APPROPRIATION BILL 2017

Tuesday 04 July, 2017

Mr TARZIA (Hartley) (20:11): I also rise today to speak to the bill before the house. Before I do that, I want to quote Winston Churchill from many years ago when he said that a country that tries to 'tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle'. That is no more relevant than today with what this government is trying to do. These are the words of Winston Churchill many, many years ago, and how true they still ring following the budget put forward by this tired Labor government.

Mr TARZIA (Hartley) (20:11): I also rise today to speak to the bill before the house. Before I do that, I want to quote Winston Churchill from many years ago when he said that a country that tries to 'tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle'. That is no more relevant than today with what this government is trying to do. These are the words of Winston Churchill many, many years ago, and how true they still ring following the budget put forward by this tired Labor government.

What we thought we would see was a jobs budget. The government has put forward another self-proclaimed jobs budget, but in reality the measures put forward by this budget will hardly achieve any sort of creation of jobs in this state. This budget would be more appropriately named a tax budget, as our leader stated earlier in the house. It is unfathomable to believe that the government sees fit to increase taxes and dip into the pockets of banks and households yet again to the tune of $420 million in new taxes and increased government charges in real terms. This budget will more likely destroy jobs and actually deter investment.

What South Australia needs is a government that will provide more efficient services and a government that is more focused on working within its means, rather than seeking to take from the pockets of hardworking South Australians. We need to cut red tape and reduce regulation to stimulate our economy. Now more than ever we need to lift South Australia's economic growth rate that is projected to trail the national average, and get rid of this dysfunctional, tired government that we have.

What South Australia needs is a more positive future. We drastically need to alleviate the cost pressures felt by households. As has been heard in the house many times, we face skyrocketing water prices and have the highest electricity prices in the world, yet how often I see our water infrastructure failing in our area and the lights going out, which is just not good enough. In fact, I have found over the last year that even I have personally reported leaks and bursts to SA Water. The SA Water team is quite receptive on social media when I do that in my regular doorknocking, but my office has also been forced, along with many in our community, to work in darkness on many occasions.

What about health? Words cannot do justice to just how infuriated members of my community are about this government's handling of health, particularly in regard to the new RAH. Over budget and over time—I wonder how often those words have been repeated in this house in the last 15 years. Furthermore, our community has been let down by this government in the area of mental health, specifically. One need look no further than the Oakden scandal to see how South Australia's most vulnerable have been let down. These most vulnerable people are real people. They are out there in our communities and it is time for change from the government's point of view.

This being the third labelled a jobs budget, I am a bit concerned about what it actually means, given that South Australia consistently, on every measurement, ranks amongst the worst in the nation. It ranks amongst the highest for unemployment in the country, currently holding the top spot at 7.1 per cent on trend. In fact, we have had the highest trend unemployment rate for 30 consecutive months. This budget also predicts a jobs growth rate of just 1 per cent, less than half the national average. It has been heard from the South Australian Centre for Economic Studies that, despite this predicted growth rate, the lowest jobs rate in the entire nation, we may not even achieve that.

Let's not forget that, in the lead-up to the 2010 election, the Labor Party promised 100,000 jobs for South Australia. They have fallen short by a shocking 80 per cent. Put otherwise, they missed the mark by 80,000 jobs. Over the past two years alone, our rate of growth for jobs has only been half the national jobs growth rate figure. For seven years, there has been no growth whatsoever in full-time employment in South Australia in the private sector.

Following an accurate and much-needed reply to the budget by our Leader of the Opposition today, the Premier stood up and played the victim, as he so often has done. Of course he did; he seems to think that almost nothing is the fault of this government. Where will it end? I am concerned that those in government may actually believe this nonsense that somehow they are above criticism and can do no wrong. The Premier would do well to listen to the people of South Australia. He might finally understand that they are tired and sick of these excuses. They are tired of broken promises.

To my point, young people have only known for much of their upbringing in recent times a Labor Party that promises big and delivers small. As the youngest member of parliament in South Australia, I might understand more than some the deep fear for the future of this state felt by our younger generations. For some time, this Labor government has been ruining the prospects of our young people by trying to spend its way out of problems. Guess who will be paying for this mismanagement of state funds down the track if this reckless spending does not cease? It will be our children.

As I mentioned earlier, almost 20 per cent of young people cannot find work at the moment. One in five young people is out of work. A Liberal government will deliver more to our children than just the bill for the reckless spending of today. What we will deliver for the young people of our state is not just an exciting and refreshing alternative government but a necessary one. The Liberal Party will deliver a comprehensive program to improve literacy and numeracy outcomes for all students.

To be able to invest more in our young people, we need the resources to do so. We do not need to tax more to attain these resources. We do not need to reward the hard work of our state with more taxes and more government charges. Rather, what we need to do is stimulate our economy through lower taxes and more responsible budget measures, something the Labor government over its 16 years of government has proven to be incapable of delivering.

