The federal government''s Designated Area Migration Agreement to boost regional populations and provide much needed labour to regional SA has been welcomed by the state's regional economic body.
Earlier this week, it announced specific visas to attract overseas workers in areas of skills shortages where Australian workers are not available
Similar agreements are also in place in Vic's Great South Coast, WA's Kalgoorlie-Boulder and the Northern Territory.
Under the Regional SA DAMA up to 750 people a year will be sponsored from overseas over the five-year period across 114 occupations, including agriculture and food processing and manufacturing.
Regional Development SA.chairman Rob Kerin says the DAMA will secure up to $20 billion of investment and support up to 9500 new jobs.
"The announcement of a regional DAMA will help SA's regions overcome declining and static populations with the settling of migrants state-wide," he said.
Mr Kerin said the DAMA would help ensure expansions, upgrades and planned investment by local, national and international businesses in regional SA were not restrained by access to skilled workers.
"SA's regions are currently experiencing significant capital investment across many industries," he said.
"However, the number of employees needed to maintain and grow regional business operations outweighs the current locally-based workforce, requiring businesses to supplement their workforce with migrants.
"The DAMA will underpin regional business growth and provide much-needed flexibility for a region to respond to local economic and labour market demands."
Mr Kerin said migrant workers would not replace the local workforce, with training and upskilling continuing to be an area of focus for SA businesses and Regional Development Associations.
"SA's regional townships have a long history of welcoming migrant settlement, recognising the value of the import of much-needed skills but also the strength of a multicultural community.," he said.
SA Premier Steven Marshall says he is delighted the federal government is backing South Australia's population growth agenda through the Regional DAMA as well as the Adelaide Technology and Innovation Advancement Agreement which will allow for 300 people to be employed in Adelaide across 60 occupations.
"These new DAMA arrangements provide a springboard for businesses to access the skills they need to meet their specific workforce requirements, and try and minimise where possible any critical shortages," he said.