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SA State Budget outlines Government plan to tackle major economic challenges

"Today's South Australian budget puts in place a number of programs and program improvements in response to the considerable challenges industry faces with the closure of Holden and sustained high power prices," Australian Industry Group South Australia Head, Stephen Myatt, said today.

"Without question the leading near-term challenge, given that the Government has made jobs a centerpiece of the budget, is to ensure a successful redeployment of displaced workers. This in turn requires extra growth in the private sector.

"In relation to initiatives, we welcome the payroll tax cuts and rebates which will assist SMEs and build on various tax cut announcements in recent budgets.

"Of particular importance is the Future Jobs Fund which is aimed at companies who cannot take advantage of the payroll tax benefits, yet have growth prospects which can be accelerated.

"These medium-sized companies are important parts of the State's industrial fabric.

"The benefits around the Job Accelerator Program and their extension to apprentices and trainees is timely, but we would have liked to have seen the program – which has created 9,900 jobs this year – extended to a wider cohort of companies.

"In relation to power costs, we are still concerned about the short- to medium-term outlook in relation to affordability, even though the Government's now fully funded energy plan tackles the issues of reliability and security.

"We also argued for and welcome the additional support for the Automotive Diversification Supplier Program to maximise the new employment opportunities for displaced automotive workers.

"The record infrastructure spend – $2.2 billion next year – is an important initiative in assisting job transition over the next twelve months.

"In terms of challenges in the economy, this is the most important State budget for some time," Mr Myatt said.

Further Comment: Stephen Myatt 0419 818 048