What we need here is change. We need to reduce the cost of living pressures, something that I am disheartened to inform the house is unfortunately the most frequent of concerns I hear from families and individuals. In my regular doorknocking, this is the most constant concern that is raised with me on the doorstep. Indeed, I have been encouraged by the reception to the '2036' plan released over a year ago and the feedback received on the doorstep. Our plan holds over 40 policy initiatives and major reforms that will give South Australia the chance to prosper once again, and give our youth a future.

Globe Link is among those proposals. It aims to boost the South Australian economy with the construction of a new heavy freight corridor and freight-only airport. I am excited about the prospect of a new, safe, efficient and sustainable road freight infrastructure and the potential for it to unlock the productive capacity of South Australia's businesses and exports. We cannot be wealthy by only selling to ourselves. These are groups that for too long have been limited by this Labor government.

Before I turn to the local projects being overlooked in the budget, I wish to bring to light once again the complete snubbing of the regional areas when they need our support the most. Given that the regions make up some 29 per cent of our population and contribute over $25 billion to our GSP, it is concerning to find that in this state budget we have seen a measly $74 million of new operating initiatives for the regions over the next five years. This is less than 11 per cent of the budgeted spending on all new operating initiatives and about a third of what it should be for the regions, based upon their share of the state's population.

Where is the funding for hospitals? Where is the funding for roads? Why is it that the regions will receive next to nothing as far as increased spending is concerned? Gross regional product in our regions has grown at close to twice that of the entire state in recent years. Our regions certainly deserve better for the contribution that they make to our economy, but not only that; they are the future upside of our economy. When you go interstate and look at the regional areas and the regional populations, you will see that they are much larger than we have here in South Australia. We need to be doing much better, and we need to be backing our regions for the future growth of our state.

I turn now to the local projects that are overlooked in the electorate of Hartley in this year's state budget. One of the most notable projects overlooked in the budget is that of the promised parking infrastructure for Paradise Interchange. For too long, as we know, Paradise Interchange's efficiency has been limited greatly by a lack of parking. Each morning, many commuters hoping to use the interchange are forced to park along side streets and the busy main roads nearby. Sometimes they are forced to park hundreds of metres up the road, along Sudholz Road and along Darley Road, and it is frustrating, not just for interchange users who are forced to dodge the main road traffic as they exit their vehicle but it is equally frustrating for local residents whose streets are congested as a result.

Parking at the interchange is evidently a huge issue, and in this year's state budget I note that the government has allocated funds for park-and-rides, without a car park tax, at Klemzig and also at Tea Tree Plaza. It is time they actually fulfilled their pre-election promise and made more parking available at the Paradise Interchange, in line with what the community wants.

It brings me back to the point I made earlier, that this government talks big, it makes promises that it cannot keep and predictably fails, sometimes epically in the case of the 2010 promise to deliver 100,000 jobs. To the point, this state Labor government promised to fund improved car parking infrastructure at the interchange prior to the last election—it distributed it in material. It failed to deliver. The community deserves better and the state deserves better.

Also overlooked in the state budget for the area is a solution to the increasingly concerning traffic issues surrounding the Magill Training Centre development site. For a long time now I have joined the member for Morialta in calling for a commitment from this government to come up with a solution for traffic in the area, because the roads at present are simply not capable of holding the levels of traffic we see on the roads, and it is worrying to not see any sort of solution funded in this state budget.

Then you have the Glynde substation. Whilst some months ago the residents of Glynde were called and told in an automated message from the Premier that an alternative site had been located by the government, I am yet to see this finalised. Additionally, the proposed tramline extension, it would seem, has been put on hold for the area that Labor distributed in its last pre-election material. The government put forward the idea of running a tram up The Parade to UniSA's Magill campus in the next five to 15 years, yet no funding was allocated in this budget.

Many sports and community groups also have been left in the lurch, and schools that need the funding were not allocated the funding by this state Labor government. It is disappointing to see that the government has neglected these parts of my electorate. It is unfair that the government has chosen not to commit funding to the area because it is badly needed. Clearly, it is only a Liberal Party that will allocate these projects in our budget when we are in government. We will make sure that the people of Hartley get their fair share, and we will deliver and make the area the best that it can be.

It is also disappointing that in all the tourism work that the Minister for Tourism claims he does that he could not get Paul McCartney here to Adelaide. On the topic of Paul McCartney, I bring some lyrics from The Beatles to the house at this late part of the evening. I remember the lyrics of Nowhere Man by The Beatles, and I relate them to the Premier because he is a nowhere man: 'He's a real nowhere man, he's sitting in his nowhere land and he's making all his nowhere plans for nobody.'