Search continues for cross border commissioner

COMMISSIONER HUNT REMAINS: Minister for Regional Development Clare Scriven reaffirmed the cross-border commissioner recruitment was still underway. Picture: FILE

Charlotte Varcoe

THE search continues for South Australia’s cross-border commissioner following the resignation of Liz McKinnon last year.

Ms McKinnon was announced as the first cross-border commissioner in 2022 before resigning from the job late 2023.

The state government recently announced the office of cross-border commissioner would also move to report to the Premier with the recruitment for the vacant position being advertised in national, state and regional media.

The role focuses on engaging in extensive stakeholder consultation and covert the “high-level functions” which were detailed in the legislation into a “strategic agenda” of cross-border focus areas.

Analysis of the issues raised during the first year of operation showcased a “multi-portfolio nature” of matters facing cross-border communities, leading to the decision to have the role report to the Premier in conjunction with the central agency of the Department of Premier and Cabinet.

Minister for Regional Development Clare Scriven reaffirmed the recruitment process was underway.

“What we saw was an opportunity while there was a vacancy to be able to just review the first year of operation and to be able to look at what we might be able to do to improve the position even further,” Ms Scriven said.

“That is part of the process at the moment and then the rest will continue.”

Ms Scriven confirmed there were no plans to retract the position, claiming it was “totally unfounded”.

“A lot of the first year of work was to do with setting up frameworks, establishing the key performance indicators and getting out in terms of communication about the role,” she said.

“All of that has occurred and there have been interactions around a number of different matters and the role of the commissioner is not to take over the role of departments for biosecurity or health, it is about increasing the understanding of what is happening in different states and helping to ensure that liaison is happening.”

Ms Scriven said things were not progressing especially in regards to topics which affect cross-border communities and the state as a whole.

“We are absolutely committed to the role and we look forward to being able to make further announcements going forward,” she said.

Ms Scriven said there was not an estimated timeline to recruit and fill the position.