ABS data released today has revealed alarming new unemployment data for regional South Australia.
Regional SA lost 6,000 jobs alone last month, with the regional SA unemployment rate jumping from 6.4 per cent to 8 per cent.
“Today, State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall committed to expanding the Regional Development Fund from $1.6 million per year to $15 million per year to better support our regions and drive productivity to grow South Australia’s economy,” said Shadow Employment Minister Iain Evans.
“Currently the Weatherill Labor Government only allocates $1.6 million per year to the Regional Development Fund, but this is simply not enough to support South Australian regions from the APY Lands to Mount Gambier.
“Since it was first established in 1999, the Fund has generated an estimated 5,500 new jobs and over $1.4 billion in total project investment off the back of $36 million in Government assistance.
“Based on the Fund’s performance to date, the State Liberals’ injection of funds will support up to 6,000 extra jobs and $1.5 billion in additional regional investment over the forward estimates.
“This Fund was designed to drive economic growth in key export sectors by investing in regional infrastructure, creating jobs and new opportunities for regional South Australians.
“It is vital that we invest in our regional communities, develop their infrastructure and grow their capabilities as a foundation for future jobs and economic growth.
“The Weatherill Labor Government has neglected regional South Australia for 12 years.
“On the other hand, the State Liberals are committed to supporting our regions.
“On Premier Weatherill’s watch, South Australia is in the midst of a dangerous jobs crisis.
“Only a Marshall Liberal Government will have better priorities to put our State back on track.”
The statistics released are a concern according to Liberal Member for Hammond Adrian Pederick.
"The ABS regional unemployment statistics are alarming," said Mr Pederick.
"This is a direct result of the neglect shown to our regional communities by the Weatherill Labor Government.
"The State Liberals pledge to provide $60 million as a part of our Regional Development Fund policy will create jobs and investment in our regions.
"This funding for our regional communities is long overdue but has never happened due to the 12 years of Labor neglect."