A South Australian-first blueprint to drive economic growth in the state’s regions and create jobs across a range of industries has been released by the Marshall Liberal Government.
The Our Regions Matter blueprint focuses on five key areas to drive growth: Regional Voice, Regional Connectivity, Regional Leadership and Skills, Regional Services and Regional Investment.
Premier Steven Marshall, who released the blueprint and launched the Our Regions Matter website in Port Lincoln Tuesday, said South Australia’s regions are the economic powerhouse that drives prosperity for the whole state.
“Our Regions Matter - contributing around $29 billion per year to the South Australian economy across a range of industries including farming, fishing, mining, manufacturing and tourism,” Premier Marshall said.
“Just under 150,000 people are employed in regional South Australia and it’s important we do everything we can to drive economic growth in our regions, creating local jobs.
“This is why we are investing over $3 billion across more than 1,000 projects across the regions, to create thousands of jobs and better lives for South Australians across our regions, focused on health, education and sport.
“Today I am proud to release a South Australian Government-first Regional Development Strategy to work positively and strategically with communities to grow our regions.
“This Strategy will be supported by the new Our Regions Matter website which will allow residents to search the investments which are being made to improve services in their communities, and businesses to explore in which regions to establish and create jobs.”
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham said the Marshall Liberal Government is committed to improving life in regional South Australia.
“Our historic Regional Development Strategy recognises the importance of our regions to the state economy and identifies key areas to focus on to help deliver key projects and create local jobs,” Minister Basham said.
“Under our plan families will thrive as new schools are built, sporting facilities are revitalised and hospitals receive significant upgrades to ensure better healthcare close to home.
“Having a co-ordinated approach to regional development will help build resilience and confidence in regional communities and industries.
“We have consulted extensively with regional communities on what is needed in a regional development strategy to improve opportunities for those who live and work in the country.
“The Strategy supports the work the Government has already been delivering, investing in health, education and sport facilities, enhancing local ownership of services by establishing decentralised local health networks and regional Landscapes SA boards and building new mobile phone towers and upgrading roads.
“Our Community Advisory Panel, chaired by Mark Sutton (Chair, Regional Development Australia Far North South Australia), has done significant work consulting with regional communities and providing recommendations to the government – and for this I thank them.”
Mr Sutton said of importance to regional South Australian communities were services, growth and jobs.
“The liveability of regional communities is vital with a focus on health, education, community clubs, sporting facilities and job creation.”
But Shadow Minister for Regional Development and Primary Industries Clare Scriven says the blueprint won't deliver anything for our regions, adding many of the so-called achievements the Liberals have boasted about in the document were delivered under Labor.
"Steven Marshall and David Basham like to use their catchphrase 'Regions Matter' but their actions show otherwise - especially when it comes to delivering real dollars, real outcomes and a real vision for the future of country South Australia,'' she said.
"The Liberals talked a big game before the election but have failed to follow through.''