Regional Development Australia Eyre Peninsula (RDAEP) has partnered with Infrastructure Australia to develop the Regional Strengths and Infrastructure Gaps report, which highlights opportunities in the tourism, mining, space and renewable energy sectors to support the regionalisation trend that took hold during the pandemic and is reshaping the Eyre Peninsula.

The Regional Strengths and Infrastructure Gaps report provides a lens to highlight the opportunities in our region and prioritises investment in Regional Australia.

In developing this report, Infrastructure Australia partnered with 48 other Regional Development Australia Committees across Australia. This allowed for strategic engagement with key regional stakeholders including businesses, peak bodies and industry groups, to help create a picture of each area’s diverse assets, growth industries and infrastructure requirements.

The Regional Strengths and Infrastructure Gaps report aims to increase the focus on Regional Australia by building an evidence base of mutually acknowledged needs, as well as identifying the assets available to be leveraged by industry and government to provide solutions.

Through the work of RDAEP, and the input of key stakeholders, the supply of reliable energy and water security have been identified to Infrastructure Australia as the most significant infrastructure gaps for the region. The Report also identified improved access to healthcare and social services as crucial, particularly in relation to liveability and the ability to attract and retain workers.

RDAEP CEO Ryan Viney said “The Eyre Peninsula, with over $11 billion worth of investment identified in the project pipeline and 8,000 potential new jobs, will face a number of challenges over the next few years. The ability for the region to realise this investment and achieve sustained economic growth will ultimately be reliant on the provision of economic enabling infrastructure and services, such as power, water and improved healthcare services”.

“This Report provides locally sourced and evidence-based intelligence to Government in order to form a strong foundation of data to support future infrastructure planning, policy and decision-making. It also highlights the important role RDAEP plays on the Eyre Peninsula in bringing the region’s infrastructure priorities to the national stage, and ensuring that these issues are understood by government at all levels in order to influence infrastructure investment and delivery”.

Infrastructure Australia Chief of Policy and Research Peter Colacino said: “Infrastructure Australia’s 2019 Australian Infrastructure Audit identified the challenges and opportunities in providing infrastructure and services in Regional Australia. It found that Regional Australia is characterised by limited choice of infrastructure and associated services, with thin markets limiting the ability for service providers to participate.

“While Australia’s regions are each unique, they share many strengths. This report draws out of those strengths as the basis for communities to define their own identify as well as supporting increased collaboration and knowledge sharing between communities.

“We encourage all stakeholders to use this evidence base to bring forward solutions to local challenges and seize opportunities for growth, innovation and investment. This evidence base supports planning, and informed decision-making, to ensure we get the solutions right to close these gaps.

“Without further reform and investment, the quality of infrastructure and access to services in our regions will remain behind our Fast-growing Cities, constraining growth. The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on regional population growth and changing patterns of trade are compounding these challenges,” Mr Colacino said.

The Report is a starting point for discussion between all parties to inform further planning, policy and investment solutions. Further consultation is being encouraged, with submissions open until 29 April 2022.

Refer to the following link for a copy of the report