Intergovernmental collaboration, housing, education and workforce, and liveability and attraction strategies are the four key areas the Upper Spencer Gulf Mayors will be focused on come state election time.
These objectives were set out in the Spencer Gulf Cities' 2022 State Election Platform Document, which was released on Monday, ahead of what is expected to be a tightly contested election in March next year.
Spencer Gulf Cities Chair, Port Pirie Mayor Leon Stephens, said a 9 per cent population growth stretch target for achievement over the next 10 years had been set out for the region.
"Filling current job vacancies and delivering the workforce needed to support planned investment in the region and improving city liveability to attract and retain residents, is vital to delivering population growth," he said.
"Our election priorities have been developed following consultation with the cities of Port Pirie, Port Augusta and Whyalla.
"We stand ready as the Spencer Gulf Cities to support the next government and its successful regional candidates to deliver prosperity and growth for both the region and the state."
The platform document includes background information on the four key areas of focus along with commitments being sought from local candidates and political parties, including:
1. Intergovernmental collaboration
The cities see collaboration and alignment of plans and programs between state and local government and targeted investment in agreed areas as critical to sustainable long-term growth.
The cities seek to continue their regular quarterly meetings with the Premier and key State Government Ministers as a key initiative in supporting collaborative efforts.
Tackling the shortage of housing both for workers engaged in infrastructure builds and those seeking to secure ongoing employment, and access to local labour and construction trades are key to unlocking future growth.
Home buyers gaining access to finance and the cost of common infrastructure delivery for greenfield sites are also on the agenda along with gaining hard data on supply gaps and developing innovative solutions.
The cities seek to enhance:
- The alignment of plans, policies and funding programs with the needs of the region o Access to state owned land that can support housing development
- Delivery of new affordable housing (for rent and for sale)
3. Education and workforce
The region is well placed to support student populations at primary, secondary, TAFE and through the Uni Hub Spencer Gulf, at the university level.
The cities are seeking to have regionally based government resources aligned to job opportunities and skills gaps through:
- Traineeships, apprenticeships and academic appointments
- Assistance to local businesses to access skills
- Better connecting young people with industries and providing career guidance . Increased use of government programs for employers and jobseekers
4. Liveability and attraction strategies
SGC is conscious of the importance of tackling the sometimes-negative image of the region given the degree of heavy industry activity.
The cities have unique landscapes, coastal assets, warm climate, lifestyle opportunities and supportive communities who will welcome new workers, families and residents.
The cities want to work with the state government to jointly implement liveability and attraction strategies to increase its population and fill future job opportunities.