A BIENNIAL Australian Rangelands Society (ARS) National Conference will be hosted in Port Augusta at Central Oval from September 25-28.
The ARS conference typically attracts about 300 delegates from Australia’s rangelands, including Indigenous and pastoral land managers, mining industry participants, research institutions, natural resource management and regional development authorities.
Chair of the ARS conference organising committee John Gavin said Port Augusta is a very convenient launching pad into the Middleback, Flinders and Gawler Ranges, the Eyre Peninsula and Outback.
“This conference only occurs every two years and is Australia’s premier forum for highlighting and investigating rangelands related topics,” he said.
“Holding this event in Port Augusta will put the spotlight on our region.”
The conference is held to provide solutions to the challenges of living successfully in arid environments.
ARS investigates ways to balance the social, cultural, economic and environmental wellbeing of people, businesses and communities who depend on these landscapes.
Mr Gavin is thrilled that the Upper Spencer Gulf has been chosen to host the 2017 conference.
“Event tourism is a huge opportunity to attract people to the region who might otherwise not visit,” he said
“We know that the Upper Spencer Gulf has the conference facilities and accommodation to host major conference events and these conferences, both attracting a national audience, will allow us to demonstrate it”.
Port Augusta’s selection as host for the conference comes seven months after Central Oval was chosen as the destination for the Sustainable Economic Growth for Regional Australia (SEGRA) conference.
The SEGRA conference focuses on regional issues, assisting regional, rural and remote Australia to identify the issues they need to address to achieve successful economic growth and development.
With the annual trade and resources expo convened by Global Maintenance group USG in Whyalla in late August, as well as a SA Local Government Association board in Port Pirie in November, the Upper Spencer Gulf region can expect an injection of visitors in coming months.
Mayor Sam Johnson said after the SEGRA announcement that local businesses, including accommodation providers, taxi and hire car companies, cafes, restaurants, pubs and catering providers will benefit from the national conference.
“Once they are here, visitors usually form a very different, and much more positive view of the area,” he said.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.