Sustainable development boost for Spencer Gulf

Monday, 10 November 2014

Sustainable development in the Spencer Gulf region has been given a boost with the addition of Nyrstar in Port Pirie to the University of Adelaide-led Spencer Gulf Ecosystem and Development Initiative.

Mining and metals company Nyrstar, which operates Port Pirie's lead smelter, joins the region's other major industries BHP Billiton, Santos, Alinta, Arrium Mining, Centrex Metals, Flinders Ports as a partner in the project led by the University's Environment Institute.

Also involved is the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation and the University's Marine Innovation SA collaborators South Australian Research and Development Institute and Flinders University.

"This initiative is unique because it is the first time a truly holistic approach is being undertaken with all the key players," says Professor Bronwyn Gillanders, Project Leader and Chair of the Science Committee. "If we can get this right, we will be a model for sustainable development around the world.

"The Spencer Gulf is a prospering development zone for South Australia but also home to an ecosystem of national significance and great value.

"Simultaneously managing commercial and environmental interests is like juggling fish - but through this initiative we believe we can drive responsible decision-making for a thriving Gulf region.

"Nyrstar is a cornerstone industry in the region and with them on board we now have participation from the major industries in the Gulf region - it's a key step forward towards the success of this project."

The Spencer Gulf Ecosystem and Development Initiative's vision is a thriving Gulf region where progressive development continues alongside a protected and enhanced ecosystem - and community opportunity is optimised.

To date the initiative has developed a knowledge review of the gaps in science relevant to the Gulf's ecology. It is working towards the framework and science program for a structured decision-making process on future development that takes into account social, economic, cultural and ecological concerns. All this will be placed within an integrated marine management framework.

"We want to ensure that the scientific evidence helps inform public opinion and delivers positive outcomes," says Professor Gillanders.

The project also aims to deliver clearer development approval pathways with potential to reduce costs and time delays.


Contact Details

Professor Bronwyn Gillanders
Southern Seas Ecology Laboratories
School of Biological Sciences and Environment Institute
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 6235
Mobile: +61 417 036 235

Ms Robyn Mills
Media and Communications Officer
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 6341
Mobile: +61 410 689 084