MP works on action plan for Mayo
The poor condition of local roads was the number one unprompted concern raised by residents surveyed in the electorate by their local Federal Member Rebekha Sharkie.
Initial results from the survey, distributed late last year, also showed that accessible health was the most important “listed” issue ticked by respondents. Caring for the environment was a close second.
The survey, posted with Ms Sharkie’s first newsletter, was one of the largest community consultations ever conducted by an elected MP across Mayo.
“Having doorknocked thousands of people during the election campaign I did have a strong inkling of what issues were really important in my electorate,” Ms Sharkie said this week in the lead-up to a series of follow-up forums being held across the region.
“However, after receiving nearly 4000 survey responses, with more trickling in, I now have the evidence to reinforce my belief that the people of Mayo share many common values even if there are different challenges in different localities.
“Residents in and around Mt Barker expressed concerns about urban sprawl in their independent comments, reflecting the fast population growth in that area, while the lack of adequate public transport was the number one problem for residents in the Victor Harbor district.
“However, when asked to tick a list of suggested issues in Mayo, between 71 and 82 per cent of residents in different council regions named ‘health’ as their most important concern.
“Unpacking what that exactly means for people is something we will be exploring at our 16 community forums in the coming weeks.
“The environment was second most important issue with between 57 and 79 per cent of residents ticking that box, depending on location, regardless of whether they identified with the left or right of politics.
“Given that most people said our beautiful landscape was the best thing about living in Mayo, this common value is really encouraging.
“The challenge will be working through what it means for our communities to protect the unique environment we have.”
Fixing local roads was also a key concern for up to 28 per cent of people living in the Kangaroo Island, Adelaide Hills, Mt Barker and Yankalilla council areas.
Residents also ticked employment, education, supporting Australian jobs and security in retirement as priority issues.
The community forums are being held at 16 towns across the electorate between April 3 and June 27.
To find out details about dates and venues, and to register attendance, log onto www.rebekhasharkie.com.au/forums.
“My office had an overwhelming response to our community survey,” Ms Sharkie said.
“From the thousands of responses we now have a comprehensive idea of what matters to our communities.
“I believe we have the most beautiful electorate in Australia, and some of the best produce, and the survey tell me I am not alone in my pride in our area and my desire to protect our natural assets and farming industries.
“I encourage everyone in Mayo to attend one of our 16 community forums being held in the coming months and help turn our shared values into an action plan.”