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April 15, 2003

Whilst I have been busy painting the electronic cottage Economic Development Board has handed down its draft report on the future of economic development of South Australia. There was also an Economic Summit in Parliament House, (Friday and Saturday) that was attended by 280 delegates from business, the arts and the community that discussed the report and the strategies needed to boost economic growth in the state.

From what I can gather from glancing through The Advertiser the strategies involved shifting the emphasis for future development on to business and industry leaders and so getting rid of "corporate welfare"; increasing government efficiency through removing tenure for public servants and cutting back on the plethora of boards and statutory authorities advising the Government.

The report is about South Australians shaping their own future. The Economic Summit was very upbeat. Consensus had been achieved. There was an overwhelming desire to reignite South Australia; business, unions, political and community leaders united to deliver a blueprint to steer the state for the next decade; and the Rann Government accepted 85 per cent of the recommendations contained in the draft Economic Development Plan.

From what I can make out from the newspaper coverage it is about streamlining the processes of Government, removing impediments to business, and throwing off the archaic ways of the past that hold the state back.

The Rann Government has rejected eliminating tenure for public servants as a means of achieving government efficiency. But it foreshadowed smaller government with a tough budget in which public servant's jobs will be axed and some government departments will have spending cut by up to 7 per cent in next month's State Budget. This is on top of previous cuts to the public service over the last year.

The Advertiser does not go into much detail about the recommendations in the Economic Development report. What it says is that:

"...the EDB's 129-page draft plan recommends tripling exports, adopting new policies on finance and education, streamlining government and overhauling the Public Service. Strategies to bolster the state's population, upgrade ageing infrastructure and improve planning and land use processes are also spelled out."

Thats pretty minimal. Standard Advertiser journalism. I presume the reporters are reworking press releases and haven't read the draft report. But it appears that sustainablity does not warrant a mention let alongbeing a central policy goal. Its all about boosting economic growth with little consideration given to water or a sustainable Adelaide. It is not even a report about ecological modernization.

The ecological modernization strategy involves a process of industrial innovation encouraged by a market economy and facilitated by an enabling state to ensure environmental conservation. Even that is too radical for the Rann Government. It seems disinterested in enabling the reform of production processes in the viticulture industry to reduce waste (of water), reduce energy consumption (going renewable) and reducing the environmental impact through water recycling. Sustainable development has disappeared into the piles of dusty bureaucratic files in South Australia.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 12:40 PM | | Comments (2)


I thought about blogging on this topic. But it's just another of "Media Mike's" PR spins. I find it hard to take it seriously.

You may rest assured that there's no danger of any industrial development happening in South Australia, sustainable or not. People just aren't interested. The consensus is just a 'media' show.

You will no doubt be very surprised to know that industry in South Australia is actually taking issues of sustainability seriously. The company I work for called in enviromental consultants and changed its work practices with the effect that no waste gets in the Port River, but instead is processed on site and recycled.

Fortunately for the enviroment it's all rather irrelevant because as business automates and young people go interstate for work, South Australia will gradually wind down to be a retirement village.

Hi Scott,
yes there are businesses and local councils in SA that take these things seriously.

More seriously that the State Government which makes noises and puts solar panels on the SA Musem but does little else.