The three Upper Spencer Gulf Mayors have today revealed five priorities they are taking to the upcoming federal election.
Port Pirie Mayor Leon Stephens, Whyalla Mayor Clare McLaughlin and Port Augusta Mayor Brett Benbow are seeking commitment from candidates vying for the seat of Grey to:
1. A skilled migration and decentralisation programme tailored to meet the specific needs of the Upper Spencer Gulf.
2. Investment into strategic port, rail, air and road infrastructure to secure the long term economic transition of the Upper Spencer Gulf
3. Additional Commonwealth-supported university places and operational funding for the Upper Spencer Gulf Regional Study Hub to enable students to stay, study and work locally.
4. A strong, credible and evidence-based national energy policy to provide stability and certainty for investment in the Upper Spencer Gulf.
5. Coordinated and collaborative investment into civic initiatives in Port Augusta, Whyalla and Port Pirie to foster well-planned city growth and liveability.
The Mayors note that investment in renewable energy, mining and processing, arid agriculture, defence and tourism is providing the region with a strong base to become cleaner, more innovative, liveable and economically diverse.
"It is a very exciting time for the Upper Spencer Gulf, but we need to maximise the flow-on benefits of current economic growth and make sure our communities come out of this transition stronger, more resilient and more economically diverse."
"We need to make the most of this 'once in a generation' economic transformation."
The contest for Grey will sees sitting Member Rowan Ramsey up against Labor Candidate Karin Bolton, Greens Candidate Candace Champion and Independent Candidate Richard Carmody.
The South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy (SACOME) have today also announced the nine priorities they will lobby for in the 2019-20 State Budget.
The priorities include a number of initiatives aimed at driving resources exploration and development, further boosting the South Australian economy and creating jobs including the duplication of the Augusta Highway:
- Augusta Highway Duplication
- Mineral Exploration Incentive
- Gas Acceleration Program
- Critical Commodities Strategy
- Regional Province Development
- Energy Storage Funding
- Battery Circular Economy and PV Solar Panel Recycling
- Federal/State Approvals
- Mining Act Approvals
SACOME CEO Rebecca Knol said the South Australian resource sector was the 'engine room' of the South Australian economy employing 12,000 people, delivering $5.6 billion in production annually, almost $4 billion in exports and $237 million in royalties to South Australians.
"These economic outcomes are the result of bi-partisan parliamentary support for the resources sector," she said.