Mayors and Premier Share Commitment to Upper Spencer Gulf

Port Augusta Mayor Brett Benbow, Premier Steven Marshall, Whyalla Mayor Clare McLaughlin, Port Pirie Mayor Leon Stephens and local MP Dan van Holst Pellekaan.
Port Augusta Mayor Brett Benbow, Premier Steven Marshall, Whyalla Mayor Clare McLaughlin, Port Pirie Mayor Leon Stephens and local MP Dan van Holst Pellekaan.

Mayors from the Spencer Gulf cities continue to strengthen their relationship with the state government, meeting with Premier Steven Marshall in Adelaide this week.

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.

Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Planning, Stephan Knoll and Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan also attended the meeting.

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," he said.

"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.

"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".

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," Ms McLaughlin said.

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," he said.

"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."