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New LGA chief eyes libraries

Libraries and waste management are the biggest issues facing councils, LGA president Jim Pollock says.

The new Local Government Association president also wants to overhaul the Constitution

Mr Pollock said the proposed cuts of more than $1 million to public library funding would have a profound impact on their services.

This cut may affect the availability of free internet and reading programs for children in regional and city libraries.

Waste management also is an important issue, needing better support from the State Government.

An increase of 50 per cent to the solid waste levy paid by local councils on residents' behalf will affect recycling initiatives in all local government areas.

Mr Pollock said changes to the Constitution were also a priority, as the current provisions caused doubt in the ability of the Federal Government to fund councils directly.

This was highlighted recently by the Brisbane floods and the need for councils to go through the State Government to access the funding.

Whyalla mayor Jim Pollock was elected unopposed for the role last Friday, taking over from Marion mayor Felicity-ann Lewis.

"I thrive on being involved with local government, and look forward to the challenge of the role," Mr Pollock said.

The appointment of the retired small business owner occurred in the same week as numerous changes to local government representation in the State Parliament.

As part of Premier Mike Rann's cabinet reshuffle, the Labor Party's new Leader in the Upper House Bernard Finnigan will take on the portfolio of State and Local Government relations, previously handled by Gail Gago.

"Minister Finnigan has a history of accord with Local Government and in listening to communities," outgoing LGA president Felicity-ann Lewis said.


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