SA borders to get new commissioner

·1-min read

Legislation to appoint a commissioner to represent the interests of people living and working in South Australia's cross-border communities has been introduced to state parliament.

Once appointed, the commissioner will be based in Mt Gambier, reflecting the size of those SA communities close to Victoria and NSW.

The bill requires the new appointment to be someone with detailed understanding of the issues affecting border communities and experience living within a border region.

Regional Development Minister Clare Scriven said the need for a commissioner was highlighted during COVID-19 border closures, which caused significant disruption for people living in border regions.

But she said many issues associated with access to education, justice and health services existed before the pandemic.

"The cross-border commissioner will provide a new mechanism to address these issues and facilitate collaboration and engagement with residents, businesses and community organisations as well as all tiers of government," she said on Thursday.

Ms Scriven said South Australia shared borders with every mainland state and territory, making it critical for people living and working in those communities to have someone with the power to negotiate on their behalf.

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