Widely acknowledged for its unsurpassed natural beauty and pristine environment, Kangaroo Island and its community face some unique challenges and opportunities. A major challenge is to promote and develop the region and world class brand so that all in the community may benefit, yet doing so in a sustainable manner. The ongoing provision of essential services and infrastructure is also a key factor towards facilitating this.
The shared vision for Kangaroo Island is highlighted in the 'Kangaroo Island First (PDF, 5166 KB)' report prepared by the Kangaroo Island Futures Authority in May 2015, which was launched on the Island in August 2015 by Deputy Premier Rau.
The shared vision of Kangaroo Island tomorrow is a community built on primary production and tourism.
Science and research have boosted farm productivity. Lamb and grains in volume are staple commodity products, but are far from the only game in town. A burgeoning number of small island producers are adding value to their output, badging it with the distinctive Kangaroo Island Brand, selling on – and off – Island in interstate and overseas markets, carving out a niche and earning a premium return. Kangaroo Island prime cuts and pulses are available, along with honey, eggs, olives and oils, cheese, wine, seafood aplenty; cosmetics, figs, spirits, premium woollen goods and more.
By 2025 the number of tourists visiting Kangaroo Island has more than doubled, drawn by the natural splendours and wilderness the Island offers. International tourists are visiting during the northern summer and staying longer – taking the wilderness walks, cycling the coastal bike trail, opting for the exceptional Kangaroo Island adventure activities available, visiting the cellar doors and fine dining establishments, and recounting their wonderful Island experience with friends and family when they return home. Some play golf on the world class course; some fish; some simply relax in the idyllic remote retreats that dot the rugged coast.
A vibrant, prosperous Kangaroo Island supports and is supported by renewed economic infrastructure. Kingscote airport has been lengthened and strengthened and the terminal upgraded to accommodate direct flights from Melbourne and Sydney; charter flights and private jets complement regular scheduled flights from Adelaide. The submarine power cable from Cape Jervis to Penneshaw has been upgraded; on-island renewable power generation is becoming commonplace. A low cost sea freight service connects the Island direct to Port Adelaide, complementing the reliable passenger and vehicle ferry service out of Penneshaw. Kingscote’s wharf precinct has been renovated and come alive. The blue gums and pines are being logged and shipped and the land returned to farming.
The palpable spirit of optimism amongst kangaroo Islanders today has been building steadily over recent years. KIFA is not the source of it, but has helped the cause find traction and assisted with some valuable connections. The commissioner for Kangaroo Island will have no magic wand with which to bring about an Island transformation; but by building collaboration through consultation, with focus and dedication, the right Commissioner can empower Islands and help them achieve their vision on the Island tomorrow.
With Kangaroo Island the arrowhead of tourism into South Australia, such an outcome will be unambiguously good for the State.
- Kangaroo Island First Report
The Commissioner for Kangaroo Island is committed to delivering lasting benefits that result in increased employment, higher incomes for Islanders, reliable and modern infrastructure and world recognition for tourism, food, wine, arts and lifestyle.
The Commissioner for Kangaroo Island Act (2014) sets out the responsibilities of the Commissioner, which includes:
- improving the management and delivery of services and infrastructure by government agencies;
- providing assistance to businesses and residents dealing with government agencies; and
- assisting in improving the local economy of Kangaroo Island
The following legislation provides detailed information about the role of the Commissioner for Kangaroo Island.