Maximising mining benefits in the Upper Spencer Gulf

27/07/2012

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A major study highlighting how the Upper Spencer Gulf region can boost regional development opportunities from the growing resources and energy sectors has been released.

Launching the report today in Whyalla, Minister for Regional Development Gail Gago said the feasibility study investigated the development of a heavy industry hub in the Upper Spencer Gulf.

"The findings of the report are extremely promising - the Upper Spencer Gulf region already has the foundations of a regional heavy industry hub and is well placed to capitalise on the benefits of the mining boom," Minister Gago said.

"The Upper Spencer Gulf is the ideal location to connect business and investment and further develop the area as a heavy industry hub.

"The report provides a guide for industry and government to work together to further grow the resources and energy sectors. The report also identifies where major opportunities exist for industry and service development to focus future investment.

"The study will inform future policy decisions by all levels of Government and will assist industry in making investment decisions in the region and throughout South Australia.

"The need for mining and major development projects in the Upper Spencer Gulf is identified in the report and the State Government has $3 million of grant funding available from the Government's Enterprise Zone Fund to support future projects.

"The next step will be to hold workshops for industry, government and communities to collaborate and learn how to access these funds in line with the opportunities highlighted in the report. Information on these workshops will be announced soon.

"Today, there are 20 mining projects approved across the State, with around 30 more in the development pipeline and over 100 more potential prospects. Many of these projects are within the Upper Spencer Gulf and Far North regions. Mineral production is already worth over $5 billion to the State. The scope for future expansion of this industry is exciting.

"I have come to the region today to meet with key local businesses, representatives of local government, the Whyalla Chamber of Commerce and the local Regional Development Australia committee to discuss the report and opportunities it presents for industry and for the broader regional community.

"The well established 'Upper Spencer Gulf' cities of Whyalla, Port Augusta and Port Pirie provide a critical platform for expansion of the state's mining projects," she said.

This study aimed to determine the needs of future mining and major development projects in the Upper Spencer Gulf and the capacity of local industry to meet them.

This report, prepared by the KMPG and GHD, has presented a number of recommendations involving regional development coordination and implementation; improving the capability of local and South Australian mining services companies to contract with the mining industry; skills, training and workforce development; common use infrastructure investment; and land availability and zoning.

To access the full report, visit http://www.pir.sa.gov.au/regions/initiatives/usg_heavy_industry_hub/