Office of the Commissioner for Kangaroo Island
A Message from the Commissioner
We have been busy briefing the new Liberal Government about the issues we are addressing on the Island and assisting with briefing notes for visits.
I have twice met with Hon. Stephan Knoll, Minister for Planning, Infrastructure and Transport who has carriage of the legislation creating my position.
The Hon. David Speirs, Minister for Environment and Water (pictured below) was recently on the Island and I accompanied him on a tour of the proposed golf course and hosted a dinner with Richard Trethewey (Chair, NRM Board) and Mayor Peter Clements, attended by KI Industry Association Chairs or their representatives.
This dinner gave the industry associations a great opportunity to brief the Minister on issues of importance to their members.
We are running a range of programs in collaboration with Council resulting from funding from the Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF), with funding also coming from Council and my Office. This newsletter updates readers on specific activities in the business networking, leadership and strategic growth areas which are key themes of the project.
I continue to be impressed with our years 10, 11 and 12 students at KICE. I had a workshop with them recently to discuss their aspirations for a meeting place. They are a great group to work with and I feel confident that Junction and the Senior Student Executive of KICE will work well in sorting arrangements for the opening of the meeting place at Junction’s community centre in Kingscote.
Our business networking workshop on 15 May was a great success with 30 participants involved. The announcement of our 11 leaders participating in the Leadership Program has also occurred and Brian Cunningham commences his work with this group in June. They will attend a workshop each month and also receive individual coaching from Brian.
We have received over 143 requests so far in 2017/18 for assistance from people seeking to interact with government which is a tremendous increase, as I enter my third year in the role of Commissioner for Kangaroo Island.
We can also advise of a $2M financial and in kind investment to date, into the community by way of research, sponsorships, training, media, industry body support and projects. We continue to have a strong working relationship with the community, Council, industry bodies and others on the Island, delivering real outcomes.
Twenty-eight businesses have expanded their services or started up on the Island in the last 18 months in the touring, restaurant/café, cellar door and accommodation areas. This shows the increasing confidence of the Island community in business investment.
The airport will be opened soon and a recent tour with CEO, Andy Boardman impressed me greatly. Our Arts Committee has been asked to assist in seeking and selecting art to be on show for the opening and the following 6 weeks. The Committee will also assist in determining an approach for ongoing presence and promotion of artists and their work at the Airport.
There is much going on as we settle in with the new Government and continue to promote the great work of the Island and address needs of individuals and businesses.
Commissioner for Kangaroo Island
Artwork at KI Airport - Art Committee Selection Panel
Members of the Commissioner for Kangaroo Island’s Arts Committee attended a tour of the Kangaroo Island Airport on 12 April 2018. In the meeting that followed, the Kangaroo Island Council CEO Andrew Boardman expressed an interest in gaining guidance from the Committee on securing artwork for the official opening of the airport.
A selection panel comprised of KI Arts Committee members who did not have artworks of their own or their family nominated for the exhibition was formed. Using a predetermined set of criteria the panel deliberated their decisions with curator of the exhibition, Fleur Peters, who was not a panel member but present to answer questions and provide guidance where required.
Criteria included artistic merit, technical execution, representative of a range of art disciplines and the Island’s diverse arts community.
From the 85 pieces submitted, 50 were selected from 22 artists. The exhibit will be hung at the airport for the launch with some of the works available for purchase.
Another program being conducted under the BBRF with assistance from my Office will see 11 people go through a 6 month bespoke Leadership Program. The Program will be led by Brian Cunningham who will be known to many from his time in football.
However, Brian also brings a wealth of experience having previously held Chief Executive positions in the Department of Education and also the Department of State Development. Brian also sits on a range of boards and conducts his own consultancy in leadership, coaching and mentoring.
The 11 participants in the program are Bec Davis, Tamsin Wendt, John Howe, Megan Harvie, Kaila Kirby, Tony Nolan, Kylie Bamfield, Stephanie Wurst, Rick Morris, Stephen Morgan and Kevin Riggs.
In commenting on his role in the program Brian said “I am excited to be delivering this program to a select group of emerging leaders who are residents and undertaking business on KI. This program will stretch them individually and collectively and each will bring their own unique strengths and development needs. I trust that at the end of six months, they will have grown on their leadership journey and as a result, are able to contribute even more to the wider KI community”.
One Day Business Networking & Training Event
Utilising funding from the Federal Government’s Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF) secured by the Kangaroo Island Council with funding contributions from our Office and Council, 30 people participated in a one day session on 15 May.
