Back to SEGRA

SEGRA Walks the Talk

August 2017 – Edition 25

SEGRA 2017 – Disruption: a catalyst for change

Upper Spencer Gulf, SA

24-27 October 2017

SEGRA 2017 Latest News

Complete the SEGRA 2017 Survey and go into the draw for a free registration

SEGRA is recognised as Australia's most credible independent voice on issues affecting regional Australia. This reputation in drawn from the depth of participation in SEGRA practitioners, decision makers and researchers. As part of our on-going commitment to delivering an informed agenda we occasionally conduct surveys of our network.

To encourage participation, a free registration to the SEGRA 2017 conference program is being offered to a lucky participant. If you would like to go in the draw for the prize, please provide your contact email address upon completion of the survey. All responses will be de-identified and selection of a winner will be based on a randomised numbering and selection process.

We thank you in advance for your participation.

Upper Spencer Gulf - Celebrating Success

On behalf of Spencer Gulf Cities, we are looking forward to the 2017 national ‘Sustainable Economic Growth for Regional Australia’ (SEGRA) conference, which will be hosted in the Upper Spencer Gulf from 24-27th October 2017.

We will be showcasing all three of our cities and wider regions as part of the conference, within the key theme of ‘Disruption – a catalyst for change’.

This will be the first time in the 20-year history of the conference that it will be held in South Australia and after a few rough years, the regional cities of Port Augusta, Port Pirie and Whyalla now have much to celebrate and to share with you-

  • After 18 months in administration, the recent sale of the Whyalla steelworks is expected to include significant investment into a ‘GreenSteel’ strategy encompassing mining, metal recycling, metal production, engineering and distribution.
  • Filling the void left by last year’s closure of South Australia’s last coal fired power station, located at Port Augusta, will be a $650 million, 150 megawatt ‘concentrated solar thermal’ power plant – the biggest of its kind in the world.
  • Following 127 years of lead processing, the current $563 million expansion of the Port Pirie smelter will see its transformation into an advanced multi-metals recovery facility and home to the largest ‘e-waste’ recycling facility in Australia.
  • After a successful trial, world-leading technology is being used on a commercial scale by Sundrop Farms to supply solar electricity, heat and desalinated seawater to grow tomatoes in an arid-land horticulture operation near Port Augusta.
  • Advanced biocrude-oil production company, Muradel, is expanding their Whyalla site, utilising sustainable and renewable organic based feedstocks as a direct replacement for non-sustainable oils such as mineral crude oils and palm plantation oils.
  • Extending between Port Augusta and Whyalla, the Cultana Defence Training Area is expanding from 50,000 to just over 200,000 hectares to become one of the Australian Defence Force’s largest training areas capable of supporting major joint exercises.
  • Construction of the National Sterile Insect Technology (SIT) facility in Port Augusta was completed in 2016 and now produces up to 50 million sterile male Queensland fruit flies each week, for release as a bio-control into affected horticulture growing regions.
  • In addition to the expansion of BHP’s Olympic Dam copper, gold, uranium and silver mining operation, Oz Minerals are commencing construction of a $916 million copper and gold mine just north of the Upper Spencer Gulf, with plans for a concentrate treatment plant also underway.

We are very excited to be hosting SEGRA this year and look forward to seeing you in October.

Mayor Sam Johnson
Port Augusta City Council

Mayor Lyn Breuer
City of Whyalla

Mayor John Rohde
Port Pirie Regional Council

Port Pirie
Port Augusta

SEGRA Study Tours

Registration deadline: if you would like to attend one of the three study tours, please register by COB Friday, 8th September for Eyre Peninsula or COB Friday, 15th September for the Clare Valley and Flinders Ranges Study Tours.

Study Tour 1 - Flinders Ranges
Date: Friday, 27 - Saturday, 28 October 2017
Many people regard the Flinders Ranges & Outback as the ultimate travel destination in Australia. The combination of pioneering history, wide-open spaces, rich Aboriginal heritage and an excellent range of accommodation. With some of the oldest geological formations on the planet and abundant native wildlife such as emus, kangaroos and wedge-tail eagles, there’s always something new to see.

The Flinders Ranges Study Tour will depart Port Augusta at 8:30am on Friday 27 October and return to Port Augusta at 4:30pm on Saturday 28 October. Delegates will have the opportunity to visit some of South Australia's most historic sites such as the Wadlata Outback Centre, Pichi Richi Railway Preservation Society, Great Northern Lodge, Jeff Morgan's Art Gallery and Wilpena Pound.

Study Tour 2 - Clare Valley
Date: Friday, 27 October 2017

Minimum numbers required: 4 delegates

The Clare Valley region is for those who seek substance and authenticity, who take the road less travelled and enjoy taking a moment to appreciate what life has to offer. Winemaking in the Clare Valley stretches back over 160 years and today there are more than 35 cellar doors in the region – each quite distinct in its approach to winemaking.

