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Leaders get the ball rolling

Wednesday, 10th April, 2013

Essential Water’s regional general manager Guy Chick at yesterday’s sunmit Essential Water’s regional general manager Guy Chick at yesterday’s sunmit

By Erica Visser

City Council's public consultation week started yesterday with a group of specially chosen residents discussing their vision for the city.

The invitation-only summit was held at the Palace Hotel where 44 "key community leaders" attended, including Essential Energy's regional general manager Guy Chick, RDA Far West CEO Michael Williams, Perilya's local managing director David Hume, and the YMCA's Kerry McDonald.

It was headed by Sydney consultancy firm Blackadder Associates at a cost to Council of $33,000 for the consultation week.

The company's executive director, Stephen Blackadder, was responsible for Council's first community strategic plan three years ago and the purpose of this week is to update that plan.

It is required to be reviewed every four years, however according to Mr Blackadder, it was being updated now because it was the first year of the local election term.

Mr Blackadder said that there would be a number of changes made to the plan.

"Things are generally on track but with things like the effects of the GFC, and visitation numbers could have been better, it means that some things have been put back," he said.

"One of the things that has eventuated is that three years ago we were talking about Broken Hill becoming a centre for green energy and that's happened with projects coming about."

Mr Blackadder said that the attendees were selected as those who make contributions to the community.

"They've just been selected as representative.

They're people that have made a contribution to community life. You could've invited 100 people but we wanted to keep it intimate."

Mr Blackadder will return to Sydney today but his associate will be at a consultation sausage sizzle in Beryl Street today.

Mr Chick said that he had attended to put forward the priorities for Essential Energy.

"I'm here as a representative for the industry for which I'm employed. It's all a part of leadership," he said.

"It's essential to start a community consultation process to gather ideas and it's very important to the city."

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