Premier's visit a chance to discuss issues

Last week we had a very welcome, albeit last-minute, visit by Premier Steven Marshall and local MP Peter Treloar. Mr Marshall was keen to hear about our medical clinic and the struggles we face as a community in finding and funding a new resident doctor.

The meeting was attended by chairperson Jonas Woolford and deputy Brenton Lynch. Brenton put forward several issues they face, the expense of locums and restraints put on them, and some possible solutions they see would help the clinic and any other regional towns in the same predicament - some Mr Marshall believed had merit and would relay to Health Minister Stephen Wade. We also spoke about the snapper ban and marine scale fishery reform, and the stress this is putting on the local fishing community. The detrimental impact this is having on local fishers, processors, businesses and the tourist trade was noted.

I explained the huge impact considering there was no real local science on our snapper fishery, that the science used is five years old and relevant to the upper gulfs, while poor SARDI data noted there was no evidence snapper spawn in our waters, when every year we have large schools do so. Mr Marshall was also interested in the West Coast Professional Fisherman's Association's reform proposal and noted parts had merit. They also met with our economic development manager Penny Williams and chief executive officer Karina Ewer to discuss how we can help our local businesses flourish, and about attracting more tourist trade.

The morning was a success with plans put in place that are already being actioned, thanks to the Premier. Thank you to Mr Marshall and Mr Treloar and those who helped throughout the morning - these visits are always welcome. I hope you had a Merry Christmas and safe New Year, and I look forward to what 2020 presents.

TRAVIS BARBER

Streaky Bay District Council mayor