The Clare Valley Study Tour will depart Port Augusta via bus at 8:30am on Friday 27 October and return to Port Augusta at 4:30pm. Delegates will have the opportunity to visit some of South Australia's most historic sites such as Blessing/Orrock, CocoLaura, Stanley Flat, Knappstein, Mr Mick, Sevenhill, Polish Hill, Watervale, Leasingham, and Auburn.

Study Tour 3 - Eyre Peninsula
Date: Friday, 27 - Saturday, 28 October 2017

Minimum numbers required: 10 delegates

The Eyre Peninsula is Australia's Seafood Frontier and truly one of nature's wonderful playgrounds with a unique combination of wildlife, landscapes, fishing and seafood.

This tour will depart Port Augusta via bus at 8:30am on Friday 27 October and return to Port Augusta at 4:30pm on Saturday 28 October. On the first day of the study tour delegates will have the opportunity to visit some of South Australia's most historic sites such as Nuttbush, Cowell Oysters, Arno Bay, Lincoln, Shark diving and Tuna swimming.

Registration deadline: if you would like to attend one of the three study tours, please register by COB Friday, 8/15 September 2017

Flinders Ranges
Clare Valley
Eyre Peninsula

SEGRA 2017-18 Challenge

If you have ever thought wouldn't it be good if...then the SEGRA challenge might be your opportunity to walk the talk. SEGRA 2017 is delighted to again offer delegates the opportunity to develop their ideas into demonstration projects over the coming year.

For more information about the SEGRA Challenge, please click on the link below to download a copy of the flyer. If you would like to know more about how SEGRA can help you lead a challenge, please ring Kate Charters on 0408 882 871

SEGRA 2017-18 Flyer

Spotlight Session Profiles

SEGRA Spotlights Sessions are now a feature of the SEGRA conference. These sessions are carefully curated panels around content-related themes, headlined with speakers with deep knowledge and practical experience with ample time for discussion, questions and answers for participants, to ensure expert knowledge is not just presented but applied to your own specific circumstances.

Spotlight 1 - Politics and the Regions - government, political and business leadership
The age of disruption has brought about a dramatically changing digital, economic, and social landscape. Concurrently, community expectations, needs, and demands are evolving faster than ever before. This spotlight session will focus on:

  • What does effective regional/rural/remote leadership require from individuals and organisations?
  • How can regional leaders and organisations maximise their political, economic and social power to achieve real and appropriate place-based outcomes
  • How do leaders create cohesion in a society and work environments which is so driven by individual autonomy and personal values?

Facilitator: Paul Rosair, Principal, NAJA Business Consulting Services

Spotlight 2 - Innovation and Technology: opportunities for regional Australia
This session brings together leaders in the fields of technology and in particular that of digital and electronic to discuss the:

  • changes and disruptions in your community
  • opportunities for innovation
  • challenges to innovation
  • things you might do to advance innovation and the uptake of technology in your area

Facilitator: Rod Macdonald, Partner, Community Broadband Networks and SEGRA National Steering Committee

Spotlight 3 - What will the Market Want into the Future?
This session will look at the long, medium and short term demand opportunities emerging for regional Australia.

  • Issues to discuss will include identifying
  • opportunities in the rapidly developing marketing segments eg value- conscious demand; information rich experiences, age and gender segments and overseas markets.
  • considerations in offsetting low costs and cheaper production locations with product IP control; premium quality and value adding
  • legacy infrastructures and preparing for disruption
  • Opportunism to use different channels in market entries - e.g. direct selling, multiple marketing partners and adaptions to relationship structure
  • political and macro-economic risk factors and how to mitigate them

Facilitator: Dr. Jen Cleary, Centre for Global Food and Resources, University of Adelaide and Chair, RDA Far North SA, and SEGRA National Steering Committee

Spotlight 4 - 24/7 Renewable Energy

In this interactive Spotlight session issues discussed include:

  • If major/multinational energy companies fund large scale renewable energy facilities will regional centres still leak money for the service of electricity?
  • For the first time since the mid 20th Century, could local governments now have the capacity to viably provide the service of energy as well as water and other utilities?
  • What are the best technologies for any given scale and location?
  • What are the optimal distribution systems and models?
  • What is the Federal Government attempting to achieve with COAGand the National Energy Productivity Plan and how is it going so far?

Facilitator: Ashley Bland, Senior Manager - Skillset Environment, Skillset

Spotlight 5 - Entrepreneurship and Investment in Regional Australia

As government policy increasingly looks to co-investment models rather than grants, one of the more significant opportunities for economic development practitioners is to provide user friendly and effective processes of testing new and existing ideas for strategic investment initiatives. There now is the potential to develop simple and robust methodologies to allow project proponents to develop better ideas before investing their increasingly scarce resources in the completion of the projects business case. Spotlight 5 will examine Entrepreneurship and investment in the regional context including common challenges, diverse solutions and successful case studies.

