MEDIA RELEASE – Advancing growth, industries, better connectivity and tourism – top Far North economic priorities
The Quorn Township Water Supply and a Transshipping Hub for livestock have been named as the highest-priority projects for the Far North in the 2023 Regional Development SA Infrastructure Prioritisation Plan.
Regional Development SA (RDSA) has identified these two regional infrastructure projects, along with 64 others across the state, as the most important developments that support the $65.99 billion regional investment pipeline RDAs track and consolidate for State Government, and has the potential to create 21,702 construction jobs.
The RDSA Infrastructure Prioritisation report is a five-yearly plan which summarises priority projects, their likely impacts on the state and what resources are required to deliver these projects successfully. This allows a focus on broader state needs and promotes transparent decision making.
The latest report, which was finalised in late December, focuses on projects which support greater regional housing development, addresses the “childcare desert” and much-needed jetty upgrades impacting several regions, along with many others.
Far North RDA chair Acting Chair Scott McKay said there were 10 local projects in the report, ranging from the Coober Pedy Water Supply to improving Port Augusta Housing Supply, a Whole of Outback Integrated Water Management Strategy, Outback Power/a Renewable Power Audit, Outback Road improvements, Flinders Ranges and Outback Tourism Accommodation upgrades, and the Sealing of Yorkey’s Crossing.
“We need to advance the major growth sectors in the Far North investment pipeline, and that includes building on our strong tourism industry. To do that we need to improve our infrastructure – including access to water supplies, energy, better roads and connectivity,” Scott McKay said.
“We also need to prioritise the attraction of new industries, increase investment in regional businesses and address market gaps. Once we start on that, we’ll be able to grow our communities and diversify our industry base.”
RDSA Chair Hon Rob Kerin said the report’s priorities aligned with the South Australian Government’s A Better Housing Future plan and the Australian Government’s Housing Accord.
“Our regions drive our state’s economy, particularly when it comes to agricultural production, resources, construction and health care. By prioritising and advocating for projects, we can promote the state’s growth, which will benefit every South Australian,” Mr Kerin said.
“If supported by targeted investment and a robust pipeline of required skills and resources, the state can continue to develop a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy which is competitive on a national and global scale,” he said.
The RDSA’s state-wide underlined the importance of developing more affordable housing for growth in communities through high-priority infrastructure projects such as highway and freight route upgrades, water projects, telecommunications upgrades, energy developments, irrigation and community master planning.
“Many communities where work is available are unable to accommodate workers moving to their city or town,” Mr Kerin said.
“By recommending the improvement to regional infrastructure we’re hoping it will pave the way for significant regional growth, which not only builds community strength, but builds capacity, improves the social fabric of surrounding areas and re-attracts young people and families back home.”
The report also highlighted projects interconnected across regions, such as the Northern Water and the Northern Irrigation projects, freight connectivity, and tourism projects including extensive wine trails and transport routes.
There was also a need for a greater focus on circular economies to reduce waste, energy production, pollution and recycling as a as growth opportunities for many regional communities, potentially supporting the creation of an additional 25,700 new jobs and reducing the state’s carbon emissions by 27 per cent.
RDSA is a member-based, not-for-profit organisation that supports economic development across seven regions and metropolitan Adelaide, with each funded by the three tiers of federal, state and local government.
The full report can be accessed at https://regionaldevelopmentsa.com.au/resources/.
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