Mayors’ frustration over regional development minister

FRUSTRATIONS: Port Pirie mayor John Rohde, Whyalla mayor Lyn Breuer and Port Augusta mayor Sam Johnson.
FRUSTRATIONS: Port Pirie mayor John Rohde, Whyalla mayor Lyn Breuer and Port Augusta mayor Sam Johnson.

Frustration has been expressed by Upper Spencer Gulf Mayors regarding difficulties arranging a meeting with Tim Whetstone, the new Minister for Regional Development.

Sam Johnson, Chair of Spencer Gulf Cities, says after the March election the region wrote to every Minister in regards to an update involving challenges and opportunities.

“Last year we identified 30 strategic initiatives to help pave the way for transition of our economy and our communities. We have provided every Minister with a copy of this ‘Transforming the upper Spencer Gulf’ report and have sought their support and commitment to help us continue to pursue these goals,”  Mayor Johnson says.

“However, it is disappointing that, some six months after the election, we have still not been able to meet with the new Minister for Regional Development.”

The issue had been raised many times within the Minister’s office but nothing had been done until recently, when the group was offered a single time slot.

Unfortunately they were only given less than a weeks notice and were not able to attend, due to other priorities.

The Whyalla Mayor Lyn Breuer says although the future of Upper Spencer Gulf is looking more positive than ever, the need for a strong partnership with the Government is still crucial.

‘We have a number of fabulous economic investments in our region and we now need to make sure we do everything we can to provide workforce, services and infrastructure at a community level to support them. That will require a strong level of engagement and partnership effort by all levels of government,” Mayor Breuer says.

John Rohde, Port Pirie Mayor corresponds, saying the three cities are all eager to understand Minister Whetstones intentions for the Upper Spencer Gulf and for regional SA.

“We have a strong foundation in the Upper Spencer Gulf to build on but need Government to work with us to keep that momentum going and to make sure we are all heading in the same direction,” Mayor Rohde says.