The Adelaide Advertiser reported that the cancellation of the $1 billion Arafura Resources rare earths project, the decision by Deepak Fertilisers to withdraw plans for an ammonia nitrate processing complex and the Olympic Dam deferral - "all potentially worth billions of dollars with major economic spin-offs" - were collectively a "major blow" to the Whyalla region.
Whyalla mayor Jim Pollock said: "Arafura's announcement is disappointing. I know our community is resilient but is hard to build confidence after major projects get deferred or scrapped."
On the plus side, with an ageing population in South Australia, the outlook is considerably brighter for the healthcare and social assistance sector, which employs the most heads in the state.
Is Adelaide about to boom?
Adelaide property prices also aren't likely to jump simply because they are cheaper than elsewhere. While on the theme of SA mining, shares in Hillgrove Resources (HGO) are trading at under 10 cents to BHP Billiton's $35, but that certainly doesn't make HGO a superior investment to BHP - quite the opposite, in fact; HGO cheap because demand for it is woeful and its immediate prospects are poor, for this is the way in which assets are priced. To think that property prices will go up in a city merely because they are cheaper than those elsewhere is misguided.
I've seen nothing to alter the view which I formed in Australian property back in 2007 (in the decade prior to 2007, I was one of the many grateful beneficiaries of an outrageous British property boom): the best long-term prospects for Australian investors on a risk-adjusted basis have long been located in Sydney's inner-ring suburbs.