Facilitator: Troy Haines, Start-Up & Innovation Coach, theSPACE Cairns

Spotlight 6 - Are growth regions born or made?
This session will consider what drives the economic performance of a region and how to maximise opportunities for growth including developing:

  • decentralised planning, decision-making and implementation with local initiatives being determined and facilitated by local stakeholders.
  • a wide range of players with much greater cooperation between all stakeholders including all government agencies (Bellamy and Brown, 2009; Mustafa et al., 2003).
  • sound governance in order to ensure an accommodation of differences through cooperative actions and effective decision making
  • connecting and layering vertical and horizontal integration of initiatives.
  • robust regional governance that consists of institutions, systems, processes and relationships through which power is exercised and shared, decisions are made, and revenue is raised.

Facilitator: A/Professor Jeremy Buultjens, outhern Cross Business School, Southern Cross University

Spotlight 7 - Funding the Regions
This session looks at the range of goals and strategies employed by all levels of government through these initiatives to deliver regional outcomes and the interface with private investment.

Key issues to discuss include:

  • Where the level of decision –making is located?
  • What underpins the measures applied to allocation decisions?
  • What sorts of regional impacts are intended?
  • Where the benefits fall?
  • How might we be proactive in our own regions?

Facilitator: Anthony Bertini, Chairman, Thumper One Pty Ltd

Spotlight 8 - Geotourism
This session will include discussion about issues that have arisen this year as a result of pursuing aspiring geopark developments in Australia as well as examining some local examples of how geotourism concepts are adding value to regional development in South Australia. The use of information systems to manage the dynamics of sustainable tourism development within regional areas will also be discussed.

Facilitator: Angus M. Robinson, Managing Partner, Leisure Solutions®

Paul Rosair
Rod Macdonald
Dr. Jen Cleary
Ashley Bland
Troy Haines
A/Prof. Jeremy Buultjens
Anthony Bertini
Angus M. Robinson

Technology Expo

Promote how your organisation is using technology in innovative ways during SEGRA. Numbers are limited so that your company has a real opportunity to stand out from the crowd.

  • Display Space: $1,650 including GST. (approx. 3m x 1m)

Please contact us via the email address below to receive a technology expo registration form.

The RED Toolbox updates

The RED Toolbox is a national platform supporting Australia's productive industries - agriculture, creative industries, defence, ICT, manufacturing, medical and health, METS, smart-trades and tourism.

We are adding more groups to the RED Toolbox day by day. Groups can be focused on Regions, Sectors, Issues or Projects. Councils can create groups based on their local economic objectives or clusters - Food, Defence, Advanced Manufacturing, Tourism, Assistive Technologies, Aerospace, Export activity etc

We are now creating an Export version of the RED Toolbox, which will showcase exporters through a range of market specific "shop windows" to the world - India-Australia Trade showcase, Taiwan-Australia Trade showcase - customised to each of our major overseas markets.

Become a partner
Become a partner and support your region and its exporters.
Councils and corporate partners have a page in the Partners section, can create Groups, their logo on the front page and receive regular e-newsletters plus 10 copies of Business Acumen magazine
 per annum with stories on economic regional development, case studies and interviews.

Showcase Australian products to the world
There are over 5,000 goods and services producers in the Showcase - making it the largest and most comprehensive e-catalogue of Australia's leading producers. A one stop shop for buyers in New York, London, Tokyo, Shanghai or Delhi to search and find Australian producers.

Promote Australian products to India
At the end of August, the India Australia Trade Showcase will be launched during the Australia Business Week in India. Businesses in the showcase will be promoted in India for 3 months by the Australia India Business Council and other networks. This will be a great opportunity to showcase businesses from your council area, region or state. So become a Partner and promote businesses from your region to the world.

Taiwan will be the next export market. Then China and the USA.

Host a SEGRA Conference

SEGRA, provides a single forum in which people with a deep commitment to regional Australia can discuss issues and advance options and solutions for the future. Drawing over 200 delegates from across Australia, SEGRA is now recognised as the nation’s most credible and independent voice on issues affecting regional Australia.

SEGRA, Australia's premier conference on regional issues, is about assisting regional, rural and remote Australia in being more proactive; proactive in identifying their goals, understanding their options and developing better skills, processes and institutional arrangements to make the right choice, and to be agenda setters and decision drivers rather than reacting to events.

Back to top

Around the Regions

Highfields Community Common - Our Big Idea

We see the Highfields Community Common as the cornerstone project for the HCHeart: Project 2020 initiative. This project seeks to maximise the catalyst potential of new community infrastructure within a mixed-use precinct to form a Catalyst Infrastructure project of regional significance. By working closely with community leaders to identify the critical issues and key values that will underpin a vibrant and sustainable Highfields community we have been able to shape the scale and footprint of our big idea.

