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New working group to unlock opportunities for Whyalla

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The State Government will establish a working group to help the Whyalla community and businesses unlock the economic opportunities available from GFG Alliance’s investment in the city.

Chaired by Member for Giles Eddie Hughes, the group will promote new ideas to help businesses meet future job demands and training and education needs. It will also support applications to the State Government’s $40 million Fund My Neighbourhood program and $200 million Future Jobs Fund.

Working group members will also include representatives from local government, the business community, State Government, the training and education sector and not-for-profit sector.

Premier Jay Weatherill said, the Whyalla community had been doing it tough for a lot longer than 15 months.

“They’ve made many sacrifices – and now is the time to seize the opportunities presented by the sale of the steelworks.

“Moving forward is about much more than the site itself, it’s about supporting local businesses to access initiatives such as our Future Jobs Fund to ensure the future of Whyalla remains bright.”

Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis said the sale of Arrium not only provides a future for the supply chain businesses that support the steelworks, it creates new opportunities for the entire community.

“We want to help Whyalla capitalise on the confidence that comes with new investment, and the Future Jobs Fund and the Fund My Neighbourhood program are ideal vehicles to help get new ideas off the ground.

“The working group will partner with the community to unlock the full benefits of GFG’s investment in Whyalla, as well as assist locals in accessing job creation measures announced in the State Budget.”

Member for Giles Eddie Hughes said the steelworks have been at the very heart of Whyalla for decades and the announcement of an agreement to purchase the Whyalla operations last week means thousands of workers and their families will have certainty about their future.

“We now need to build on this certainty by coming up with new and exciting ideas for our future – and working together to make them become a reality.

“This philosophy is at the heart of our working group and I look forward to it helping to deliver the best possible outcomes for Whyalla.”

London-based GFG Alliance agreed to purchase Arrium’s steelworks and mining operations at Whyalla.

Gupta Family Group Executive Chairman, Sanjeev Gupta, said the sale will secure the jobs of more than 5500 Australian workers, including those in Whyalla.

The State Government’s 2017–18 State Budget includes the $200 million Future Jobs Fund to drive employment in key growth areas such as IT and advanced manufacturing, renewable energy and mining, and tourism, food and wine.

Another key budget measure, the $40 million Fund My Neighbourhood program, allows South Australians to nominate and vote on neighbourhood improvement projects in their local communities.