The official opening of the Eyre Shellfish Hatchery at Cowell last week demonstrates confidence in Eyre Peninsula. With a combination of private and public investment, the business is turning the despair of the Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome (POMS) virus into an opportunity. The latest hatchery will ensure our oyster growers are no longer reliant upon imported spat but are self-sufficient and secure in the local industry.
With our local economy fundamentally reliant on primary production (both agriculture and seafood), it is imperative Eyre Peninsula is viewed as an attractive place for investment in supporting services and infrastructure. Tourism is an important and growing third spoke in the wheel and there is no doubt potential for growth in this area, especially with effort into simple and effective marketing.
Our towns support these primary industries with goods and services and state government becomes involved with the provision of essential services such as health and education, law and order, state roads etc. I welcome the announcement this week of more than $20 million into a number of EP schools. Good public sector facilities are critical to our well-being, and these days even governments must see the value in such funding.
Our challenge is to continue to attract such investment. It remains imperative, our responsibility even, that we provide opportunities for growth in economic activity and population. Put bluntly – we need jobs for our kids. We’re all aware of technological development and mechanisation allowing more to be done with fewer people. This is a long term, worldwide trend and is sure to continue.
This week we begin to debate the government’s proposed amendments to the Mining Act in the State Parliament. This has been a long time coming and I see little that addresses the fundamental concerns of landowners raised with me over the past eight years. I will keep you informed of the progress of this Bill.
In the meantime, the Iron Road proposal has progressed, with approvals granted and funding sought. Ultimately, should this project go ahead, there is no doubt it will drive significant investment into transport, power, water and possibly even communications on Eyre Peninsula. We need to ensure accompanying public spending on health services and education. This is our challenge.
Peter Treloar, Member for Flinders