Mayors meet Premier

MEETING: From left, Port Pirie Deputy Mayor Alan Zubrinich, Whyalla Mayor Clare McLaughlin, Port Augusta CEO John Banks, Port Pirie Mayor Leon Stephens, Whyalla Deputy Mayor Phill Stone, Port Augusta Mayor Brett Benbow, Port Augusta Deputy Mayor Phil Brown
MEETING: From left, Port Pirie Deputy Mayor Alan Zubrinich, Whyalla Mayor Clare McLaughlin, Port Augusta CEO John Banks, Port Pirie Mayor Leon Stephens, Whyalla Deputy Mayor Phill Stone, Port Augusta Mayor Brett Benbow, Port Augusta Deputy Mayor Phil Brown

The Spencer Gulf Cities continue to strengthen their relationship with the South Australian Government, with the Mayors and CEO's of the Whyalla, Port Pirie and Port Augusta Councils meeting again with the Premier, Steven Marshall.

The engagement follows the Premier's commitment to meet quarterly with the civic leaders to progress the many opportunities unfolding in the Upper Spencer Gulf.

The Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Planning, Stephan Knoll and Minister for Energy and Mining, local MP Dan van Holst Pellekaan also attended the meeting, held in Adelaide earlier this week.

Whyalla Mayor Clare McLaughlin said the meeting was very positive, and provided strong reassurance about a number of local issues, including the future of the surplus Whyalla school sites and the Whyalla airport.

"The Premier and attending Ministers were very much across the issues and committed to continuing to work with us on possible solutions."

Chair of the Spencer Gulf Cities Association, Port Pirie Mayor Leon Stephens said the Premier's commitment to meeting regularly with the Mayors highlights the importance of the region to the state's growth target.

"With around $15 billion investment in and around the Upper Spencer Gulf and potentially several thousand jobs, we have some really exciting times ahead."

"We do need to make the most of these opportunities though and ensure there are lasting benefits for the Port Pirie, Port Augusta and Whyalla communities."

"We discussed a range of strategic transport infrastructure upgrades that will help unlock development opportunities and enhance intermodal efficiencies", said Mayor Stephens.

"There were also some exciting tourism and community development initiatives on the agenda, along with opportunities to improve the liveability and image of our cities and to 'grow our own' skilled workforce".

Port Augusta Mayor Brett Benbow agreed, saying stronger coordination between local and state government will be important to enhancing the activity in the region.

"For example, we can see some real benefits in looking at a whole range of infrastructure upgrades as a package and augment the work associated with the Joy Baluch AM bridge duplication in Port Augusta, including our marine infrastructure, Yorkey's crossing and further upgrades to the highway corridor through Port Augusta.

"We are very grateful to have the opportunity to keep highlighting what is going on in the Upper Spencer Gulf and what our priorities are", explained Mayor Benbow.