A cavalcade of prominent South Australian business leaders have endorsed the job creation and economic benefits of the Marshall Liberal Government’s multipurpose Riverbank Arena.
At Business SA’s State Budget Luncheon at Adelaide Oval on Friday, Shadow Treasurer Stephen Mullighan re-stated Labor’s opposition to this job-creating, transformational project, only to be followed by a panel of respected business leaders who backed the Marshall Government’s Riverbank Arena.
“Labor’s plan to scrap the Riverbank Arena to supposedly fix health challenges has been exposed as a nonsense, because it would only mean an extra $10 million over the next two years, when we are already spending a record $7.4 billion on health. In a further blow to Labor, a number of well respected, intelligent business leaders have recognised the significant economic and job benefits associated with the Riverbank Arena,” Treasurer Rob Lucas said.
Some of the business leaders who backed the job creation and economic benefits of the multipurpose arena included Chair of Business SA Nikki Govan, William Buck Managing Director Jamie McKeough, and KPMG Managing Partner Justin Jamieson. Mr Jamieson drew parallels with Adelaide Oval saying ‘if we had stopped that infrastructure ten years ago we wouldn’t be sitting here [Adelaide Oval] today’.
Ms Govan noted the convention benefits, but also indicated she had spoken to major concert promoters who highlighted the benefits of attracting performers who have previously avoided Adelaide due to a lack of large enough venues.
“It’s extraordinary that Labor is opposing a multipurpose arena that will provide the capacity and flexibility to attract larger conferences and exhibitions of strategic importance to South Australia, particularly in the face of such strong support from key business leaders,” Mr Lucas said.
“The business case identifies 2,059 jobs will be created during construction and 345 jobs per annum once operational, and yet Labor wants to scrap it.
“The contrast couldn’t be clearer – the Marshall Government is pumping a record $7.4 billion into health spending next year, which is almost $900 million more than was spent in the final year of the former Labor government.
“Our investment includes a landmark $163.5 million Mental Health Package over the next 4 years, increasing emergency department capacity with more than $110 million to provide more than 140 new treatment spaces across SA, tackling bed block, and providing an additional 74 FTEs for the SA Ambulance Service, as well as additional ambulances and fit-out works at stations to accommodate the extra crews.
“The Government is also delivering a new state-of-the-art $1.95 billion Women’s and Children’s Hospital. The new hospital will include 500 treatment spaces, providing a 13 per cent increase in capacity from the current hospital, and catering for the needs of South Australian mothers and children for decades to come.
“With the Marshall Government, the people of SA get a new arena and massive investments in health – under Labor you get hollow health promises from the mob who brought you Transforming Health.”