District Council of
Karoonda East Murray



13 June, 2018                                                     Media release


                         KEM Council focuses on long-term community vision in 2018/19 Plan


As Karoonda East Murray Council maps out an aspirational long-term community vision, Council’s 2018/19 Annual Business Plan and Budget will focus on improving and maintaining existing infrastructure, reviewing Council assets and services, and developing strong economic strategic plans.


Under the 2018/19 plan, $1,472,640 will be spent on improving and maintaining the district’s roads, including intersection improvements on heavy vehicle routes.


There will also be upgrades to infrastructure near Karoonda Area School, with safety modifications to kerbing and the bus parking area, and a new storm water management system to be installed on North Terrace, directly in front of the school.


Council will also contribute $210,000 to the Karoonda Area School pool redevelopment, a long-awaited community project.


Council Chief Executive Officer Matthew Morgan says the 2018/19 plan and budget will put Council in a strong financial position for the years ahead.


“2018-19 will be a year for strategic planning, wins in service delivery and identifying cost savings and efficiencies,” he says.


“We need to ensure we can position ourselves to start delivering the long-term community vision, which will ensure the region can sustainably position itself to thrive and prosper into the future.


“As that vision develops, Council will be conducting significant community consultation to engage local residents and give them a say in the future of our region.


“We have a new team across the board and with upcoming elections in November, 2018 is shaping up to be a year of significant change for Council.”


Proposed capital works for the 2018-2019 year will include:

  • Re-sheeting of 34kms of unsealed roads ($1,410,640)
  • Storm water works in front of Karoonda Area School ($140,000)
  • Safety modifications to kerbing and the school’s bus parking area; ($40,000)
  • Safety improvements on heavy vehicle routes ($62,000)
  • Upgrades to Community Wastewater Management System (CWMS) to allow water re-use for irrigation ($65,000)
  • Continued beautification works in Railway Terrace (25,000)


Rates continue to be the Council’s main source of income and, for 2018-19, it is proposed to increase general rates 5 per cent, under Council’s draft Ratings Policy.


An annual kerbside waste management fee of $200 will also be introduced under the plan, which Mr Morgan says is necessary for Council to recoup costs towards expensive regional waste collection services.


“Currently, the cost to Council of waste collection is around $120,000 per year and the fee will only raise $80,000,” he says.


“In the year ahead, Council will be undertaking a full waste management review to determine the viability of current waste services and also the Karoonda landfill site.”


Putting existing Council services under the spotlight and reviewing their feasibility is crucial for financial growth in the future, Mr Morgan says.


“Responsible financial management and a ‘long term view’ over the following two years will pay dividends and current economic forecasts are that Council could potentially return to surplus in 2020, which is good news,” he says.


“Council will also continue to seek external funding and State and Federal Government grants for major projects.”


Pending grant applications for the proposed Memorabilia Building, mean the project has been put on hold under the 2018/19 plan until funding is guaranteed and the proposed building is included in the long term vision.


As well as reviewing Council’s Asset and Infrastructure Management Plan and Long Term Financial Plan, Mr Morgan says there will be a strong focus on developing new plans, including a 10-Year Road Maintenance Plan and Economic Development Strategy.


“A strong economic profile is vital for a thriving community and Council will seek assistance to develop an economic strategy to support and grow new and existing businesses and industry,” he says.


Council’s popular community grants program will also continue, with locally focussed groups and events able to apply for assistance this financial year.


Council will also work towards a provision of sustainable child care services in the Karoonda area, following a community survey and public meeting this year.


Mr Morgan says “good governance” is one of the main strategic objectives underpinning the 2018/19 Annual Business Plan and Budget.


“Council is committed to ensuring its long term financial sustainability and a strong Council/community relationship is key to that success,” he says.


“In the year ahead, Council will endeavour to provide open and effective leadership in close cooperation with the community of Karoonda.”


Have your say: Council is now seeking feedback on its draft 2018-19 Annual Business Plan and Budget and Rating Policy with community consultation open on 14 June until 5pm, 4 July.  People can complete a submission on Council’s website, or written response via post or email. Full details are available from the Council’s website.

Click here to place your submission





Media contact:

Karoonda East Murray Council CEO Matthew Morgan | P: (08) 8578 1004 | E: matthew.m@dckem.sa.gov.au


Annual Business Plan & Budget 2018-19 - DRAFT(636 kb)

Public Consultation Policy - DRAFT(363 kb)

Rating Policy - DRAFT(548 kb)



11 Railway Terrace

PO Box 58

Karoonda SA 5307

Tel: 08 8578 1004

Fax: 08 8578 1246

Email: council@dckem.sa.gov.au

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