1. Why have a Commissioner for KI?
One of the key recommendations of the Kangaroo Island Futures Authority (KIFA) was to appoint a Commissioner for Kangaroo Island to address the complex, interrelated issues around Kangaroo Island’s sustainable social and economic growth.
Following KIFA’s three year term (finishing on 30 June 2015) the State Government agreed to a KIFA recommendation that a Commissioner be appointed to continue the work that KIFA undertook and to ensure the improved delivery of government services and infrastructure on the Island.
2. What has happened to KIFA?
The Kangaroo Island Futures Authority (KIFA) was established in 2011 for a three year term and was dissolved on 30 June 2015. KIFA played a crucial role in making a case for appointing the Commissioner for Kangaroo Island, with the Commissioner for Kangaroo Island Bill successfully passing through Parliament in 2014.
3. What does the Commissioner do?
The Commissioner for Kangaroo Island was appointed by the Minister for Planning under the Commissioner for Kangaroo Island Act. The primary purpose of the Commissioner is to play a pivotal role in improving the management, co-ordination and delivery of government infrastructure and services on Kangaroo Island. The Commissioner will collaborate with, and bring together, government agencies to utilise existing public servants, programs and resources in an integrated and efficient manner to ensure the needs of the community are met.
4. Who does the Commissioner report to?
The Commissioner for Kangaroo Island reports to Deputy Premier John Rau. The Deputy Premier who is also South Australia’s Attorney-General has portfolios in:
- Justice Reform
- Housing and Urban Development
- Industrial Relations
- Child Protection Reform
5. How does the Commissioner source the funds to operate?
The Commissioner receives an annual operating budget from the Government of South Australia. The Commissioner’s budget is allocated to providing long-term benefits for Kangaroo Island and its people by:
- developing management plans in accordance with the Act;
- establishing Local Advisory Boards in accordance with the Act;
- commissioning projects to develop solutions to the complex issues facing the Island and provide long-lasting benefits to the community; and
- supporting the operation of the Office of the Commissioner for Kangaroo Island.
6. What is the relationship between the Commissioner and the Kangaroo Island Council?
The Office of the Commissioner for Kangaroo Island and the Kangaroo Island Council are two distinct organisations. The Council is a Local Government authority established under the Local Government Act with a Mayor and elected members elected by the community of Kangaroo Island to represent their interests and to provide infrastructure and local governance.
The Commissioner’s role and functions is established under the Commissioner for Kangaroo Island Act and the appointment of the Commissioner is made by the Governor of South Australia. The Office of the Commissioner for Kangaroo Island is a statutory office established within the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure.
Both the Council and the Commissioner oversee the effective delivery of government services and infrastructure and it is expected that they will work collaboratively to improve outcomes on the Island.
7. Does the Commissioner live on the Island?
The Commissioner lives in Adelaide, however divides her time between Adelaide and Kangaroo Island with weekly visits to the Island. The Commissioner recognises the importance of spending time on Kangaroo Island and speaking to the community to hear about the challenges and opportunities that Islander’s experience. It is crucial that the Kangaroo Island people have a voice in the decisions that affect them. It is also important that the Commissioner maintains close relationships with State and Federal governments and with the local Member of Parliament to ensure that local perspectives are being heard at a higher level.
8. Does the Commissioner have staff and if so, who are they?
The Commissioner has appointed an Office Manager, Jennifer Trethewey, and a Community and Government Liaison Officer, Cate Stanford, to support her to carry out the functions of her role. Find out more about Jennifer and Cate here.