Latest News & Media

This page contains news, media releases and announcements specific to KIFA and the island.

Brand Alliance

Haven’t visited the new Kangaroo Island Brand website yet? It’s full of useful and inspiring information.

The Kangaroo Island Brand is more than just a logo. It’s about maximising the potential of all the attributes of the island and everything we do here. It’s about maintaining the island’s authenticity by promoting and protecting it. Businesses of all types are invited to become part of the Brand Alliance, developed with funding and support from KIFA. Here’s a taste….

Kangaroo Island:

  • A place where you are surrounded by amazing experiences, not just water.
  • Where you can talk to the people who grow your food, not just the people who serve it.
  • Where natural environments restore humility, breed resourcefulness and inspire creativity.
  • Where people are valued for their enthusiasm and passion, rather than their wealth.
  • Where generations of farmers have grown their ingenuity as well as their produce.
  • Where holidays are measured in indelible memories, rather than ticket stubs and photos.
  • Where total strangers wave at you, like you’re their next-door neighbour.
  • And where happiness is not a function of what you own, but what you value.

Go to and find out how you can become part of the Kangaroo Island Brand Alliance.

Commissioner for Kangaroo Island

The recruitment process for the new Commissioner for Kangaroo Island is under way.

Kangaroo Island Plan

KIFA has completed an Addendum to the Kangaroo Island Plan to support the island’s economic development. Its main features are:

  • Coastal development must meet high benchmarks for quality, amenity and respect for the natural environment.
  • No further expansion of forestry and encouraging forestry to be replaced with more productive farming enterprise.
  • Reinforcing the island’s place in international tourism by delivering a wide range of tourism experiences and quality accommodation.

Find out more by visiting our Projects and Priorities page.

Islands of the World

KIFA funded and supported the successful bid for Kangaroo Island to host the Islands of the World Conference on Kangaroo Island in 2017. Former Mayor Jayne Bates and KIFA general manager Kristina Roberts attended the recent conference in Penghu, an island off Taiwan, to present the bid in person.

Planning for the conference has already started. It is expected to bring at least 150 delegates from around the world who live on and/or study islands. The whole Kangaroo Island community will be involved, from school children to primary producers and tourism operators. Watch this space!

Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail

KIFA has been a partner in the development of the new 63km Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail, a multi-day walking experience.

The first part of the trail – the new Rocky River hike – is now open with the next section – the upgraded Hanson Bay to Kelly Hill hike – to be completed by mid-2015. Three more sections and facilities such as campsites and toilets are planned to be completed by mid-2016.

More details are at or from the Flinders Chase visitor centre.

Seasonality Project - An adventure for all seasons

KIFA board member Craig Wickham will lead a Tourism Seasonality Project, working with Tourism Kangaroo Island, tourism operators and the Kangaroo Island Brand Alliance to create a “seasonal menu” for tourists. The project will develop a toolkit for operators to educate the market about the unique offerings of the island in autumn and winter.

“For example, we need fact sheets about the waterfalls of Kangaroo Island; bush walking in those seasons; food and wine offerings, such as oysters; open fires; spectacular winter coastal  opportunities,” Mr Wickham said.

“It’s about changing the conversation from being about winter closures to identifying winter opportunities. It would be great to have a seasonal menu at every accommodation house about the best things to do at all times of the year.”

There is a great deal of under-utilised capacity on the island at certain times of the year. Improving year-round cashflow for local businesses will increase their ability to retain staff, as well as the obvious bonuses for the island’s economy and employment.

Cable power plan update

In October this year, the office of the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) will decide whether SA Power Networks (SAPN) will be allowed to spend money replacing the electricity cable that supplies power to Kangaroo Island. If the AER approves the cable expenditure, work on the new cable will start in 2017. SAPN has identified that the cable should ideally be replaced in the 2015-2020 period, to avoid the expensive and inconvenient consequences of a premature complete failure.

KIFA has worked closely with SAPN and in October 2014, SAPN completed a strong business case to put to the AER, including proposals for future network upgrades of “poles and wires” on the island.

KIFA has particularly advocated for a strengthened contingency plan should the undersea cable fail prematurely.

KIFA board member Jayne Bates said KIFA was “very aware of the fundamental importance of that cable” to Kangaroo Island businesses and residents.

“KIFA has been paying great attention to this issue and has worked with SA Power Networks to ensure both a solid contingency plan if the cable fails prematurely and a strong submission for the upgrade of the cable.

“However, the cable is forecast to have up to 10 years of life remaining,  so while we are acutely aware of people’s concerns and the need to upgrade the cable, we don’t believe there is cause for undue concern, especially with the contingency plans now secured by KIFA with SA Power Networks,” Ms Bates said.