Feedback from participants has been positive as they worked through a program with speakers addressing topics such as Resilient Communities (Professor Neil Argent, University of New England); Using Investors/Advisors (Richard Kimber, Norman Waterhouse Lawyers); Financial Management (Louisa Andreucci, Hood Sweeney); People Management (Lucy Perpetua from Safe Work SA and Brian Cunningham); Strategic Growth Planning (Julia Mann, Clover Strategy) and Reputation and Image (Barbara Sibley, OCKI).
We also had a briefing from John Chapman, Small Business Commissioner (pictured) about issues that come across his desk and how his organisation can assist small businesses. The attendees worked hard during the day as they participated in a series of case studies based on a fictitious company called “Kangaroo Island Fantastico” which had many financial, industrial and media problems!
The case studies created discussion and participants were able to gain the benefit of some expert advice in solving the problems of this fictitious organisation.
Review of the Commissioner for Kangaroo Island Act (CKIA)
The review of the Environment & Resources Committee of the Parliament was completed in late February. The final paragraph of the Executive Summary of the Committee’s report, having received 29 submissions and 7 witnesses during its visit to the Island says:
“It can be surmised that as there is no sunset clause but review dates in the CKIA it is the intention for the Act to continue unless evidence to the contrary arises. No alternative model was suggested to the Committee. Only minor amendments were suggested and no fatal flaw was evident. On the contrary the “vibe” was of an Island starting to realise its potential and on the verge of a rise in its fortunes. It is the Committee’s agreed view that the CKIA is a benefit to the Island and the State and is achieving the goals set.”
A full copy of the report is available here.
SA Water Plan
The final touches are being put on SA Water’s Water Plan for Kangaroo Island as they complete their round of consultations and wind up the work of the Reference Group formed with the assistance of our Office. The water security issues were raised with our Office very early in the piece and working with Council we have been able to secure the support of SA Water to have a comprehensive look at the needs of the Island. The Plan is likely to be released in late June 2018.
Feral Goats and Deer
On 12 June 2018 the Federal Assistant Minister for the Environment, the Hon Melissa Price, formally announced that feral goats have been successfully eradicated from Kangaroo Island. For the first time in nearly 200 hundred years, Kangaroo Island is free from feral goats. This has been achieved through a coordinated pest control management program since 2000 led by Kangaroo Island NRM with the community.
The effective eradication of feral deer has also been achieved but a period of time must pass before their full eradication may be declared.
Kangaroo Island is now the largest island in the world to achieve the eradication of feral goats. The eradication of these feral animals will provide long-term benefits for biodiversity, threatened species and primary production on Kangaroo Island.
Beverages - Wine Listings on the Mainland
It is pleasing to note that KI has now clocked up 36 wine listings on the mainland with False Cape, Islander Estate Vineyards, Bay of Shoals and Dudley Wine's all gaining listings. Congratulations to you all and let’s hope there are more listings to come as the wonderful wines of KI are discovered. The Beverages Project being conducted by my Office has assisted with these listings and we continue to promote the wines of those in the project.
In conjunction with Kangaroo Island Natural Resources and PIRSA a small working group of farmers was formed to meet and discuss the impact of feral pigs on agricultural properties on the Island. As a result a survey seeking examples of the costs associated to the management of feral pigs was conducted in December 2017. The results of the survey have been assessed for the economic impacts. Preliminary findings indicate that:
- The areas impacted by feral pigs are some of the most significant and productive land on the Island;
- The population (based on survey results) suggests that the numbers remain relatively consistent over recent years but the economic impacts are increasing;
- The damage caused by feral pigs has increased substantially between 2015 and 2017 with 81% of survey respondents reporting impacts in 2017 compared to 61% in 2015;
- During this 2015 - 2017 period, damage or losses to fencing recorded a 90% increase;
- Between 2015 and 2017 a total of 6,418 hours were reported to be spent on controlling feral pigs – an increase of 150% with about half of these hours spent in 2017;
- The costs of this control work by farmers for the period 2015 – 2017 is $1.65M.
To gain a greater understanding of the economic impact of feral pigs, it was agreed that further work needed to be undertaken to assess the loss of production from land degraded by feral pigs, including remediation and reseeding etc. The survey report will form the basis of funding submissions to eligible State and Federal Government programs targeted at the management of feral pigs.
