Bid to gain better deal for gulf region

Upper Spencer Gulf leaders from three councils have campaigned in the nation's capital, Canberra, for a better deal for their region.

The delegation from Port Augusta City Council, Whyalla City Council and Port Pirie Regional Council sought pledges from political parties, Ministers and South Australian senators during their visit. 

The delegation asked for:

  • Skilled migration and decentralisation tailored to meet the specific needs of the region
  • Investment in strategic port, rail, air and road infrastructure to secure the region's long-term economic transition
  • Extra Commonwealth-supported university places and funding for the Upper Spencer Gulf Regional Study Hub to enable students to stay, study and work locally
  • A strong, credible and evidence-based national energy policy to provide stability and certainty for investment in the region
  • Co-ordinated and collaborative investment in civic initiatives in the three cities to foster well-planned  growth and liveability.

The delegation met Senators Anne Ruston, Don Farrell, Lucy Gichuhi, Alex Gallacher, David Fawcett and Opposition regions spokesman Stephen Jones.

Other meetings were likely with Senators Penny Wong, Simon Birmingham, Sarah Hanson-Young, Rex Patrick and Opposition energy spokesman Mark Butler.

Chairman of Spencer Gulf Cities and Port Pirie Mayor Leon Stephens said investment in mining and processing, renewable energy, arid agriculture, defence and tourism would enable the region to become cleaner, more innovative, liveable and economically diverse.

"We are at a pivotal - but vulnerable - stage in our economic transition," he said.

"We need our elected representatives and the next federal government to work with us to make the most of this 'once-in-a-generation' economic transformation and ensure our communities come out of this transition stronger, more resilient and more economically diverse."