South Australia Shadow Minister for Economic Development David Ridgway
Not To Eyre Is To Err
Victor P Taffa
Regional development Minister Gail Gago has revealed she has never met or couldn’t remember meeting proponents of a major mining venture which is investing more than $260 Million on the Eyre Peninsula.
Ms. Gago told Parliament, “I do not believe I have met with Eyre Iron”.
Eyre Iron Pty Ltd is a joint venture between Centrex metals and Wugang Australian Resources Investment Pty Ltd. It is already holding public consultation on mining, processing and exporting its rich mineral deposits between Dutton Bay and Port Lincoln.
“Wugang is a part of the Chinese steel giant Wuhan Iron & Steel.” Opposition Economic Development Spokesperson David Ridgway said.
“We’re talking globally serious players, but Ms. Gago seems too lazy or disinterested to discuss their massive project which is dependent on having enough power and water to grind ore fine enough to release the precious magnetite and upgrade it to a saleable product.”
“Everyone on the Eyre Peninsula knows the region lacks sufficient electricity and water, but the Minister is apparently clueless.” Mr. Ridgway said.
“South Australians rightly expect that their minister for regional development to at least talk with major investors in regional SA about their needs and expectations.”
“Lack of water is holding back the peninsula but what this Government does is just a drop in the bucket.”
“It’s a disgrace. It’s not as though we’ve suddenly discovered there’s a water shortage holding back regional development.” Mr. Ridgway said.
“The consortium is even planning to build a deep-water port north of Tumby Bay. SA needs an Eyre Peninsula port capable of loading Cape-class vessels to make us world-competitive.”
“I investigated sites on the Eyre Peninsula. The location will have implications for a century or more. It’s vital we make the right choice.”
“But the first choice would be to replace the minister for regional development with someone interested in her portfolio.” Mr. Ridgway said.