If the cable fails:

  • The island’s peak load is about 7.2MW (January, 2014).
  • The existing three back-up generators at Kingscote can provide 5.4MW.
  • A fourth generator will be installed in 2015 to increase back-up power to 7.2MW.
  • In the case of long-term outage due to cable failure, at least 2.6MW of mobile power would be brought to the island, as the back-up generators need to be shut down every 10 days for maintenance.

Fast facts:

  • The existing cable was installed in 1993 with an expected life of 30 years.
  • Installing the new cable will cost $47.5 million (in 2013 dollars).
  • If the cable failed before replacement it would cost $31.8 million to provide back-up power for a year while a new cable was ordered and installed.

To read the full business case, go to and search “Kangaroo Island cable”.

Housing strategy- Joining forces on housing

The Kangaroo Island Community Housing Strategy was launched in October, 2014. The strategy aims to bring together the many agencies on the island who are dealing with housing issues, to provide a co-ordinated approach for the groups affected:

  • Children under 15
  • Youth aged 15-20
  • Older people on low incomes
  • People experiencing domestic violence
  • People with disabilities
  • People with mental illness
  • People with drug and alcohol addictions.

KIFA provided funding to complete the strategy and to form the Kangaroo Island Community Housing Initiatives Partnership, which will bring together the diverse range of agencies working in the housing area, such as KI Community Housing Association, KI Health Service, KI Community Education, Junction Australia, CLASS disability services and Finding Workable Solutions.

Former Kangaroo Island councillor Bec Davis has been a strong advocate for the co-ordinated strategy since she worked as Youth Strategy Coordinator for Regional Development Australia (Fleurieu, Hills and Kangaroo Island).  She has also been a long-term member of KI Community Housing Association, which provides housing for the elderly in Kingscote, Parndana, Penneshaw and American River.

“Lack of safe, secure and affordable housing seemed to be the most significant factor preventing young people from fully participating in the community and work, education or training.  While many other issues affect KI youth, without safe, affordable and secure housing they cannot begin to address their other issues,” Ms Davis said.

“While doing the youth strategy work I discovered this largely hidden problem of young people who were trying to finish school but living in unsafe situations due to domestic violence, abuse and other issues. They ended up couch-surfing or being taken in by other people; sometimes by good, caring people, but some of them ended up in high-risk situations, exposed to sexual abuse for example.

“There are many hard-working people on the island trying to help disadvantaged people with housing but we can be more effective with a co-ordinated approach, by pooling our resources and our limited abilities to source funding.”

The new KICHIP group is currently working through governance and membership issues and will be facilitated by the Kangaroo Island Council.

During the development of the Housing Strategy, the working group identified a potential property which could provide transitional accommodation for young and/or disabled people to allow them to stay at school and improve their life skills in order to find work and move to the private rental market.  If KICHIP can find a way to fund the purchase of the property and provide ongoing support to those living there, this will be a huge benefit to those young people, allowing them a chance to participate fully in their community.

The initial cost for providing such a facility may seem high but when you take into account the ‘avoided cost’ of young people not ending up in the courts and juvenile detention systems, there could be significant savings to the community in the long term.

Transport projects high on agenda

KIFA is consulting with the KI Council on the Kangaroo Island Airport upgrade and is working on a range of options to secure funding including the Commonwealth National Stronger Regions Fund, due in July 2015.

Transport is recognised as a key enabler and a game-changer for Kangaroo Island. It is the catalyst for more jobs and better incomes. Efficient and effective transport assists primary producers to move their commodities and helps value-added industries to market their products. It will also boost the tourism market by providing more options for visitors.

The business case prepared for KIFA shows an airport upgrade could:

  • “Future-proof” the island’s air services and attract up to 80,000 more visitors a year.
  • Enable the airport to accept new and larger aircraft for more regular passenger services.
  • Allow a larger range of private aircraft to access the island, supporting the higher value tourism sector.
  • Increase employment by 100 full-time equivalent jobs.
  • Stimulate tourism related investments that would target international markets.

Meanwhile, a high-level commercial working group, hosted by KIFA, will assess an application by Sealink for an extension of its contract. Any extension would include tangible benefits for residents, freight operators and tourists to Kangaroo Island.

KIFA news archive

Kangaroo Island locals win prestigious award

Kangaroo Island stall at Central Market

Dudley Wines - A Premier Kangaroo Island Winery

New brand to 'tell our story'

Business is booming for Island cheese maker

SA egg producers win with new free range standard

My Island Home - Marilyn Smythe - Isolation has its benefits

Dolphin Watch calls tourists

Kangaroo Island is a delight to the senses

Island's farmers keen to bring home the bacon

Click here to read the June 2013 issue of Leaps & Bounds - the newsletter of the Kangaroo Island Futures Authority.