Upper Spencer Gulf Mayors and MPs gathered in Port Pirie last week to share progress on a wide range of regional initiatives around higher education, transport, defence and event tourism, along with updates on the sale of the Whyalla Steelworks, the Port Pirie smelter transformation and the status of Port Augusta’s push for a solar thermal power station.
The quarterly meeting brings together elected leaders from local, state and federal spheres of government to discuss common challenges and potential solutions and identify opportunities for collaborative effort.
Meeting Chair, Port Augusta Mayor Sam Johnson, said the regular meetings were an important part of maintaining unity and strength across the three cities.
“We all live here, this is our home. We all have a vested interest in making sure we succeed. There is too much at stake if we don’t.”
Port Pirie Mayor John Rohde agrees, saying that for the whole region to grow and prosper into the future, the three cities must support each other.
“We all recognise we have a mutual interest to help the transition of the Upper Spencer Gulf into a more sustainable, innovative and liveable region”, said Mayor Rohde. “It makes sense that we work together to try and accomplish this goal.”
Whyalla Mayor Lyn Breuer adds that whilst the three cities have all suffered loss of industry and jobs over past decades, the shared experience is valuable in helping to maintain a positive long-term outlook.
“We all understand what it’s like to have your whole future just hanging in the balance, but fortunately we can also share in the good times and reflect on the lessons learned.
“That is a bond that really helps keep us together”.
Members of the forum are Port Augusta Mayor Sam Johnson, Port Pirie Mayor John Rohde and Whyalla Mayor Lyn Breuer, along with the South Australian Labor member for Giles, Eddie Hughes, Liberal member for Stuart Dan van Holst Pellekaan and Independent member for Frome Geoff Brock, and Federal Member for Grey, Rowan Ramsey.
Mayor Sam Johnson, Port Augusta Council – Mob: 0423 291 127
Mayor Lyn Breuer, Whyalla Council – Mob: 0419 806 415
Mayor John Rohde, Port Pirie Regional Council – Mob: 0417 080 961