This idea has the potential to be a best practice National demonstration project for regional communities seeking to transition into the 21st Century economy and protect their local identity and lifestyle. The more layers of use and the more connections into local, regional and national networks the stronger our Business Case will be. For this reason, our Big Idea is the starting point for a 12-week Collaborative Conversation with local stakeholders and potential strategic partners.

The purpose of these Collaborative Conversations is to help us turn this Big Idea into the BEST investable Business Case to secure Public and Private sector academic, media, investment partnerships and funding.

Attribution: this article first appeared in Highfields & District Business Connections

Solar thermal power plant announced for Port Augusta

A 150-megawatt solar thermal power plant has been secured for Port Augusta in South Australia, State Premier Jay Weatherill has announced.

Construction of the $650 million plant will start in 2018. Mr Weatherill said the Aurora Solar Energy Project would be ready to go in 2020 and would supply 100 per cent of the State Government's needs. The Government will pay a maximum of $78 per megawatt hour.

Mr Weatherill said the solar thermal plant was "the biggest of its kind in the world".

"Importantly, this project will deliver more than 700 jobs, with requirements for local workers," he said.

Attribution: this article first appeared on ABC News on 14 August 2017

Solar thermal uses heliostats, or mirrors, to concentrate sunlight onto a tower that heats molten salt. (Facebook: Solar Reserve)

How seven councils joined to digitally connect Queensland’s most remote areas

Encouraging young people to stay, finding new business opportunities and developing a strong plan to harness digital disruption are three challenges facing many local government bodies across Australia on a day-to-day basis.

Find out how one of Queensland’s most sparsely populated and remote regions is using data to increase liveability, strengthen social fabric and stop people leaving. When you are this remote it is vital to be innovative and resourceful.

Attribution: this article first appeared in The Mandarin on 04 August 2017.

Back to top

New Publications

New direction for RDAs: Minister Nash refocuses

The Regional Development Australia network will be refocused to attract investment and jobs to their regions, Minister for Regional Development Fiona Nash announced.

The announcement follows the independent review into RDA Committees and their effectiveness by the Hon Warwick L Smith AM.

“I thank Mr Smith for writing this insightful and honest review at my request,” Minister Nash said.

“The major changes in the RDA network will be:

  • “RDA Committees will now pro-actively target, seek and negotiate with private companies, not-for-profits and governments of all levels to bring jobs and investment to our regions;
  • “A more rigorous, merit-based appointments process for Chairs and Committee members will begin from the end of this year, when most terms of appointment run out;
  • “For the first time, clear performance measures will mean practical outcomes of RDAs are properly monitored and measured.
Senator the Hon Fiona Nash

We need a safe space for policy failure

SEGRA 2017 will be discussing Disruption as a catalyst for change. This article makes some useful observations about how to manage this in the public sector including references to recent approaches in South Australia.

Allowing public servants the space to try new things and sometimes fail requires a shift in thinking from politicians and the media in particular. New ideas must be backed by evidence, however.

Attribution: this article first appeared in The Mandarin on 09 August 2017.

KPMG Global CEO Outlook 2017: The outlook for Australia

Australian CEOs are confident about their companies’ growth prospects, but less optimistic about both their countries’ and global economic prospects than their international peers, according to KPMG’s 2017 global study of CEOs.

The 2017 Global CEO Outlook is based on in-depth interviews with nearly 1,300 CEOs, including many from Australia, who are leading some of the world’s largest companies

James Mabbott, Head of KPMG Innovate will be speaking at SEGRA 2017. To hear him and other thought leaders on responses to disruption register via the link below.

Back to top

SEGRA 2017 Accommodation Providers

Majestic Oasis Apartments

Address: Marryatt St, Port Augusta, SA 5700
Phone: (08) 8648 9000
Distance to conference venue: 4min drive / 17min walk

The Majestic Oasis Apartments are located three hours north of Adelaide in Port Augusta, SA, gateway to the Flinders Ranges and Outback. This 4-star property features 75 modern studio, one and two bedroom self-contained apartments overlooking the stunning foreshore development and water of the Upper Spencer Gulf.

Standpipe Golf Motor Inn

Address: 3-2 Daw St, Port Augusta West, SA 5700
Phone: (08) 8642 4033
Distance to conference venue: 5min drive / 37min walk

The Standpipe, a well-known Port Augusta Hotel, offers quality motel accommodation surrounded by landscape gardens, an 18-hole golf course, grand dining homestead, with an emphasis on fine food & wine, complimented by discerning personal service.

Back to top

Celebrating 20 Years of SEGRA

Hear what people say about SEGRA

SEGRA Turns 20

Back to top