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Strong interest in Leigh Creek coal mine future

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Leigh Creek may rise again in a new form with more than 30 inquiries received from interested parties. The news comes days after Alinta confirmed it had been approached with interest in the closed coal mine.

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The State Government confirmed on Monday morning it had received 34 responses from individuals, businesses, institutions, and community groups from “within the Leigh Creek region and beyond” since Alinta announced their closure last year.

The inquiries came via a “Request for Information” process, led by former South Australian Education and Tourism Minister Jane Lomax-Smith, which closed earlier this month.

“The interest shown in the commercial potential of Leigh Creek is welcome, and I’m pleased that a number of divergent industries have submitted proposals to the Request for Information process,” Manufacturing and Innovation Minister Kyam Maher said.

“The ideas submitted include a range of proposals for commercial and industrial use of the mine site, use of the area’s natural mineral and renewable energy resources, as well as proposals to use the town’s existing infrastructure for education, training, and arts.

“Several submissions have been received from members of the Leigh Creek community who are keen to preserve the town’s existing infrastructure and ensure it continues to service the region well into the future.

“Other proposals have been submitted about the future use of Leigh Creek’s tourism facilities, such as the caravan park and tavern.”

Lomax-Smith said the aim of the process was to gather information and feedback from all interested parties about the economic and social future of Leigh Creek.

“A range of technical experts across government and specialist industries will now assist the State Government to consider all of the responses.”

A housing audit is also being carried out identify Leigh Creek’s residential infrastructure needs.

The State Government has previously announced it would continue to provide government services, including the school, hospital, ambulance service, and police station, until at least July 2018.

Lomax-Smith will deliver recommendations from the Request for Information process to the Minister as part of a 90-day project following this weekend’s Community Cabinet meeting.

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