It gives me great pleasure to be the Mayor of the Adelaide Hills Council. Our district (population 40,000) contains 57 towns, localities and settlements which range in size from the Stirling/Aldgate/Bridgewater area (population 9,580) to smaller communities like Cudlee Creek and Ashton. It includes the foothills suburbs of Rostrevor and Woodforde and tracts of precious native vegetation. It is an area of outstanding natural beauty which contains some of the most productive rural land in the State. Our fertile soils grow an abundant variety of produce including apples, pears, cherries, berries and a fine selection of vegetables and, of course, there are our many vineyards.
Almost 90% of the Adelaide Hills Council district is in watershed collecting water for Adelaide, so there are strict controls on land use and developers. Another significant area is the Hills Face Zone. The elected council is committed to protecting, not only the productive land, but also the pleasant lifestyle of the people who live in our district, whilst maintaining a careful balance between development and conservation. Our landscape, which includes significant natural environment, rural vistas and picturesque urban areas, is used extensively by our residents and our many visitors for their recreation and leisure.
Naturally, the Elected Council is committed to improving the organisation's service provision, and the Council's 10 year Strategic Plan covers 32 Key Issues with its priorities finely balanced between services, infrastructure, environment and financial responsibility.
Our communities like to enjoy themselves. Major events include the Lights of Lobethal, Bay to Birdwood (and other car rallies), Uraidla Show, Tour Down Under, Oakbank Easter Racing Carnival and others, and these are augmented by local celebrations and village markets. There is something happening for much of the year.
The 2012 Tour Down Under promises to bring much excitement and many tourists to our area as we host a whole stage including both Race Start and Race Finish. We can expect to have up to 100,000 people lining our roads and streets cheering for their champions. Millions more will watch the event on international television networks and this can be expected to do much for the marketing of the district and our produce.
I would like to take the opportunity to extend to everyone my best wishes and to invite all of you who do not live in our area to visit and share the delight that is the Adelaide Hills.