Community engagement

The South Australian Government, through the Department of State Development (DSD), established the Upper Spencer Gulf and Outback Community Engagement Team, following Alinta Energy’s decision on 11 June 2015 to cease operations at the Leigh Creek coal mine and Port Augusta power stations. The engagement team undertook a program of community engagement from 12 June to 30 September 2015 to support affected workers and communities and to identify options and opportunities for the future of Leigh Creek and the surrounding region.

A range of meetings have been held throughout the engagement program. The type of meetings varied to suit the needs of the community and to ensure best possible method of collating the many views and opinions.

Communities and stakeholders involved in the engagement program included:

Leigh Creek community views – report

As a result of the engagement work undertaken, a report responding to the needs of the community is now available.

The report outlines the outcomes of the engagement process and forms part of the State Government’s broader commitment to work closely with these regions as mining in Leigh Creek comes to an end and it begins its transition to a post-mining future.

The Government’s engagement with the community has now transitioned to relevant organisations, including the Outback Communities Authority for general enquiries about Leigh Creek and the Upper Spencer Gulf and the Office of the Commissioner for Public Employment for the Alinta workforce with right to return to Government.

The future of the township will be determined in close consultation with the Leigh Creek community and the Outback Communities Authority.

The Flinders Ranges in South Australia are the traditional lands of the Adnyamathanha people, and their communities will be involved in consultation about the township’s future.

A request for information process is being overseen by former South Australian Education and Tourism Minister Dr Jane Lomax-Smith. Industries have been invited to put forward their ideas for new business ventures in the Leigh Creek region.

On 28 February – 1 March 2016 Premier Jay Weatherill and Cabinet Ministers visited Port Augusta and Northern Flinders Ranges as part of the Country Cabinet program. This was the first Country Cabinet meeting of 2016, and provided a chance for locals to attend a public forum, speak directly with ministers in one-on-one meetings, or join the online discussion. On 1 March 2016 as part of Country Cabinet in Leigh Creek a public lunch was held, open to anyone with an interest in the issues that affect the Leigh Creek region.