SA-BEST recently heard the concerns of Whyalla residents as part of their region-wide Listening Tour.
Frank Pangallo hosted a meeting at the Whyalla Tennis Club last Friday, with a small of locals attending, including former SA-Best Candidate Tom Antonio.
Mr Pangallo said there were a number of issues affecting Whyalla he was keen to discuss, including the lack of health professionals in the city.
“Whyalla is almost twice the size of Port Augusta, yet Port Augusta has more (specialists),” he said.
“Why is a larger city having to rely on facilities being provided in Port Augusta?”
The exodus of young people from regional towns like Whyalla was another issue Mr Pangallo said needed to be addressed.
“We need to keep young people from leaving and get population growth in some of these areas,” he said.
Mr Pangallo attended the GFG Alliance one-year celebrations held at the Whyalla Steelworks last week, and had some very positive words about Chairman Sanjeev Gupta.
“South Australia needs 100 Sanjeev Guptas,” he said.
“If we had 100 Sanjeev Guptas, we’d be a booming economy. He has such bold vision and is a can-do person. His staff are very impressed by his can-do attitude, he wants to get things done pretty quickly.”
In particular Mr Pangallo was impressed by Mr Gupta’s recently announced Cultana Solar Farm project, predicting that it will drive down energy costs.
“It will certainly make the steelworks a lot more viable, because they won’t have those enormous (power) costs,” he said.
“There are so many positives, and that’s what you get out of having someone like Sanjeev Gupta coming (here).”
In terms of more regional issues, Mr Pangallo said there was a great need for the state government to provide more support for farmers in areas like Cowell and Kimba.
“I don’t think the state government realises the extent of the problem, how serious it is in South Australia,” he said.
Mr Pangallo recently traveled down to a farming property in Cowell and described it as ‘sea of red dust’.
“These guys haven’t had a (good) rain since January, no crop, they’ve had to sell off their stock...it’s really tough for them,” he said.
Mr Pangallo called for donations of feed and hay from the state government to farmers on the Eyre Peninsula.