal town, a large road network and a number of heritage buildings the strategic direction would be clearly set.

“It is about accountability, clear strategic direction and full disclosure on the projects that are coming up for the next four years in a strategic plan and then in those asset management plans for the next 10 years,” Ms Traeger said.