MUM and dad investors are behind a spending surge in the Coorong district, with the $110 million Bend Motorsport Park boosting local confidence. NAB Quarterly Customer Spending Trends for the first quarter of this year reveal the region was one of Australia’s fastest-growing council areas for spending growth at 13.5 per cent. The increase has been underpinned by several high-profile investments, among them the $200 million Vena Energy solar plant farm at Tailem Bend. The NAB figures is based on the spending patterns of customers daily transactions.
Coorong District Council chief executive Vincent Cammell said a core focus over the past five years to drive economic development in the region was finally paying off. “Not only are we seeing high-profile industry investment of ventures such as The Bend, Vena Energy and Inghams, we’re also seeing the ripple effect, whereby local people can confidently invest in their own community, properties and businesses,” Mr Cammell said. The strongest growth in regional SA for spending was in the wholesale trade and rental, hiring and real estate services, according to the NAB report.
Coorong Realty owner Kerry Simcock believed the consumer spending increase was by “mum and dad investors”. Ms Simcock said locals were “taking a punt and converting their homes” into accommodation options, on the back of the motorsport park and a high demand for workforce rentals. Developer and electrician, John Scott, recently converted Tailem Bend’s railway barracks into a 22-bed accommodation outlet named The Bunkhouse, opening in July. “Obviously, with the Bend opening a lot of people will be travelling to watch the races, so they’ll need accommodation, especially in the future when more things start happening there,” Mr Scott said. “So I’ve created the Bunkhouse, which caters more for larger groups, or car clubs.”
Australia’s top 10 regional council areas for spending growth included Naracoorte/Lucindale up 19.4 per cent, Roxby Downs up 17.1 per cent, Port Lincoln up 13.2 per cent and Whyalla up 12.9 per cent.
Erin Jones, Regional Reporter, The Advertiser www.adelaidenow.com.au