Three major announcements for Pirie in less than a week

CELEBRATION: Mayor Leon Stephens, left, Independent Frome MP Geoff Brock, Regional Development's Corey Loizeau and Brenton Vanstone and Grey MP Rowan Ramsey.
CELEBRATION: Mayor Leon Stephens, left, Independent Frome MP Geoff Brock, Regional Development's Corey Loizeau and Brenton Vanstone and Grey MP Rowan Ramsey.

In the space of less than a week, Port Pirie went from "being a feather duster to a rooster".

Three major announcements transformed our economic landscape and now the cock is crowing.

First came the unveiling on April 9 of a $60 million plan for a new abattoir at Warnertown, generating at least 215 jobs.

Then came the announcement on April 14 by federal Grey MP Rowan Ramsey of a multi-million trade centre in Port Pirie, boosting options for our young people.

This was followed next day by Treasurer Rob Lucas revealing that wealthy commodity company Trafigura was the likely new owner of financially-troubled Nyrstar, operator of the smelter, in a move that safeguards the town's future.

Five people involved in the resurgence of Pirie stood on the median strip in Ellen Street on Tuesday to break open the champagne to celebrate the good news.

Grey MP Rowan Ramsey said there was reason to be confident about the future.

"We have had a series of really good announcements that will deliver jobs and investment in Port Pirie - that is what we need," he said.

Mayor Leon Stephens said it was "funny how the game changes".

"I have to thank Regional Development Australia for their persistence in putting forward the business case to get the abattoir over the line," he said.

"Then we heard about the Nyrstar take-over that gives you a feeling of good energy that is going to roll through the community."

Independent Frome MP Geoff Brock said the announcements were "fantastic" for the region.

He said the Commonwealth, state and private industry had worked together. "If we are confident about things, we will succeed," he said. Deputy chairman of Regional Development Australia Yorke and Mid North Brenton Vanstone said it had been a "10-year personal journey" for him regarding the abattoir.

He said it represented a diversification of the "bedrock" of the local economy.

Before the announcements, Port Pirie had been reeling from speculation surrounding Nyrstar and planned job cuts by that company as well as closures of shops.

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