City of Onkaparinga Mayor Erin Thompson said the pandemic, which hit communities in March, meant 2019-20 was “unlike any year in living memory”.
“For the City of Onkaparinga, it meant an unwavering focus on the wellbeing and resilience of our communities, while continuing to provide more than 200 services and major projects our residents rely on each year,” she said.
“I was so proud to watch our residents band together, lending a hand to those in need. It was also inspiring to see staff and volunteers at our positive ageing centres, and local businesses pivoting to deliver free or low-cost meals to the vulnerable.
“We implemented a range of relief measures to support our communities during this unprecedented crisis.
“We provided ratepayers extensions to pay their rates, launched the Go South Go Local campaign to kickstart the local economy, offered a new grant to improve community wellbeing and resilience, waived lease and associated costs for businesses and sporting clubs using council facilities, plus more.”
Council spent $40.84 million on capital works in 2019-20, helping to stimulate the local economy, create jobs and improve infrastructure.
Some of the significant projects completed or underway in 2019-20 included:
Big-ticket projects aside, Mayor Thompson said council invested heavily in maintaining its infrastructure as well as delivering a range of upgrades to its youth centres, community centres, and sports facilities.
“Our vital work supporting vulnerable or isolated people in our communities took on a new significance with the pandemic, including our programs and services in disability, active ageing, social inclusion, community transport, home support and respite,” she said.
“Our ON Business Partner Program, which climbed to almost 1000 members and won a national Economic Development Australia award for its small business grants, similarly was a key pillar for council to help our business community to recover.
“The green shoots in the economy were matched by those in our stunning natural areas. We planted 50,000 local native seedlings to create wildlife habitat across 60 revegetation sites in 2019–20, just one outcome from a range of projects aimed at protecting the environment.
“We installed more than 1000 solar panels atop our three highest energy-consuming buildings amid the news our corporate emissions had been slashed by 42 per cent over the past decade.
“The announcement that a new material recycling facility will be built in Seaford Heights through our joint subsidiary, the Southern Region Waste Resource Authority, was another huge win for the environment, seeing us move positively towards a circular economy.
“The threat of Covid-19 was ever-present as we moved into 2020–21, but so too is our commitment to supporting our communities through the challenges we all face as we work towards the future Onkaparinga we all want.”
You can view and download the City of Onkaparinga Annual Report 2019-20 via council’s website.