The Mayors of Whyalla, Port Augusta and Port Pirie want a fast passenger train to link the Upper Spencer Gulf with Adelaide.
The idea has been proposed by University of South Australia Adjunct Professor Richard Blandy and Canberra-based engineer Edwin Mitchell.
It is seen as fostering decentralisation and reducing Adelaide’s urban sprawl and the dominance of the capital city over the rest of the state.
“For a number of years regional councils across this state have been calling for the decentralisation of South Australia’s population so we at least have equal footing nationally,” said Port Augusta’s Mayor and chairman of the Spencer Gulf Cities Association.
“We agree with Professor Blandy that a ‘northern fast railway’ would help reconnect metropolitan and regional areas and drive regional economic renewal in South Australia.”
Nationally, about 30 percent of people live in a regional area, yet in South Australia only 18 percent of the population lives outside Greater Adelaide.
Whyalla’s Acting Mayor Tom Antonio agreed with Professor Blandy’s assessment that Adelaide is so dominant economically in South Australia because the public service is concentrated there, along with the universities and research centres.
“It would certainly be of tremendous benefit to the economies of large towns such as Whyalla, Port Augusta and Port Pirie if some of the public service was to relocate there,” Cr Antonio said.