Marshall’s millions: Lib leader prepares for state election

Sky's the limit: Vignerons president Peter Balnaves, State Opposition leader Steven Marshall, and Liberal candidate for MacKillop Nick McBride.
Sky's the limit: Vignerons president Peter Balnaves, State Opposition leader Steven Marshall, and Liberal candidate for MacKillop Nick McBride.

“I spoke to one business owner last night who said that he was going to apply for a State Government grant program,” begins Steven Marshall, during his visit to the South East today.

“But then they shifted the goal posts, made it difficult for him, and he couldn’t be bothered.”

“We need a government in South Australia which is going to assist people that want to go out and create jobs.”

This is what state Opposition leader Mr Marshall has promised with the South Australian Liberal Party, which has a long road ahead in the lead-up to the March election.

The Labor Party has been in power for the last 16 years, but according to Mr Marshall, that period has been marred by neglect for electorates like MacKillop.

“This Labor government is the least capable group of people in spending your money, as we’ve seen by the huge amount of wasteful spending over these years,” Mr Marshall said.

“They (Labor) are very focused on metropolitan Adelaide. 

“But we as Liberals think, ‘Well, there’s plenty of opportunities right across regional South Australia to grow jobs, to grow the economy, and to keep young people here’.”

Under a Marshall government, the key strategies to increasing economic growth and productivity in electorates such as MacKillop would be improving infrastructure; more money for hospitals and health services; more jobs for young people and an overhaul of TAFE; and easing the stress of small business owners.

Speaking with the Herald on his tour of the region, Mr Marshall showed confidence in four core policies of his party which would give millions to regional and rural South Australia.

One – Royalties for Regions. Under this scheme, 30 per cent of all mining royalties would be claimed back by the government, with these funds being used for roads and other regional infrastructure.

Two – A comprehensive energy policy. To ease the burden of electricity costs, a Marshall government has planned to have greater interconnectivity with New South Wales to significantly reduce the wholesale price of energy.

Three – In the state budget of June 2014, the Labor party increased the costs of the emergency services levy (ESL) by $360m. If elected, a Marshall government will put that money back into the communities.

Four – A $150 million Regional Growth Fund (RGF) to support job creation and boost regional investment. Annually, $15 million would be paid to electorates such as MacKillop for the next 10 years.

Full story in next Thursday's Naracoorte Herald