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A year of economic change

Released on 17 August 2018
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This article appears in the Winter 2018 edition of Salisbury Aware.

 “IT was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” So wrote Charles Dickens at the start of A Tale of Two Cities. Over the past year, the City of Salisbury has witnessed the closure of Holden and the commitment by cyber security leaders Veroguard to create nearly 600 jobs at Edinburgh. This capped off a steady stream of economic news in Salisbury throughout the year.  

THE City of Salisbury reinforced itself as the centre of South Australia’s economy, as the fourth largest economy in the State with a Gross Regional Product of $6.37 billion, 6.3 percent of the Gross State Product. 

Council continues to pursue one of its core agendas, namely facilitating opportunities for employment through actively adapting as a progressive, proactive and pro-business city. Offering more than just a great place to do business, Salisbury has seen incoming investment reach $3.1 billion and more than 6800 businesses call the region home. The growth in number of operating businesses is among the highest in the state.

Work continues on the $985 million Northern Connector, which joins the Northern Expressway with the South Road Superway, and the State Government rolled out the Gig City network enabling firms in Innovation House and Endeavour House to access fast and affordable gigabit internet for start-ups, entrepreneurs and big businesses.

At the heart of this growth has been the defence industry. The Commonwealth Government has committed more than $900 million towards significant upgrades of the Edinburgh Defence Precinct to accommodate the arrival of the Triton surveillance aircraft and the P-8A Poseidon aircraft. They also announced that a new fleet of Gulfstream jets will join the fleet of drones and other hi-tech intelligence equipment at the Edinburgh base.  Additionally, SAAB and UniSA have committed $40 million towards the development of a defence institute in Technology Park. 

To support the growing defence activity and the development of a space industry in South Australia, a new space and defence precinct will be created in Technology Park. In addition, SAAB will be expanding to support 200 extra jobs and Raytheon will relocate to Technology Park, creating up to 350 jobs.  

These investments have been complemented by announcements that:

  • Lockheed Martin secured a $700 million contract to fit combat systems into Australia’s future submarines, delivering 200 jobs.
  • Local companies were successful in applying for funding through the Defence Innovation Hub, with Daronmont Technologies receiving $7.9 million and Mincham Aviation receiving $272,000 towards new technology development.
  • SAAB and UniSA were awarded a contract to develop a new design for warship consoles.
  • SAAB and Lockheed Martin will work together to develop the new combat management systems for the Future Frigates project.
  • BAE Systems will undertake the $1.2 billion upgrade of the Jindalee Operational Radar Network, creating 200 jobs through the supply chain.
  • SAAB was awarded a contract from Luerssen Australia to provide the Situational Awareness System for the new $3.6 billion offshore patrol vessels.


Supporting the defence activity, the City of Salisbury is leading the way in cyber security with VeroGuard relocating its operations from Victoria, at a value of $57 million and the creation of 600 jobs. Mawson Lakes-based business Speedcast secured a 10 year contract valued at $184 million, with Federal Government-owned infrastructure provider NBN Co. to deliver enterprise-grade satellite services, and secured a multi-year contract to provide mission-critical remote communications services to Australian Antarctic research stations.

In the food sector, the South Australia Produce Markets at Pooraka announced a $20 million food precinct expansion plan and a $10 million solar panel setup, making Adelaide's biggest wholesale fruit and vegetable market self-sufficient, cutting power bills by $500,000 a year. 

AusCold Logistics will invest more than $25 million to build state-of-the-art cold storage and distribution facility and La Casa Del Formaggio intends to build a 7,500m2 factory to support growth and export opportunities in Edinburgh North.

Bickford’s Group continues to expand its product offering through the purchase of Vale Ale, which includes the Fox Hat Brewing and Dr Pilkington’s Cider brands along with the 3,500 Litre brewing facility in the township of Willunga.  Ice-cream producer Golden North continues to expand its product in international markets through exporting a new green tea flavoured ice-cream to China.

In the retail sector, Salisbury saw upgrades to Parabanks and Ingle Farm shopping centres, the opening of the new mixed use development in Mawson Lakes incorporating a Foodland (and student housing), construction is underway on the $16 million new shopping complex at Saints Road, a $150 million development for a retail and leisure precinct in Salisbury South is being assessed, and a $30 million development for a DFO style outlet at Parafield Airport is mooted.

Despite the closure of Holden, advanced manufacturing in the City of Salisbury continues to thrive. Technology Park welcomed the relocation of Ellex Medical Lasers into the precinct, Mayne Pharma completed a $25 million expansion of their facility, Supashock announced their relocation to Edinburgh Parks, and Haulmark Trailers relocated from interstate and are undertaking a $10 million development. 

In addition, Codan signed a deal with Caterpillar in a move that will see Minetec products integrated into a direct or indirect presence in 190 companies. In a surprise for all, Brabham Automotive announced that car manufacturing would be restored to South Australia with state-of-the-art racing cars built in Edinburgh Parks. 

Moving forward, the City of Salisbury is focused on further developing the region as a location of choice for businesses, especially leveraging strengths in defence – including space and cyber security, advanced manufacturing, food and food production, logistics, transport and distribution, and knowledge intensive services to encourage investment and create jobs. 

The future is bright for Salisbury and it is the location of choice to do business.