The South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC) had made the first in a series of budget cuts by slashing an annual grant of $521,000 to the racing industry.
Chief Executive Andrew McEvoy told the Legislative Council Budget and Finance Committee that the annual payment to Thoroughbred Racing SA for advertising and promotion, together with cuts in funding to Education Adelaide and the Festival of Arts, were the first in a series of tourism cuts totalling almost $14 million over the budget forward estimates period.
“The Education Adelaide cuts total $90,000 each year and the Festival of Arts cuts total $125,000 every second year,” Shadow Minister for Finance Rob Lucas said today.
“Mr McEvoy made it clear that the SATC and the Rann Government had not yet finalised its decisions on all of the required cuts and would finalise decisions over the next couple of years.
“Whilst the Budget Papers highlight increased expenditure in certain areas, little detail has been reported on the impact of budget cuts announced in the 2008-09 and 2009-10 Budgets.
“Mr McEvoy also told the Committee that total taxpayer spending on the Tour Down Under and on attracting Lance Armstrong to South Australia should be kept confidential.”
In other evidence to the Committee, the Chief Executive of Defence SA, Andrew Fletcher, revealed that:
• The Rann Government had wasted almost $524,000 on the Australia Pacific Defence and Security Exhibition in November 2008 which was cancelled for security reasons;
• Defence SA had defended the Rann Government’s negotiations with the small business Adelaide Ship Construction International over increased rental for their business;
• Renegotiated rental agreements for 24 other small businesses had led to an average 241 per cent increase;
• Budget cuts required in 2012-13 would be the equivalent of 15 per cent of their non-discretionary operating costs.