The three Upper Spencer Gulf Mayors have joined some of the states key peak bodies to call for more investment into strategic transport infrastructure to help underpin the long term economic transition of the region.
Port Pirie Mayor Leon Stephens, Port Augusta Mayor Brett Benbow and Whyalla Mayor Clare McLaughlin say investment in renewable energy, mining and processing, arid agriculture, defence and tourism is providing the region a strong base to become cleaner, more innovative, liveable and economically diverse.
But the Mayors warn upgrades to a range of transport infrastructure in the region will be important if the Upper Spencer Gulf is to take full advantage of the many and varied economic opportunities unfolding in the region.
Port Pirie Mayor and Chair of the Spencer Gulf Cities Association, Leon Stephens explained the Upper Spencer Gulf is, quite literally, the crossroads of Australia, but transport infrastructure in the region needs to be optimised to cope with the rapidly expanding renewable energy, defence, tourism, agriculture and mining operations.
“Our national highway is becoming increasingly strained and dangerous, we have an under-utilised rail network and sea ports at Whyalla and Port Pirie, and commercial passenger airports at Whyalla and Port Augusta that need further investment.”
“It is fantastic to see the duplication of the Joy Baluch AM bridge finally underway, but that is just the start.”
It is time to finally get on with duplicating the Augusta highway; improving rail and road connections into the Whyalla port and expanding port access into Port Pirie; upgrading the Whyalla and Port Augusta commercial airports; improving capacity on the Adelaide to Perth railway line; and even having a serious look at the fast passenger rail proposal.
“We need to engage Government now in order to manage the increasingly complex and conflicting industrial, tourist and commuter transport needs facing the Upper Spencer Gulf.”
“We will be relying heavily on whoever becomes our next Member of Parliament and our team of South Australian Senators to help us take up this challenge”.
Contact: Mayor Leon Stephens, Chair of Spencer Gulf Cities Mob: 0417 080 961
Mayor Clare McLaughlin, Whyalla City Council Mob: 0417 846 025
Mayor Brett Benbow, Port Augusta Council Mob: 0419 423 777