Our region poised for greatness: Mayor Leon Stephens

MY REGION: Port Pirie regional Mayor Leon Stephens stands in the main street of his hometown.
MY REGION: Port Pirie regional Mayor Leon Stephens stands in the main street of his hometown.

It feels like an eternity since my last column.

I must say I have missed writing to you and I hope you all have fared well and have avoided the reach of this pandemic.

The world has changed for many of us, but what that has highlighted for me is how lucky are we to live in this area.

We have been relatively insulated from this coronavirus and, although some sport has been cancelled, many of us have found time to reconnect with the things that matter like family and re-exploring this magnificent region we live in.

As you know, I also enjoy a spot of fishing and this year has been excellent for those of us who enjoy squiding. I have seen many families taking up this opportunity.

Bowman Park near Crystal Brook has opened its Nature Playspace and has already been ranked number two among nature-play destinations in our state.

Credit must go to the Friends of Bowman Park for their vision and perseverance.

We have been successful with $10 million funding approval to develop a National Park in the region which will open the Southern Flinders Ranges to the world (that is, of course, when the world comes back online).

The long-term success of this will be widespread, including the District Council of Mount Remarkable and the Northern Areas Council, as it will become a mecca for those involved with extreme sports, bushwalking and cycling.

Thanks to the federal government, the state government, Regional Development Australia, Department for Environment and Water, National Parks Foundation and the three local councils involved.

The National Trust of South Australia has also been awarded a $6 million grant to produce a tourism trail called the Silver 2 Sea Way.

The money will be spent on highlighting tourism in the area with the first stage being Port Pirie to Peterborough.

We are excited about this project and look forward to working with the National Trust and in particular the Port Pirie Branch.

So you can see that the faith and belief you have in your own backyard and why you choose to live in this magnificent area is now shared by others.

It is time for us to tell people what we have on offer and how fortunate we are to live in this sanctuary. See you all soon.