The state government has ensured relief agency Foodbank South Australia will have a permanent home in Whyalla.
Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis recently announced that Foodbank would have full access to the Whyalla Drill Core Library, having previously shared the area.
Due to the state’s drill core samples being progressively moved to the new South Australia Drill Core Reference Library in Tonsley, the government had the option to sell or lease the property.
Mr Koutsantonis said Member for Giles Eddie Hughes had originally approached him with the idea to transfer the land to Foodbank.
“It’s a great example of a local community rallying behind a cause, coming to the government with a solution, and their local member of parliament driving the point home,” he said.
Mr Koutsantonis said the government said it was important for the government to factor in community service.
“Taking a look at the situation we thought, ‘do we really need the $400,000 that we would get from the sale of this land, or could we put it to better use in the community?’”
Member for Giles Eddie Hughes said Foodbank was an ‘incredibly important’ service not only for Whyalla but the Eyre Peninsula.
“The sort of work they do is essential, we all know there are people in our region who do it hard for a whole range of reasons, so it’s very important for Foodbank to meet those needs,” he said.
“It’s a very good result for the community of Whyalla and an excellent result for Foodbank.”
Foodbank SA Chief Executive Officer Greg Pattinson said the organisation could now broaden its range of products and services provided to the Whyalla community.
“It also gives us a chance to broaden our geographical footprint on the Eyre Peninsula,” he said.
“It’s great to have a permanent home because it gives our volunteers a concrete place to come and help us and allows Foodbank to provide better service to the local welfare agencies.”
General manager Leigh Royans said the benefits of Foodbank’s work were far-reaching.
“After just over six years of operation, Foodbank has provided 1 million kilograms of emergency food relief across Whyalla and the nearby region to 50 charities and non for profit community groups, and 25 schools,” he said.
“The value of the amount of food would have traditionally cost around $6 million at typical retail pricing.”