The Marshall Liberal Government is building a better future for South Australia. Last year’s budget set a vision for our state and now in 2019, its time to build it. We’re building our economy, roads, schools, a better health system and our regions – and all this activity leads to more South Australian jobs.
The budget has faced significant challenges with an estimated reduction of $2.1 billion in GST revenues. Despite this, we are delivering a massive infrastructure program and record investments in education and regional roads. The budget supports our commitment to grow primary industries and drive regional development. We are building a better South Australia.
The State Budget will continue to deliver on the Government’s election commitments to strengthen South Australia’s primary industries. These industries represent the state’s largest export sector, accounting for more than half of the state’s merchandise exports, transported to more than 100 countries. They support employment of around 150,000 South Australians and are the largest employer in our regions.
Through the State Budget and a range of other activities the state’s primary industries will continue to be supported. Initiatives include:
- $7.5 million for the Red Meat and Wool Program to improve productivity in this key sector, help with cyber and technology adoption and vital infrastructure, and support the One Biosecurity program which provides greater traceability and market advantage for the state’s producers
- $25 million to rebuild the Dog Fence – we have a commitment to invest $10 million for the Dog Fence upgrade with a further $5 million from industry and $10 million from the Federal Coalition Government. This builds on the existing $1.4 million investment for wild dog trappers to protect the state’s $4.3 billion livestock industry
- $5 million in funding to protect South Australia’s horticulture industry against biosecurity threats, such as Citrus Canker and Fruit Fly
- continued implementation of zero tolerance measures against fruit fly and delivery of the $1.5 million upgrade to Yamba Quarantine Station
- supporting our fisheries and aquaculture industries by establishing a Seafood Advisory Forum to help drive growth in the seafood sector, undertaking a review of the Fisheries Management Act 2007, developing a plan to reform the South Australian Marine Scalefish Fishery and establishing a growth plan for recreational fishing opportunities
- continuing support for farmers experiencing hardship including delivering the second year of the Government’s commitment to waive $1.6 million in oyster industry fees
- modernising industry legislation including creating a consolidated Biosecurity Act for South Australia by the end of 2021 and a review of the Pastoral Land Management and Conservation Act 1989 to look at the future use of the pastoral rangelands.
The Government recognises it is challenging for the agricultural sector across parts of the state as producers face drought and other seasonal impacts, however many of our farmers are prepared – and have the necessary plans in place to manage these conditions. For those farmers in need of support, the Government is continuing to provide assistance through initiatives such as the Family and Business Support Mentor Program and Rural Business Support’s rural financial counselling service.
The Marshall Liberal Government values regional South Australia’s $25 billion contribution to the state’s economy. It is why we have a comprehensive strategy to invest in the economic prosperity of our regions and industries through our ‘Recharging our Regions’ strategy.
A key pillar of this is the Regional Growth Fund, providing $150 million over ten years. The fund is supporting industries and clusters of businesses to deliver critical infrastructure and create direct benefit across regional industries and communities. At its core, the fund aims to unlock economic activity by backing projects that provide positive industry and community outcomes.
In further recognising the critical role South Australia’s regions play in the prosperity of the state, the State Government is developing a Regional Development Strategy.
The strategy will help shape long-term decision making on government investment and initiatives to maximise the potential of these important areas. A statewide consultation process is currently underway, which will be followed by the release of an engagement report to share the outcomes of the consultation.
Another foundation to our ‘Recharging our Regions’ plan is the $10 million commitment to fixing mobile black spots in South Australia. Leveraging additional funding from the Commonwealth Government and telecommunications providers is a priority for this commitment, to deliver new and upgraded telecommunication solutions in regional and remote South Australia.
This commitment reflects how vital reliable mobile phone coverage is for people living in regional communities, ensuring community safety, contributing to business efficiencies and encouraging regional tourism. In our first year the Government has announced 29 new mobile phone towers in partnership with the Commonwealth and we will work to deliver more in 2019-20.
The 2018-19 State Budget invests a record $1.1 billion over 8 years for regional road projects and infrastructure upgrades to help save lives on country roads. This includes a record $878 million of new funding for regional roads and infrastructure – the single biggest injection of new funding in a State Budget for regional roads in South Australia’s history.
I look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with you all to ensure our primary industries and regional communities to build a better South Australia.
– Hon Tim Whetstone MP
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development