An immediate economic stimulus package, worth $350 million, has been announced by the Marshall Liberal Government to help drive the South Australian economy and secure local jobs in the wake of the ongoing impact of bushfires, drought and coronavirus.
Major infrastructure maintenance projects including road and hospital upgrades, new tourism infrastructure and an expanded Economic and Business Growth Fund to support local industry are the centrepiece of the new package, which is expected to sustain hundreds of jobs across the state with construction to begin in coming weeks.
It follows a significant $22 million State Government injection in nature-based tourism infrastructure to boost employment and the long-term visitor economy in hard-hit regions.
Premier Steven Marshall said the Government was acting ‘swiftly and decisively’ to deliver a state-wide response to the Coronavirus crisis, which included safeguarding the state’s economy and jobs against the simultaneous shocks of rapidly evolving national and international events.
“During these times of significant global uncertainty, we are committed to doing all we can to ensure the state’s economy maintains its forward momentum and that local jobs are not only protected but can continue to grow into the future,” said Premier Marshall.
“While we are not immune from the impacts of this global crisis, this package will go some way to assist us minimise the inevitable shocks to come.
“We are a team with a strong plan in place and our actions to date should fill the community with confidence, knowing they have a Government willing to do whatever it takes to manage these challenges.
“In this economic stimulus package, we are immediately investing $350 million on a range of measures – from major road and hospital upgrades to significant tourism infrastructure and increased funding for the state’s Economic and Business Growth Fund to support industry sectors.
“Our top priority, along with the health, safety and wellbeing of all South Australians, is to ensure our economy is well-positioned to not only withstand the impact of bushfires and coronavirus, but to emerge stronger and more resilient as a result.
“This is all about securing jobs and keeping local businesses’ doors open. We simply will not sit back and allow the economy to be put on ice.”
Projects to be funded under the Government’s economic stimulus package must meet certain criteria, including the ability to start works within a short period of time, they must be labour-intensive and/or require significant local purchasing of materials, services and supplies.