The Northern Areas Council is situated in the heartland of the Southern Flinders Ranges, approximately 200 kilometres north of Adelaide and within the traditional lands of the Ngadjuri Aboriginal people. The Council area is divided into four Wards: Belalie (4 Elected Members), Rocky River (3 Elected Members), Yackamoorundie (1 Elected Member) and Broughton (1 Elected Member). The Council covers an area of 3070km2, and has a total of 2,197km of roads of which 133km are sealed.
Council’s towns and communities were developed during the prosperous times of traditional cereal and grazing practices complemented by forestry operations and in more recent years, tourism, events and wind energy infrastructure. Jamestown is the main service centre for the district with additional services offered at Gladstone, Laura and Spalding providing for the smaller communities of Caltowie, Georgetown, Gulnare, Stone Hut, Tarcowie and Yacka. Council’s close network of towns offers a range of opportunities for shopping, recreation, employment, health and education. Together, Council and the community have built and maintained infrastructure such as recreation facilities and town halls to support the activities of local communities as well as generating interest and income from visitors and tourists.
The Council area hosts a number of significant events, including the Jamestown Fly-In and Air Spectacular, The Laura Fair, Jamestown Show and Jamestown Races as well as a number of local community events. Cycle infrastructure has increased in recent times offering residents and visitors the opportunity to use recreational and mountain biking trails, improving visitor numbers as well as providing options for healthy lifestyles.
The economy remains firmly based in broadacre farming, with the Jamestown Saleyards one of the few remaining regional livestock sales facilities. Recent windfarm development has made a strong contribution to the economy and has brought new families into the district. The projected roll-out of high speed broadband through Mid North will make the district more attractive to telecommuters and expand opportunities for health and education within the region.