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SA Budget 2005-06 « Previous | |Next »
May 31, 2005

The 2005-06 State budget was released on 26 May SA budget by Treasurer Foley, with all the usual drip feeds during the week before. It continued the standard neo-liberal practice of a small stable budget surpluses with a little money given over to health and welfare to confirm the Rann Government's creditionals as a sound economic manager to the money markets. Unlike the budget's in NSW or Victoria no big money was allocated to infrastructure investment(apart from roads), or to facilitating Adelaide's future as a sustainable solar city.

When is SA going to start to put money where its mouth and acting decisively to stop further environmental decline?

Instead of shifting fiscal policy from the short term to the long term, the budget was an election one, delivered by the law and order Rann Government confident of its return to power in March 2006 in its own right. So no one suffered from excessive budget cuts and we had e the one off rebate for electricity bills for pensioners.

However, I had no sense of the future of the rustbelt state that does not have a mining boom from the budget.Is the rustbelt state throwing off its 'out in the boondocks' or 'retirement village' image? Does the budget indicate that SA has a future for young people. Did the budget suggest a future by providing jobs for its people, or do the intellectually trained middle class still need to continue to leave SA and go to Canberra, Melbourne Sydney to find work? Did the budget help to realize the dreaming in the State Strategic plan:

"...a State that aspires to lead, not follow. A State that is self-confident, not self-conscious. A State that celebrates creativity and innovation. A State that fights above its weight and is a destination again rather than a much-loved home that our young people feel they need to leave to make the most of their abilities."

The answer is no. The 2005-06 Budget was an instrument to get the tough on crime Rann Government re-elected. So SA will continue to have an economy with low growth rates, an ailing manufacturing base, little population growth and outward interstate migration.

SA cannot reinvent itself on its own by pulling itself up by its own boostraps. It is going to have to rely on financial support from the eastern states, such as NSW; and from a planned boosting of regional development by the Commonwealth Government, such as the Adelaide-based,government-owned and soon to sold ASC winning the contract to build the Australian navy's 3 new $6 billion Air Warfare Destroyers (AWDs). Adelaide's future as a high tech city (remember the old, multi-function polis?) really does depend upon it becoming the centre or hub of Australia's defence industry.

Will this development of the naval shipbuilding industry be enough to revitalise SA's manufacturing industry, and provide Adelaide and SA with a future?

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 3:39 PM | | Comments (1)
Comments

Comments

While the ship contract itself is a good thing, the way it was celebrated in the Advertiser was slightly deflating.

Basically, this is another 'cargo cult' old industry with lots of government support to keep the state from becoming totally insolvent when the car industry crashes. There was something in the paper to the effect that this could be ongoing for 50 years or more. That is a pipedream. How can Australian workers compete with Chinese or Korean shipyards? Not without lots of government support. I remember Whyalla was a big shipyard town but the finances did not work in the 1970s and they certainly won't work today.

On your point about young people leaving, I think that is inevitable. We have a 'negative' culture in this State about risk taking, and it is a pipe-dream to think that a state government can reverse that.

We'll be the retirement state. But that isn't so bad. It could be a lot worse.