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Labor's plan for South Australia.

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Kim Beazley - Labor's Plan For South Australia Monday, 15 October 2001

ALP News Statements

Labor's Plan For South Australia Kim Beazley - Leader of the Opposition

Media Statement - 15 October 2001

Labor is the only party in this federal election offering a comprehensive plan to ensure long-term prosperity and security for South Australia.

A Labor Government will provide reliable power supplies, reverse the neglect of the public health system, create new industry and job opportunities, and protect South Australia's environment.

This forward-looking package involves a series of far-reaching measures aimed at delivering a strong and secure future for South Australians.

Labor will:

Commit up to $20 million to energy infrastructure to address South Australia's power supply needs. ●

Improve South Australia's public hospitals, providing more beds and reducing waiting times. ● Establish an Institute of Manufacturing to support new and existing manufacturing enterprises and review further tariff reductions before they are implemented. ●

Support the creation of a South Australian Defence Industry Cluster, based around the Australian Submarine Corporation, shipbuilding, advanced engineering and metals fabrication. ●

Support the Australian Fisheries Academy to build on South Australia's strength in fisheries, and improve training and job opportunities. ●

Support the South Australian wine industry through reform of the Wine Equalisation Tax. ● Recognise the special regional challenges facing the Upper Spencer Gulf cities of Port Pirie, Whyalla and Port Augusta, and the Northern Adelaide area. ●

Address the water quality and salinity challenges affecting South Australia, and oppose the Howard Government's proposal for nuclear dumps in South Australia. ●

Securing Reliable and Affordable Power Supplies for South Australia

Given the State's heavy reliance on electricity intensive industries, and the additional impact of the GST, South Australia's electricity supply is the greatest obstacle facing the State's economy.

South Australian businesses have faced massive electricity price increases, which have undermined their economic competitiveness. From 1 January 2003, every household in the State could face the same skyrocketing power bills. South Australian power prices are the highest of all States in the National Electricity Market.

Labor will provide a capital grant of up to $20 million to support the development of an electricity inter-connector between South Australia and NSW or Victoria, and/or the augmentation of gas supplies.

Labor's commitment is critical to securing competitively priced electricity for South Australian businesses, and critical to providing electricity security for South Australian households.

Better Public Health for South Australians

Over the last five years, South Australia has suffered because of the lack of adequate funding for public health services provided by the Howard and Olsen governments. There have been endless arguments, with both governments blaming each other for the problems.

Labor's Medicare Alliance represents a new approach to health funding which will enable the Commonwealth and State Governments to end blame shifting and work together to provide real funding growth for South Australia's hard-pressed hospital system. Labor's Medicare Alliance will deliver:

a new Emergency Department for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital; ● an $8 million upgrade for cancer treatment services at Royal Adelaide Hospital; ● extra funding for more beds and shorter waiting times; ● a review of the private operation of the Modbury Hospital; ●

new federal funding for dental care for low-income South Australians. ●

Modern Manufacturing

A strong and diverse manufacturing sector is critical to South Australia's economic future, and critical to jobs for South Australians.

Manufacturing is being transformed by new technologies and techniques. Labor will support the development and maintenance of the knowledge and skills required for Australian manufacturing to compete.

Labor will establish an $8.8 million Institute of Manufacturing to develop innovative education programs and undertake collaborative research with industry.

This will support the development of an integrated approach to manufacturing, and will create jobs for South Australians.

Labor will also review tariff changes in the Textile, Clothing and Footwear and automotive industries before the current arrangements expire in 2004.

Defence Industry Cluster

South Australia is home to a range of defence industry capabilities and is well placed, through the Australian Submarine Corporation (ASC) and other firms, to develop new industry and job opportunities in the defence industry.

The Defence Industry Cluster will attempt to secure orders and jobs for the ASC workforce and will promote development of existing and start-up firms around the ASC, specialising in advanced engineering and electronics and sophisticated metals production and fabrication.

Labor will allocate up to $7.65 million over four years to support a Defence Industry Cluster based around the ASC.

Fisheries Training and Research

The commercial sector of the fishing industry is now Australia's fourth most valuable food based primary industry - after beef, wheat and milk - with $2 billion worth of exports in 1999/2000.

South Australia has a range of fishing related activities. It is strong in both sea and land based aquaculture. It has active prawn, lobster, abalone and tuna industries as well as marine scale fishing.

The Australian Fisheries Academy, located in Port Adelaide, provides training for the seafood industry across a wide range of areas, including fishing, aquaculture, product processing and retail.

Labor will commit $4.35 million to develop the Australian Fisheries Academy into a significant resource for training and research for the seafood industry.

Supporting the Wine Industry

The wine industry is one of South Australia's most significant industries, with an international reputation for quality and a record of growing exports.

In recent times, small wineries have come under intense pressure from the tax changes implemented by the Howard Government. These wineries will benefit from Labor's measure to exempt them from the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET).

Labor's initiative will support economic and jobs growth for a key South Australian industry.

Upper Spencer Gulf

The Upper Spencer Gulf cities of Port Pirie, Port Augusta and Whyalla have been left behind by the Howard Government's hands-off approach to regional development.

These centres have received no support for structural adjustment, and no support to attract new economic opportunities and jobs.

Labor will work with the Upper Spencer Gulf Common Purpose Group to create economic opportunities and jobs for the region.

Northern Adelaide Suburbs

Labor recognises the challenges facing the northern suburbs of Adelaide, specifically around Playford and Salisbury.

Labor will work with these communities to strengthen local capabilities, create local job opportunities and restore local confidence.

Fighting Salinity

Salinity, land degradation and declining water quality are already costing Australians billions of dollars each year and placing the future of our cities and regions at risk.

These problems are not generated in South Australia alone, nor can they be solved here in isolation. South Australia is at the rough end of a national and systemic crisis.

Labor will develop a national strategy on natural resource management with a national framework of objectives, targets and priorities and clearly defined roles and responsibilities.

Labor will maintain the Natural Heritage Trust and National Action Plan for Salinity under the new national strategy, but will reform the funding allocation process, return funding to core environment funding and link allocations to environmental outcomes.

No Nuclear Dumps

Labor will stop plans to establish a nuclear waste store and repository in South Australia.

The Howard Government seems hell-bent on establishing one or more nuclear waste dumps in South Australia. South Australia and its people have had more than their share of unsafe and ill-considered nuclear experimentation in the past.

Federal Labor remains completely opposed to the dumping of nuclear waste in South Australia.

Kim Beazley's Plan for South Australia

Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.