Huge opportunities in Upper Spencer Gulf

TEAM: The mayoral leaders of the Upper Spencer Gulf comprise Clare McLaughlin, left, of Whyalla, Brett Benbow, of Port Augusta, and Leon Stephens, of Port Pirie.
TEAM: The mayoral leaders of the Upper Spencer Gulf comprise Clare McLaughlin, left, of Whyalla, Brett Benbow, of Port Augusta, and Leon Stephens, of Port Pirie.

A group representing the Upper Spencer Gulf area says it had a "stellar" 2019 and that there are projects worth $15 billion in the region.

Chairman of Spencer Gulf Cities, Port Pirie Mayor Leon Stephens said the region had taken a "huge step" and the alliance between his city, Port Augusta and Whyalla was "crucial".

He said the alliance had lasted 20 years.

"As three industrial cities we share many common issues and understand how they can affect our communities, through the good and the bad," he said.

"We were really active in the lead-up to the federal election in May, pushing for more focus on growing our population through skilled migration and decentralisation, investing in transport and improving higher education access ..."

The group staged a dinner at Parliament House in Adelaide in September to highlight opportunities in the region.

It was hosted by Wilmington-based Stuart MP and Mining and Energy Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan, and was attended by Premier Steven Marshall and several ministers. "More than $15 billion investment is proposed, underway or just finished in the region in renewable energy, mining, defence, value-added agriculture and tourism," said Port Augusta Mayor Brett Benbow.

Last year the group launched a plan to reduce waste to landfill.

It seeks to streamline land use and government planning.

The team led the Coastal Councils project for a country report on rating "inequity" for wind and solar farms and major development.

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