This further work will look at activities that need to be undertaken to remediate land and the costs of doing so; the time taken and ongoing care required to remediate land; and other relevant matters. Once this supplementary work is completed the results of the entire project will be made available to the community.
Significant Environmental Benefits
In February 2017, the Commissioner for Kangaroo Island established the Local Advisory Board for Native Vegetation Management under the Commissioner for Kangaroo Island Act. While this Board has since been dissolved, it identified the need for examples of how the choice to clear native vegetation on a property could be applied in business decisions on KI and how the environmental context of a property varies the Significant Environmental Benefits (SEB) costings if the option of clearing native vegetation is pursued by a landholder.
This project aimed to address this gap while also providing examples of the application of SEB policy and the costs associated to clearing, establishing an offset or paying into the native vegetation fund.
A project has been undertaken to develop a single, hypothetical and illustrative business scenario with existing native vegetation and demonstrate the options available and costings for offsetting the removal of the native vegetation, within the broader context of the business decision. This report is expected to be released in late June.
Sustainability Indicators - Australian National University Professors
On 8 May 2018 Professor Robert Costanza and Dr Ida Kubiszewski from the Australian National University met with representatives from the KI Natural Resources Management Board, KI Council, and the Commissioner’s Local Advisory Board for Economic Growth to discuss the development of sustainability indicators for the Island.
The intent of the workshop was to gain an understanding of what the latest, cutting-edge thinking is about measures of progress and indicators of change and to understand how KI might best develop a suitable model for measuring sustainability.
The workshop looked at the use of Genuine Progress Indicators (GPI) as an alternative to Gross Regional Product (GRP). This measure is designed to take fuller account of the well-being of a community with only a portion of the measure pertaining to the size of the nation's economy and incorporates environmental and social factors which are not measured by GDP.
It was agreed by those present to continue the current body of work by the Commissioner’s Office to undertake a desktop review of comparable islands that have done work to establish sustainability indicators, policies and practices to manage island growth. It will identify each island’s starting point, growth scenario, measurement tools and the overall benefits to the island of taking a managed approach to growth and development, including how this work they have done added value to the appeal of their island to residents and visitors.
Inadequate mobile phone coverage remains a significant issue for people living, working and travelling on Kangaroo Island. Collectively, Australia’s three national mobile network operators – Optus, Telstra, and Vodafone Hutchinson Australia – claim to provide services to 99 per cent of the population. However, large portions of the Island are still blackspot areas.
Acknowledging telecommunications as integral to modern society the Office of the Commissioner for Kangaroo Island (OCKI), with support from its Local Advisory Board on Economic Growth (LAB), has investigated the locations of telecommunication blackspot areas on the Island. All members of the LAB were requested to provide a list of known blackspot areas while a community Facebook post in early 2018 requested residents to submit their blackspot areas. A list of 47 blackspot areas have been identified including significant tourist destinations such as Vivonne Bay and Stokes Bay.
Kangaroo Island Developments - Undersea Cable
Kangaroo Island’s energy is currently provided through an ageing undersea cable from the mainland. The existing radial 33kV submarine cable that supplies Kangaroo Island is nearing its average life expectancy of 30 years. It is being replaced with a 20,000 kVA/33,000 Volt cable, with total project costs estimated to be $39 million.
The new cable is on route to the Island from China and the laying of the cable is expected to be completed in June 2018. It is anticipated that the new cable will have more than enough capacity to meet the anticipated peak demand growth on the Island for the next 30 years.
Local Advisory Boards
Native Vegetation Management
The Advisory Board on Native Vegetation has completed its work and has been wound up with a big thank you from OCKI to the Members who worked hard to identify issues, explore current practices and make recommendations on the issues still requiring attention.
OCKI is currently working with key government agencies to finalise a community information paper that will be circulated in the coming month.
The Local Advisory Board for Economic Growth has so far met twice this year to address the opportunities set out in the Kangaroo Island Economic Development Outlook. The Board also met in April to undertake a workshop and review the Economic Development Outlook.
During these meetings the Board has received multiple presentations – two from SA Water to discuss the long term water supply of the Island; from Kangaroo Island Plantation Timbers on the business and proposed development of the wharf; and, from KI Council CEO Andrew Boardman, on Bioenergy opportunities on the Island.
The Board continues to investigate matters such as financial institution mortgage lending, Island sustainability, and telecommunication blackspots.
The Local Advisory Board for Housing will continue to look at the implementation of the Management Plan for Housing on Kangaroo Island.
