SA budget 2017-18: Whyalla, Upper Spencer Gulf promised millions

Big day: Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis. Photo: Peri Strathearn.
Big day: Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis. Photo: Peri Strathearn.

Two jetty upgrades, a space for business start-ups and help for the needy are among the presents for the Upper Spencer Gulf in the 2017-18 state budget.

The task force overseeing the administration of Arrium's Whyalla steelworks will get an extra $1.6 million as it prepares for the sale of the business to a Korean buyer.

The government has also agreed to contribute $1 million to a redevelopment of the Whyalla jetty, which the city's council will match dollar for dollar.

Almost $190,000 will be spent transforming the city's empty library building into a "pop-up shop" where entrepreneurs can test their retail or business ideas.

Another $183,000 will go towards Whyalla's gutters, footpaths and roadsides; and $35,000 will be spent on "entry statements" which create a positive impression at the main entrances to the city.

Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis said the state government would stand with Whyalla and ensure it continued to grow.

"We hope the investment in these projects provides the community with a much-needed boost as we work with the South Korean consortium, the administrators, unions, workers and the federal government on securing a sale of Whyalla's steelworks that provides a new and prosperous future for Whyalla," he said.

"These community projects will improve the amenity of Whyalla, increase opportunities for locals and lead to flow-on economic benefits for the region.

"We encourage the council to use the upgrades as an opportunity to source local people and local products to conduct the works."

On the other side of the gulf, the 2.4-kilometre-long Port Bonython jetty and fire pump house platform will be strengthened at points, to cap the recent refurbishment of walkways, mooring points, the loading platform, stairs, ladders and lighting.

About 35 liquid tanker ships dock at the jetty each year.

Port Pirie's Foodbank will get $188,000 worth of support over three years, but that funding will not start until 2018.

Further north, Leigh Creek, another town battered by the changing tides of industry, will get several funding allocations.

The budget contains $522,000 for a new Country Fire Service brigade, $600,000 over two years for the town's motel, and $2.2 million over five years for the continued management of Aroona Dam.

This story SA budget 2017-18: Whyalla, Upper Spencer Gulf promised millions first appeared on Whyalla News.