Consideration of responses
The RFI was sent directly to 325 individuals and 15 industry groups, institutions and association distribution lists of over 10,000 people. Proposals were received between 9 December 2015 and closed on 1 February 2016.
The State Government received more than 30 responses from people and organisations interested in ensuring a viable future for Leigh Creek. The ideas submitted include a range of proposals for commercial and industrial use of the mine site, use of the area’s natural mineral and renewable energy resources, as well as proposals to use the town’s existing infrastructure for education, training, and arts.
Between 8 February and 8 April 2016, these proposals were assessed against the published criteria and then considered further through consultation with a range of technical specialists across government.
The purpose of the criteria was to give an indication of the types of matters against which the Government considered the responses.
The criteria are:
- the extent to which a proposal is understood to be economically viable or otherwise feasible
- the extent to which a proposal is able to utilise and enhance the environmental, cultural, heritage and community values associated with the region
- the impact a proposal will have on the local community and broader regional development, including the impact on the region’s economy, job creation, diversification of employment opportunities, and adjacent rural centres
- whether a proposal would be either complementary to or in conflict with any existing or other proposed uses, any existing interests, any applicable restraints, or any applicable policies, plans or strategies, in the chosen locality
- indicative requirements for services and other infrastructure
- alignment with the Government’s higher order economic and planning objectives and strategies
- the nature and extent of the experience of the respondent in the planning, permitting, design, construction, operation and maintenance of projects generally, and in relation to a proposal
- the nature and extent of any commercial or environmental outcomes or effects of a proposal
- the financial capacity of the respondent and its ability to fund a proposal
- native title or Aboriginal heritage matters
- value for money for the Government, including the nature and extent of any government contribution that may be required
- any other matters that the Government may consider relevant given the nature and content of a proposal.
The Leigh Creek Futures report, released on 6 June, has made 30 recommendations to the State Government to maintain and revitalise the township.
The report has been prepared based on the proposals received in response to the Request for Information – Commercial Opportunities, Leigh Creek and surrounds, in addition to prior and subsequent consultation and investigations overseen by Dr Jane Lomax-Smith.
Responses received and recommendations in the RFI Report have also helped to inform the Government’s transition planning for the township and to determine a way forward for the economic and social sustainability of the region.
Some specific recommendations in the RFI Report also outline proposals that will be pursued directly by the Outback Communities Authority and others that involve issuing of an Expression of Interest process for commercial businesses in the Township, like the Tavern and Caravan park.
Remaining recommendations will be considered further by government.