South Australian exports continue to stagnate under the Rann Government, with latest figures showing our export performance is the second worst of all states, Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas said today.
“ABS figures for September released today show South Australian exports rose by a paltry 1.7% in the 12 months to September 2005,” Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas said today.
“This compares to 14.5% for Australia as a whole, and is far below all other states except Victoria.”
Mr Lucas says export figures since the Rann Government came to office have been a continuing disappointment.
Since March 2002 Australian exports have now grown by 7.0%, but here in South Australia they have actually fallen by 13.7%.
“The Rann Government still talks about its target of tripling exports, yet the figures clearly show it has no idea about how to encourage and nurture exports,” Mr Lucas said.
“The Rann Government has a target, but no strategy for even getting exports back to the $9.1 billion reached under the former Liberal government let alone tripling that.
“It is impossible to understand why the Rann Government is closing down so many of its trade offices – Japan, United States, Malaysia, Indonesia and Hong Kong have all been closed with a downgraded presence being retained in Hong Kong.
“At the same time the Rann Government has ‘gutted’ the state’s key trade development agency (Department for Trade and Economic Development) by virtually halving the number of staff employed in the agency.
“This government has simply sat on its hands and overseen a significant decline in exports since it took office, at the same time as the rest of the country has enjoyed a resurgence.”