Hughes pushes for decent future for all

Looking at the year ahead, Labor candidate for the seat of Giles Eddie Hughes said he would work to continue to see positive developments and changes across the electorate of Giles with a strong emphasis on community engagement.

"In 2014 we need to continue diversifying our economy while protecting our environment and that takes good planning and open, early collaboration," Mr Hughes said.

Mr Hughes believes a number of Whyalla projects delivered in 2013 have provided a solid foundation for the year ahead.

"Arrium's port development and expansion of mining activity in Middleback Ranges and the far north of the state puts Whyalla in a strong position especially given there is scope for further expansion," Mr Hughes said.

"Our steel industry has come through both the Global Financial Crisis and the high Australian dollar intact.

"The combination of mining and manufacturing in Whyalla is our real strength with manufacturing providing the bulk of our jobs which supports much of the other economic activity in our city."

However, Mr Hughes said to ensure the city prospers into the future, further industry diversity was needed.

This, as well as further job generation and a fair go for those that are disadvantaged is something he will strongly campaign in the lead up to this year's state election on Saturday, March 15.

"As a long term resident that has been through the ups and downs, we shouldn't lose sight of the point that diversifying our economic base is essential," Mr Hughes said.

Mr Hughes said the state government continued to support mineral exploration activity in South Australia which provided an opportunity for further job diversity.

"Those initiatives will generate long term benefits for Whyalla and our region," Mr Hughes said.

Mr Hughes said people had been supportive of the Weatherill government's help to secure a wind farm contract which created 120 jobs including 14 apprenticeships.

"This is an area that could see significant job growth in Whyalla if there is investor certainty," Mr Hughes said.

Mr Hughes said electricity prices continued to be a concern for residents and renewable energy could provide a solution however this issue needed to be a priority across all levels of government.

"Electricity prices, especially for those people on low-incomes, is something that needs to be seriously addressed," Mr Hughes said.

In visiting regional communities across the electorate, other concerns included the Patient Assistance Transport Scheme and Mr Hughes said this came under an overall greater need for an equitable provision of services and public investments especially for people in remote communities.

Through door-knocking and one-on-one phone conversations, Mr Hughes said there were also a lot of positives to come out of Whyalla which he had gathered.

"I've been getting a lot of positive feedback on the new hospital and services," Mr Hughes said.

"The services provided will reduce the need to travel to Adelaide and the accommodation on site will assist patients and family members from our broader region."

Mr Hughes said he was mindful of issues facing regional South Australians and working together with communities to address these.

"People on low incomes have been hit hard by rising costs of basic services - I for one believe that there are practical ways of addressing that burden," Mr Hughes said.

"I look forward to the coming year and in whatever capacity working with the people of Whyalla to secure a decent future for all."

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: Labor candidate for the seat of Giles Eddie Hughes has a strong campaign focus on community engagement.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: Labor candidate for the seat of Giles Eddie Hughes has a strong campaign focus on community engagement.

This story Hughes pushes for decent future for all first appeared on Whyalla News.