The Upper Spencer Gulf has a population numbering more than 50,000 people, and is the home to over 2,000 small businesses, with the region contributing approx. $2.3 billion in Gross Regional Product, or just over 3% of South Australia’s gross state product.
The Upper Spencer Gulf is made up of rural and semi-desert areas which are bordered by the 3 major urban areas of Port Augusta, Whyalla and Port Pirie, positioned on the coasts of the Spencer Gulf. Each city is approximately 100km apart. Around 80% of the population resides in the coastal areas, which were originally settled to provide support to the region’s traditional industries – minerals extraction and processing, shipbuilding, steel and heavy manufacturing and railways.
Today, the five largest industries contributing to GRP are mining, manufacturing, utilities (electricity generation), education and health services. The resources and energy industries link the three cities through their interconnected business trade, labour and skills, and various levels of collaboration and competition across the sector.