It’s been another busy month in Parliament and after seven sitting weeks this term I look forward to the August winter break so I can be back in the electorate more, meeting with constituents.
I am genuinely excited about everything we accomplished within the first 100 days of being in government but I would like to touch on the establishment of Infrastructure SA and the Productivity Commission of South Australia in this column. Ordinarily I would reject the establishment of two more bureaucratic bodies that will add another layer to the quagmire of taxpayer funded entities, however, I think these two will be invaluable to electorates like Narungga.
While I am out door-knocking, conducting listening posts and in the community, a common dismissal I hear from those becoming disillusioned with the political process is that we will never get what we deserve in Narungga because we are too safe of a seat.
Although I reject that argument and maintain that the Liberal Party will govern for the betterment of the state regardless of where that investment need happen, we now have another tool in our belt to ensure we receive what we need. Each new body is modelled after already established national equivalents which report to the Federal Government.
Infrastructure SA will provide advice on the efficient, effective delivery of infrastructure; and the Productivity Commission will ensure SA produces, delivers and achieves more with every unit of resource.
This means that projects in Narungga which are either in dire need of infrastructure spend or will increase the state’s productivity -- or both – will receive due recognition from these newly established state bodies, and that whilst the government will not be bound to sign off on any specific advice derived, all endorsed projects will be made publicly available and, as such, not following recommendations made will be foolhardy. Gone are the days in which Premiers like Jay Weatherill can make decisions based on their “electoral imperatives”. Now future Premiers will be able to make decisions based on economic imperatives, that will serve all of us better.
Congratulations to Kernewek Lowender Copper Coast Cornish Festival for success in the latest round of the Regional Events and Festivals Program grants funding.
I also welcomed the recent opening of two new grant funding streams – the Regional Growth Fund and the SA Healthy Towns Challenge, both specifically for rural and regional communities.
The $150 million Regional Growth Fund is available for regional development initiatives from $50,000 up to $2 million on a matched dollar for dollar basis, with applications assessed by a panel led by an independent chair. For more info visit: www.pir.sa.gov.au/regionalgrowthfund
The SA Healthy Towns Challenge is a grants program for rural towns to develop and implement programs which will have measurable and immediate benefits to the community’s health and wellbeing. Grants of up to $50,000 each are available for five towns (or groups of towns) each year for four years; for guidelines visit www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/SAHealthyTowns
For assistance with any State matters, call the Narungga Electorate office (88322 455) and speak with myself, Rosemary or Sarah. The office at 51 Robert Street, Maitland, is open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.