Maximising our region’s tourism potential

Elliston District Council chairman Kym Callaghan.

Elliston District Council chairman Kym Callaghan.

The Eyes on Eyre wayfinding, camping and coastal access stocktake, conducted on behalf of all 11 Eyre Peninsula local governments and natural resource management boards in December 2017 and January 2018 by Regional Development Australia Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula, revealed we have important investments to make if the visitor economy is to be tapped for its full potential.

The Elliston District Council stood out in the stocktake for a number of reasons.

Our reinvigorated wayfinding signage, coastal trail development and new public amenities (toilets/barbecues/shelters) were given a notable mention in the first interim findings report as an example of the direction Eyre Peninsula towns must take for viability and sustainability.

Our cleanliness and maintenance of informal campground facilities (Sheringa and Walker’s Rocks) were also commended.

Agricultural employment in the region has declined by 19.6 per cent since 2001.

In the same period, employment in the health care and community services industry grew by 38.8 per cent.

Our permanent population characteristics and needs have changed significantly – so have the expectations of visitors.

Our regional visitor economy is around $300 million and static but has a modelled potential for $511 million.

The foundation infrastructure that will make Eyre Peninsula a desirable place to live, work and visit is not of a standard to drive growth and maintain environment protection.

The Elliston District Council wants to continue to work with RDAWEP and all Eyre Peninsula councils to act collectively as a region in order to attract major investment in open space infrastructure, from nature play spaces, wetlands and water parks through to campgrounds designed to engineer environmental sustainability and provide a catalyst for trail developments.

Wouldn’t it be grand to ride or walk the Eyre!

Ourselves and Streaky Bay are in an advantageous position to be models for camping and coastal access node developments that ensure locals and visitors can continue to interact sustainably with our environment and enjoy the spoils of our world-class natural resources. 

Kym Callaghan

Elliston District Council chairman