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SA election: Lib-Lab « Previous | |Next »
March 12, 2006

Poor old SA. Once the media used to say Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide. Now it is Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane. Though SA is an attactive place to live, it has little by way of economic opportunity. Will it become economic stronger and more sustainable? Or willl it's population continue to get older, sicker and die out?

Key questions for an state election are they not? But then we have the Adelaide Cup, the Festival, Womadelaide and the Clipsal 500 this week--the last week of the election with the ALP still on a 5% swing to it.

Dean Janesch asks a good question:

Would it really make any difference which party won the election? To the true believers, who are superglued to their party's label, it would matter. They tend to feel that everything about their party is good and everything about the other, evil. But would there be any significant differences for the ordinary citizens, for the economy, and for the state?

Not really he argues. He suggests that the election is only about tiny issues, with the real competition between images, personalities and styles, and concludes:
If so, then any radical, different, original, lateral-thinking policies will have to come out of the Legislative Council. Perhaps voters need to take a bit more interest than usual in their votes for the Upper House.

I agree. Do voters know enough to give the Legislative Council some muscle so that it can act as a countervailing power to a dominant executive? I doubt it. Most vote 1 above the line.

Meanwhile the health of the River Torrens continues to deterioriate from alga blooms.


There are few policies from either of the major parties on the environment to take SA down the pathway of becoming more ecologically sustainable and economically strong. Both parties mostly turn a blind eye to the regulation of pollution caused by big business. This is especially the case in the Upper Spence Gulf region.

The preference deals means that the Democrats will lose 2 seats, Family First will gain one with the Greens and Independent (No Pokies Nick Xenophon) fighting it out. Sadly, Family First is not going to use the power of the Legislative council to put much pressure on this issue, even though pollution in Port Pirie and Whyalla affects families as heavy metals pollution causes kids to become sick.

SA remains wedded to pollution-creating technologies to create jobs and growth.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 7:55 AM | | Comments (2)


Gary - arguably, SA will continue to struggle until the global economy starts to pay full price for ecologically benign or neutral goods. Currently, demand for traditional commodities, both processed and unprocessed, dominates all. Also, as long as SA had powerful representatives in Federal Cabinet who can steer its way big traditional projects (that the Premier can claim!), not only is there is no incentive to try anything different but it's even more difficult (because the curent Federal government is utterly in the pocket of big traditional industries).

you are probably right, given that SA has little by way of natural advantage, eg tourism, and it has been bypasssed by global capital.

One solution to the steady decline of car manufacturing is to develop a green manfucturing base that would enable a shift to a more ecologically sustainable economy re water, energy agricultural (eg.,wine) production, and urban living. It could then export its technology, skslls, and knowledge.

Butit is not on the agenda of the Rann Government or its advisors. It's still traditional economics and economic growth.