Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas said today the Weatherill Government had been ‘slack, lazy and incompetent’ in implementing major components of the $24 million Northern Economic Plan.
Having launched the Northern Economic Plan in a blaze of publicity in January the Weatherill Government still hasn’t finalised guidelines for the $10 million Small Business Development Fund or the $7 million Northern Adelaide Food Park.
“Three months after Premier Weatherill claimed this ‘was a bold plan to carve an economic future for the region’ basic decisions have not been taken and unemployment in the North Adelaide region has jumped to 10.4 per cent,” said Mr Lucas.
“There are now 22,700 people unemployed in northern Adelaide but when the guidelines have been finalised it will still be months before a selection process is concluded and funding can actually be provided to businesses to help generate jobs.
“At a time when the jobs crisis in the north is escalating at an alarming rate the Weatherill Government’s lack of urgency in implementing its policy is unbelievable.”
Minister Kyam Maher told Parliament on 12 April 2016 that guidelines for both programs were still ‘under development and consultation’.
PIRSA CEO Scott Ashby confirmed to the Budget and Finance Committee on 18 April 2016 that no decisions had been taken on how the $7 million for the Food Park would be allocated.
“Sadly this is typical of the Weatherill Government. They seem to be more interested in knee jerk responses based on political spin to get them past the immediate media interest in the issue,” said Mr Lucas.
“Rather than carefully considering a workable policy response ready to be implemented they simply cobble together a ‘Plan’ based on catchy titles for two new spending programs and decide much later how the programs are actually meant to operate.
“It is no wonder under the Weatherill Government South Australia continues to have the worst unemployment rate in the nation.”