Sustainable Economic Growth for Regional Australia 2017

25 October 2017 9:00 am - 27 October 2017 5:00 pm

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Central Oval Function Centre

Sustainable Economic Growth for Regional Australia 2017

SEGRA 2017 Upper Spencer Gulf


Mark Your Diaries!

SEGRA is headed to Port Augusta from 24 – 27 October 2017.
The theme is Disruption: a catalyst for change.
The program will include industry and research forums at Port Pirie and Whyalla.

SEGRA was formed to provide a forum for people passionate about the future of regional Australia and a place where new ideas could be formed and shared.
20 years later, SEGRA continues to Speak up for Regional Australia.  Throughout this time, SEGRA has strived to raise the profile of regions as essential to Australia’s national agenda and empower regions to be responsible for their own destinies.  It has done this by identifying ideas, regional issues and opportunities; influencing policy by encouraging evidence-based responses; supporting practice-based research and projects and actively promoting regional connectivity and networks.

Hear what some of the 2016 delegates had to say about SEGRA on this video report.

For more information about SEGRA 2017 CLICK HERE

SEGRA is Australia's most credible, independent voice on issues affecting regional Australia. See why at the 2017 Conference:

24–27 October 2017Upper Spencer Gulf, South Australia

Click here to view the Upper Spencer Gulf promotional video.

We are very excited about hosting this year’s SEGRA conference in the Upper Spencer Gulf - it will be the first time in the 20-year history of the conference that it will be held in South Australia.

The Upper Spencer Gulf is a region of diversity and convergence, focused around the tri-city alliance of Port AugustaWhyalla and Port Pirie.

The three cities each have their own identity and role as a service centre to their rural and remote hinterland, but share a strong connection and common interest based on their industrial heritage and capabilities.

The Upper Spencer Gulf is quite literally the ‘crossroads of Australia’, with convergence of the nation’s major road and rail connections between Darwin - Melbourne and Sydney – Perth.

It is also a convenient launching point to the spectacular Flinders RangesEyre Peninsula and the Clare Valley wine region.

Whilst we have suffered our fair share of economic shocks and negative perceptions, the reality is we have a lot of new, exciting growth opportunities that are taking advantage of our strengths - for example:

  • Port Pirie is currently undergoing rapid change. Its largest employer the ‘Nyrstar’ smelter is currently undergoing a complete transformation that will see its transition into a multi-metals recovery facility, with potential to process e-waste. The half a billion dollar project will be a game changer for both Nyrstar and the Port Pirie Community. This has been complemented by a $30m capital works program being undertaken by Council and a major rebranding campaign.
  • Six years ago UK based ‘Sundrop Farm’ established a pilot greenhouse facility near Port Augusta to trial the use of solar thermal energy to desalinate seawater and produce heat for intensive ‘arid land’ horticulture operation. Site expansion was completed last year with the company now in full production of hydroponically grown truss tomatoes that are distributed nationally to Coles stores under an exclusive 10-year contract.
  • A partnership between the University of Adelaide and Murdoch University to commercialise large scale, renewable green crude oil – or ‘biocrude’ commenced in Whyalla with a pilot plant in 2014 and expansion the following year. Muradel’s technology now enables a number of different feedstocks to be processed to green crude including wastewater treatment plant sludge, biosolids and used car tyres !
  • Last year, South Australia’s last coal fired power station – located at Port Augusta – shut down. In its place are proposals for building large scale ‘solar thermal’ renewable energy plants, which can provide 24-hour electricity. One, from U.S. based company ‘Solar Reserve’, uses existing ‘molten salt’ based technology for storing the solar energy, with another proposal from Australian company SolarStor that is proposing to use new graphite block technology.

The journey of the Upper Spencer Gulf - its tenacity, innovation and connection to a stunning and ancient landscape will be a strong feature of this year’s SEGRA conference.

We look forward to seeing you then.


Mayor Sam Johnson
Port Augusta

Mayor Lyn Breuer 

Mayor John Rohde
Port Pirie

2017 Major Sponsor

  • Primary Industry and Regions SA

2017 Host Partners

  • Upper Spencer Gulf Purpose Group  Port Pirie Regional Council   Port Augusta City Council   Whyalla City Council
  • RDA Yorke & Mid North   RDA Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula
  • RDA Far North      Uni SA Whyalla