Yankalilla District Council Mayor Glen Rowlands pushes positivity in troubled times

STRONG LEADER: District Council of Yankalilla Mayor Glen Rowlands offers strength to the community during the pandemic.
STRONG LEADER: District Council of Yankalilla Mayor Glen Rowlands offers strength to the community during the pandemic.

"We are here for you and we will get through this together." These are the words echoing around the Western Fleurieu Peninsula by District Council of Yankalilla Mayor Glen Rowlands.

"Our community rallied to help our neighbouring regions through the devastating bushfires - all of us donating time, money, food and essential items to help. Two months later we are challenged by something that we can't see - COVID-19 (coronavirus)," he said.

"Itself has not reached our district, however our community has been affected as we are part of a global effort to minimise the spread of this infection which could seriously impact our health system."

Mr Rowlands said council and the government are showing leadership in these troubled and uncertain times.

"In the past week I have had four video conferences with the Premier, Minister for Local Government, SA Health, and Norman Waterhouse Lawyers. Each time I meet with these stakeholders and decision makers the message gets stronger - we each need to take control of our movements in and around the community in order to keep our people safe and in turn Australia's future strong.

"The messages I am receiving are very much about how our country, state and district can unite to meet the challenges and cross safely to the other side of this challenging pandemic COVID-19," he said.

"I have been working very closely with council's Chief Executive and senior executives to be part of and help the State and Federal governments work to deliver a positive road to recovery. They see us in Local Government as the team on the ground, with our jobs being to deliver information and projects that will help our community continue the local economy, assisting to keep local people in jobs, and help as many businesses as possible survive this challenging time."

The District Council of Yankalilla is in budget discussions currently and elected members have been discussing the next years delivery of projects, rates, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on household available cash, as well as the delivery of government stimulus.

"I am one vote in nine, but I can indicate that if council can obtain stimulus monies there is a strong will in council to deliver projects for you like the new Library, a new Surf Lifesaving Club, key road projects and ensuring the advances on asset upgrades over the past four years are not jeopardised, and where possible enhanced," Mr Rowlands said.

"The Premier has been strongly advocating for us to use our healthy balance sheet to borrow against and to use the stimulus packages and deliver economic benefits to our community and the state."

Mr Rowlands understands that self isolation can have its problems within a community and the well being of everyone is a primary concern.

"We are all at home, but you don't need to be alone. Remaining a strong connected community is the key to us all successfully traversing the challenging crossing in front of us in order to live the life that is waiting for us," he said.

"As we know, staying positive via regular communication is the key to good mental health. As we work through this period of isolation I encourage you to pick up the phone and have a chat to a friend, find out how they are, let them know how you are and what your concerns are.

"People I have spoken to are concerned about being confined and not being able to pop down the pub for a beer or the coffee shop for a cuppa with a mate or friend. Give them a call, beer or cuppa in hand and chat, or if you are tech savvy video call a few friends or neighbours and have a yarn, a virtual dinner party, or morning tea."

Mr Rowlands said a community the size of the District Council of Yankalilla has a solid foundation to survive this situation by supporting each other.

"We are connected and know each other and if we can build on our country community spirit by looking out for one another and supporting local business as much as possible, we will strengthen our already strongly connected community."

To stay connected and receive the most up to date local information relating to Support, Health, Business and Public Facilities, visit the council website www.yankalilla.sa.gov.au/COVID19 or phone 8558 0200.

"A strong connected community with or without disaster (such as bushfires) was the wish of one of our residents when we were out gathering your thoughts with our recent 'Natures Best - Let's Plan the Rest' engagement forums - please know this is our goal and we sincerely appreciate your efforts," he said.

"As each new day brings new challenges, please look for the positives, focus on them and share them and attack this current situation with the Aussie grit inside all of us.

"Please keep safe and stay connected - you are very important to us, and we unite with you to keep our great community strong."