Leaders from across regional South Australia have launched a campaign to lobby candidates in the forthcoming state election in an effort to make the regions matter.
Regional South Australia contributes $20 billion towards the state's economy, more than half a million jobs and 50 per cent of exports.
Instead of supporting and growing the regions the South Australian government has gradually eroded services, centralising public service positions to Adelaide and committing only to maintaining a low 18 per cent of the state's population in the regions, despite more than 30 per cent living in a regional area Australia-wide.
Committing to actively growing country centres offers a chance to stop the urban sprawl of metropolitan Adelaide, will provide more workers for our rural industries and support a secure future for the regions.
We want a long term funding commitment - like a 'Royalties for Regions' program - from the next state government for regional economic and social infrastructure, to demonstrate the confidence in our regions that is needed to facilitate and leverage certainty and investment by the private sector.
Government is losing touch with the impact of their decisions on regional areas and is perpetuating a lack of confidence in the regions.
Making an active commitment to increase the number of public servants living and working in regional South Australia promotes confidence in our rural areas and will provide more efficient, practical and relevant support that will help grow our regions and add value to our existing contribution to the state and nation in agriculture, mining, aquaculture and renewable energy.
Mayor Julie Low, Eyre Peninsula Local Government Association; mayor Ray Agnew, Central Region of Councils; and mayor Richard Vicory, South East Local Government Association