At their Board meeting in February, the Board met with representatives from the real estate sector including Michael Barrett (Century 21), Paul Gibson (Cliff Hawkins Real Estate), Colin Hopkins (Elders), and Lynne Savage (KI Real Estate). A discussion was held to understand the extent of the shortage in housing on the Island. The Board also discussed with these representatives the challenges of accessing finance for the purchase of homes and businesses on the Island. This discussion has helped to further inform the Board and given greater context of the limitation of housing on the Island.
The Board is now finalising Part 1 of the Implementation Plan for Housing and is beginning to look at the development of Part 2 – Implementation and Delivery to establish possible solutions to address the needs.
To find out more about Board Members of the Local Advisory Boards or to view the Terms of Reference visit the Local Advisory Board page of our website.
Recipients of 2018 Food and Wine Awards
Kangaroo Island Dining
Mercure Kangaroo Island Lodge
Farm Gate Experience
Emu Ridge Eucalyptus Distillery
Cellar Door Experience
Dudley Wines Cellar Door
Unique Food and Beverage Experience
New Tourism Business
Wandering Souls Australia
Nature-Based Tourism Experience
Kangaroo Island Ocean Safari
Best Value-Added Product
Kangaroo Island Free Range Eggs
Kangaroo Island Rising Star
Kangaroo Island Outstanding Contribution by an Individual
Kangaroo Island Wine of the Year
False Cape 2015 The Captain Cabernet Sauvignon
Over the past few months there have been a number of achievements on the Island. Congratulations to the list of many award and service medal recipients listed below.
John Berden - Bob Hams Memorial Over 70's, Bowling Award 2018
Maggie Patterson - Distinguished Service Award 2018
Barry Green - Outstanding Individual Award 2018
Kangaroo Island Community Education - NRM Project Award 2018
Agriculture KI - Sustainable Primary Production Award 2018
Dolphin Watch Research Crew - 12th Birthday
Southern Ocean Lodge - 10 Years of Operation
Tricky Earthworks - 10 Years in Business
Elders Kingscote - South Australian Branch of the Year 2017
George Buick - CFS National Medals and 40 Years of Service
Colin Groves - CFS National Medal
Peter Guider - CFS Nationals Medal and 30 Years’ Service
William Roper - CFS National Medal
Neil Stoeckel - CFS National Medal
Alan Thomas - CFS National Medal
Kayne Davis - CFS 10 Years’ Service Medal
Kathryn Dodgson - CFS 10 Year Service Medal
Brett Hagerstrom - CFS 10 Year Service Medal
Wayne Niemann - CFS 10 Year Service Medal
Lisa Stevens - CFS 10 Years’ Service Medal
Sharon Tucker - CFS 10 Year Service Medal
David West - CFS 10 Years’ Service Medal
Andy Wood - CFS 10 Years’ Service Medal
Darren Hastily - CFS 20 Years’ Service Clasp
Donald Duffy - CFS 20 Years’ Service Clasp
Patricia Groves - CFS 20 Years’ Service Clasp
Christine Stoeckel - CFS 20 Years’ Service Clasp
Dennis Dodgson - CFS 30 Years’ Service Clasp
Judith Buick - CFS 40 Years’ Service Clasp
Louise Thomas - CFS 40 Years’ Service Clasp
Ronald Willson - CFS 40 Years’ Service Clasp
David Clifford - CFS 40 Years’ Service Clasp
Ronald Florance - CFS 40 Years’ Service Clasp & CFS Service Medal
Rodney Lade - CFS 40 Years’ Service Clasp
David Rowsell - CFS 40 Years’ Service Clasp
Neville Sugars - CFS 40 Years’ Service Clasp
Donald Watters - CFA 40 Years’ Service Clasp
Lincoln Willson - CFS 40 Years’ Service Clasp
Barry Wheaton - CFS National Medal Clasp 1 & 2
Suzanne Guider - CFS 10 Years’ Service Medal
KICE – Easter Art Show, Penneshaw Campus Youth 13 - 16 Years, 1st prize for Art Piece "Penneshaw Street Art"
Tarryn Putland – Easter Art Show, Youth 13 - 16 Years, 2nd Prize for her Art Piece
Yumbah Aquaculture - "From the Sea" 2018 South Australian Delicious Award
Emu Ridge Eucalyptus Distillery – 27 Years in Business
Genevieve Nesfield - Participated in the World's Greatest Shave
Amber Lavers-Beer - Participated in the World's Greatest Shave
Isabelle Clarke - Participated in the World's Greatest Shave