Wednesday 31 May, 2023

Mr TARZIA (Hartley) (12:40): When I think about Lot Fourteen, I also think about Silicon Valley. I might talk a little bit about a visit I once took to the west coast of America, where I was lucky enough to visit companies like Apple and surrounding technology companies

I was so inspired and drawn to this concept of Silicon Valley and how things started on the west coast of America. If you do the research, what you learn is that the government of the day was heavily invested, but what also enabled Silicon Valley to develop was a massive development in the defence industry, a massive spend in the defence industry and also collaboration with the startup community and educational institutions. Do you know what we have here in South Australia? We have a unique opportunity to replicate that.

I am proud to say that I was part of a government, working closely with the Premier of the time, who saw the ability for South Australia to very strategically invest in this area of startup investment, technology, defence, cyber and these sectors that are going to pay massive dividends for South Australia into the decades ahead.

I have to admit, I did sit around the cabinet table at the time, and at the time—whilst we do not talk about cabinet deliberations—there was fierce scrutiny by members of parliament, especially the Hon. Rob Lucas. But let me say, even Rob Lucas knew that this investment was an extraordinarily effective strategic play for the state of South Australia. Future generations will look back and thank the Premier of the day and thank the government of the day for their strategic investment in areas like Lot Fourteen.

We know that Lot Fourteen transformed the old Royal Adelaide Hospital site into a hub of technology, innovation and also culture. We know that this precinct is creating thousands of jobs and showcasing South Australia to the world. We know that Lot Fourteen is host to the national Space Agency, something that was hotly contested at the time. That did not just happen overnight: that happened because of a relentless campaign by Liberal governments of the time—and what better place to have it than here in South Australia?

We also recognise that, with the establishment of the Aboriginal Art and Cultures Centre, Lot Fourteen will not only showcase our rich and diverse Aboriginal culture to the world but also attract more visitors to South Australia. We acknowledge the Marshall Liberal government for establishing a vibrant, world-class innovation startup growth precinct at Lot Fourteen.

If we look at where we are at the moment in terms of the economic situation and the challenges that South Australia faces, we are in a constant battle and competition. We are in a competition for ideas, we are in a competition for workforce, we are in a competition for capital. We see this especially in other parts of the world, especially in America, where states actively compete against other states. Here in South Australia, we have a significant challenge on our hands, and we must do everything possible to make sure that we compete on a national stage and on an international stage to the best of our ability.

How do we do things like encourage more people to South Australia? We need to encourage more people to South Australia by making it more attractive for people to come here. Why will people come here? Well, it is not just because of the charisma of any of us; when people come here they usually want to come here to work, or come here for travel, or come here to play, and we need to make sure that they have those things available to them. What Lot Fourteen presents is an ability to get a job in an area that is going to add massive growth potential for them down the track.

We need to make sure that we continue to do what we can to stop the brain drain to the east coast. It was happening for some time before we came into power, but, when we did come into power, what happened for the first time in a long time is that we were able to reverse that brain drain. We were able to reverse that brain drain. History will show that the Liberal government of the day reversed that brain drain, unlike the 16 years of hard Labor, when people flocked—they flocked—to the east coast because they wanted to get away from the socialist Labor government that went on for far too long. Anyway, I digress. I come back to reversing the brain drain.

We also know that we need to stop the over-reliance that governments sometimes have on things like GST revenues and handouts. There are some who talk about an inferiority complex, a chip on the shoulder, and growing international economic headwinds. How do you change these things? You change things by inspiring people. How do you inspire people? You do that by giving them opportunities like those that exist at Lot Fourteen, but it does not just happen overnight.

When you look at the innovation centre that we have right in the CBD, it is seven hectares of innovation right here in our city. This has been a lightning rod for where people should focus their efforts, and we know that these sectors present a massive exponential growth opportunity. Just like some were talking about a few years ago, how quickly those dreams have been realised. How quickly we are seeing the growth of things like the space industry, the defence industry and the cyber industry.

Two or three years ago, we were being told, even at a micro level, about the rapid changes in cyber and how more sophisticated scams would come. We were all being written to by constituents, almost on a weekly basis, about the sophisticated scams, for example, and why cyber is so important. Not only that, look at the area of AI and how that is transforming the way we do business day to day. Can I say, I definitely did not use ChatGPT to write this speech. I am just talking straight from here.

Ms Stinson interjecting:

Mr TARZIA: I don't think it would have been better. That technology is still in its infancy, and that is why we need to continue to invest in things like Lot Fourteen—so we can encourage entrepreneurs to learn their craft, to put their capital on the line with strategic risk—because it may well be that we have the next Amazon or the next Google or the next Tesla right here in South Australia.

What you need is a government that encourages entrepreneurial activity, that encourages young people to get involved and have a crack and not be afraid to fail, as long as they fail and move forward. That is what we need, and that is why Lot Fourteen is so important—because it harvests that entrepreneurial spirit. We cannot be a state with an over-reliance on GST revenue or a handout mentality. What we have to do is harness the next breed of entrepreneurs here in South Australia. That is how this state is going to continue to go from strength to strength. Look at our past history: we have always been an entrepreneurial state and we have always grabbed that football of entrepreneurialism.

We should recognise that during its four-year term the Marshall Liberal government completely transformed the old Royal Adelaide Hospital site into this hub of technology, innovation and culture, and we do recognise the thousands of jobs this sector has created and will continue to create. I am certainly very proud to have been part of a government that grabbed this opportunity and ran with it. I know that down the track this will continue to develop several thousands of jobs well into the future, and I commend the member for Morphett for bringing this matter before the house.