Region's future under spotlight

FORWARD THINKING: RDAWEP economic development manager Peter Scott.
FORWARD THINKING: RDAWEP economic development manager Peter Scott.

Future threats to the Eyre Peninsula were outlined in a speech at the Eyre Peninsula Local Government Association Conference last week.

Regional Development Australia Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula economic development manager Peter Scott outlined five trends that could affect the EP in coming decades in his speech.

He spoke about defeating distance, global exposure, diverging places, new economies and the environment at risk, using the analogy of the horse and cart to say that often change is irreversible and must be prepared for.

Mr Scott said the EP needed to prepare for the introduction of autonomous trucks, the rise of telehealth services and needed to look at the impact on jobs.

He discussed the abandonment of regional areas and said the only places avoiding the phenomenon were bringing in migrants and finding jobs for them.

As the world moves towards more automation, he said the Eyre Peninsula needed to look at what industries were growing nationally and internationally, mentioning rocket technology, hydrogen and disability care as areas of opportunity.

Mr Scott mentioned the growing push towards oil exploration in the Great Australian Bight, and that while local government opposition may not be able to prevent it they should be looking at how to leverage benefits should it go ahead.

He said desalination plants were necessary to address water shortages that would likely grow with climate change, and that the region needed to monitor other arising issues such as a decline in insect populations that could lead to disruptions in the local eco-system.