State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall has today 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.
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 jobs and $1.5 billion in regional investment over the forward estimates.
A Marshall Liberal Government will also expand the Regional Development Fund to provide non-infrastructure support to communities in regional areas.
“Today’s announcement is part of our Growth Action Agenda to grow jobs, improve infrastructure and deliver better outcomes for regional communities,” said State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall.
“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.
“The new funding model will complement our previously announced $50 million Community Infrastructure Fund, which has the potential to unlock a further $500 million in local infrastructure across the State.
“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 understand the importance of supporting our regions to grow our State’s economy.
“Only a Marshall Liberal Government will have better priorities to put our State back on track.”
Adrian Pederick, Liberal Member for Hammond, welcomed the funding announcement and believes funding for our regional communities is long overdue.
"The pledge to provide $60 million for projects and infrastructure in regional South Australia is exciting for our rural communities," said Mr Pederick.
"This announcement alone is $53.6 million more than what the Weatherill Labor Government has planned for our regions.
"Labor for too long have forgotten regional South Australia.
"This announcement, coupled with the $50 million Community Infrastructure Fund, the $1 million increase for Food SA and the extra $3 million per year for Regional Development Australia, shows the State Liberals are serious about South Australia's regions.
"The State Liberals understand the importance of South Australia's regions."