Mark Wasley Mayor Adelaide Plains Council, South Australia
Adelaide Plains local government area sits on the eastern shores of Gulf St Vincent, 60 km north of Adelaide. The region covers a very large area but has a comparatively low population of approximately 8500 residents.
With Adelaide just an easy 50 minute drive away, major growth is predicted over the next 5-20 years which will bring both opportunities and challenges for the region.
The main townships are Two Wells, Mallala and Dublin. Our coastal settlements at Middle Beach, Thompson Beach and Parham have pristine tidal flats famous for the blue crab.
Along with rivers, beaches and coastal settlements we have horticultural and broadacre farming. Animal husbandry and rural living areas complete our very diverse lifestyles.
Our beaches are attractive all year round not just for fishing and crabbing, but also for bird watching and getting back to nature.
Back to do more
In 2010 I nominated for a councillor position and did a full four year term including time as Deputy Mayor.
After a break I chose to nominate again at the 2018 elections, this time for the position of Mayor. The community supported me and I was duly elected.
After almost 30 years as a police officer I have retired from the Force. However my career has given me skills to listen, communicate, support and assist others; and to take leadership in times of crisis.
These are the same attributes that I bring to the role of Mayor at Adelaide Plains Council.
I have been Commodore of a yacht club for nearly five years which is very enjoyable socially. I go sailing when I have free time. I am continually striving to improve my guitar playing, which I find is a good stress release.
Goals, challenges, achievements
It has only been a few months since the 2018 elections when almost half the councillors were newly elected. As we begin working together for the next four years we need to gain the confidence and acceptance of the community who chose to elect us.
We have a reasonable list of innovative projects we are working on that includes the $155 million Northern Adelaide Irrigation Scheme (NAIS) jointly funded by the South Australian Government and the Commonwealth, which is bringing recycled water to our area to open up great opportunities for horticultural growth.
At the same time our region is currently undergoing faster than expected residential growth with several major developments underway which will include a college with a curriculum focussing on agriculture.
As a councillor I found it rewarding to be involved in the decision making processes that lead to good things for the community.
As the mayor I find it even more satisfying to get out amongst the community at meetings and events hearing feedback from the public.
I also enjoy my role as the ‘face’ of Council, attending strategic local and state meetings preparing us for the challenges ahead.
The worst part of the job is not having the funds to carry out what you can see needs doing. Everything seems to be a compromise due to lack of income.
A positive future
I intend to bring harmony within Adelaide Plains Council where achievements can be made that the community will be proud of.
I am a positive person and a strong believer that great things can be accomplished though co-operation, communication and understanding.