State of the State: South Australia

My Government has a broad economic agenda aimed at accelerating economic growth, South Australia Premier, the Hon. Steven Marshall, has told a CEDA audience.

Speaking at the State of the State event in Adelaide on almost the 100th day in government, Mr Marshall discussed the state economy, priorities and implemented policies since coming into office.
“We are determined to restore the fundamentals required to accelerate economic growth that have been ignored for too long,” he said.
“We've inherited projections that South Australia's growth rate for the next four years will average two per cent – this is unacceptable.
“We need to be growing at least in line with the rest of the nation, that means our economy has got to be growing consistently by three per cent per year.
“To do that, South Australia will have to add at least $1 billion to our projected Gross State Product each year up to 2022.
“This will require for example, embracing the challenge of population growth rather than fearing it, significantly growing our exports, significantly growing investment into South Australia, attracting a much greater share of international students and visitors to our state.

“We are setting ourselves up for decades of growth, massive economic activity and the sole issue which keeps me awake at night…is making sure that we have the requisite skills and infrastructure in place to deliver on the full potential of this wonderful opportunity that's been afforded to us by $90 billion worth of Federal Government contracts.
“The ambitions we have for our economy must begin with a commitment to provide improved vocational education training and skills development.
“Many of the best and most secure jobs will be found by those students who develop skills and training through traineeships and apprenticeships.
“We will be encouraging more young people to consider pursuing a career through a technical qualification as a first option, not a fall-back option.
“In vocational education as the first state to sign up to Canberra’s Skilling Australia fund, our decision will unlock at least $87 million of federal money to complement the state funding.
“Our first term investment in vocational education and training will create more than 20,000 additional work based apprenticeships and traineeships over the next four years – during the last four years the number of South Australians training more than halved to fewer than 15,000.
“It's critical that we reverse this trend to build a supply of skilled workers to fully capitalise on the major long-term national defence contracts awarded to South Australia.
“It would be remiss of me not to acknowledge the incredible deal that was announced today by the Prime Minister the Hon. Malcolm Turnbull when he visited Osbourne.
“The Federal Government's announcement, a $35 billion announcement, is just great news
for the people of this state. Quite frankly, these nine future frigates being built by BAE will transform South Australia.
“The big winner today was the people of South Australia because we've got the offshore patrol vessels beginning by the end of this year, we've got the future frigates beginning by 2020 and of course the future submarines by 2022.”
Mr Marshall discussed the importance of infrastructure in opening future opportunities for the state.
“We signalled to Canberra that we wanted to pursue some major (infrastructure) projects,” he said.
“As a result, I'm pleased to announce that we've already obtained the following federal financial commitments that eluded our predecessors; $177 million to construct the Regency Road to Pim Street section of the north-south corridor, a further $1.2 billion for future priority projects to complete the non-stop north-south corridor, $220 million for the electrification of the Gawler
rail line and $160 million for duplication of the Joy Baluch bridge at Port Augusta.
“Having secured these commitments into Canberra’s forward estimates, we will now work hard to
accelerate project delivery schedules.
“Before the election we initiated discussions with the Federal Ministers about entering into a city deal to bring together federal, state and local governments to promote further investment in our wonderful capital city.
“In government we are pursuing this opportunity with vigour. We also identified…the need for further infrastructure development on the Lefevre Peninsula, triggered by the naval shipbuilding program at Osborne.
“Here I’m talking not only about infrastructure to directly support ship building but also infrastructure to support the housing and other needs of a growing workforce.
“This could include light rail, commercial, retail, residential and recreational developments.
“At Outer Harbour we have recognised South Australia's pressing need for upgraded port infrastructure, by moving quickly to approve widening of the main shipping channel by Flinders Ports.
“This project recognises the increasing global shipping trend towards larger vessels and is essential if we're to lift South Australia's trade with the rest of the world, as we must.
“For longer term efficiency improvements, we're establishing a Productivity Commission to make recommendations for the removal of regulatory barriers and to support productivity growth.
“It will undertake public inquiries and provide advice to lower costs for businesses and for families, and to make it easier to undertake business in South Australia through a regulatory reform.
“The legislation to set up the Commission is already before the Parliament as is the bill to create Infrastructure South Australia.
“I expect both agencies to be in place and operational in September this year.
“Both are integral to my Government's plan to give as much support as possible to the private sector to generate jobs, investment, and economic growth.
“Infrastructure South Australia will develop and implement our major infrastructure plans for the future. It will be tasked with preparing a 20 year state infrastructure strategy, as well as five year rolling capital intention statements to identify priority projects to be undertaken and inform the annual budget process.
“Future decisions about government investment in major infrastructure will be based on the long-term needs of our state, for infrastructure improvements that boost productivity.
“Both the Productivity Commission and Infrastructure South Australia will be overseen by statutory boards, independent of government with strong private sector representation.
“The most important thing my Government can do to secure our state's future is to encourage and enable as many South Australian’s as possible to make their own contribution to securing their own future, to be able to set, pursue and achieve their own ambitions to do their very best.”

Also speaking at the event was CEDA Chief Executive, Melinda Cilento; Siemens Chief Executive Officer, Jeff Connolly; Deloitte Managing Partner, Andrew Culley; Minda Chief Executive Officer, Cathy Miller;  Thomas Foods International Chief Executive Officer, Darren Thomas; and Adelaide Airport Managing Director, Mark Young,