Beware mirages in the campaign desert - InDaily
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You can tell a lot by the nature of a politician’s promises – and some are obviously ‘bread and circuses’, writes Amanda Vanstone.Amanda VanstoneSupport our workClick here to donate ShareTweet Share LinkedinEmail Print article
Most people think of Monarto as a zoo. And it is. It’s also a timely reminder of the rubbish Labor is prepared to spin. In the Don Dunstan days it was promised as a grand, new satellite city. It never happened.
Of course, to build new cities you need jobs and population growth. Labor just has a lousy track record on both so it’s no wonder Monarto was nothing more than a bauble to dangle in front of those willing to be duped.
After Monarto we were offered another grand plan – the Multi Function Polis. If this is ancient history to you, the internet never forgets and a quick search will reveal the sheer stupidity of the promises. It’s the kind of ridiculous fantasy that people come up with when they’re spending your money, not theirs. People with no skin in the game often make decisions that people who have their own money at risk would just never make. There were posters, billboards and other advertisements. It all came to zero. When the Liberals came to government, they pulled the plug on the pipe dream and went for the very practical Technology Park.
These stories are relevant today because they demonstrate Labor’s history of saying whatever they think will suck you in order to win government.
It’s still happening. Street signs tell us Labor will fix ramping. They think you’re just too stupid to remember how long they were in government. Why did they let it happen and why didn’t the last Labor government fix it?
It’s happening now – not an empty promise for the future.
If you believe everything Labor and the ambos say, you’d think South Australian ambos are at rock bottom due to a nasty Liberal government. If you access the Productivity Commission’s Report on Government Services 2022 you’ll see that in 2020/21 we had the highest investment in ambulance services per person of all mainland states and territories – more than 5% higher than in Labor’s last year. How do they get away with pretending? The reality is that no one in their right mind, unless they are obsessive or a real nerd, would go and look up those figures.
In stark contrast, look at what Marshall has done. We now have the Space Agency. It’s here and operating at Lot Fourteen – the old Royal Adelaide Hospital site. Companies involved in space technology now want to be here. Adelaide is now a city and a state where the future is actually happening – it’s not some pipe dream on a billboard. Young smart people now want to work here. We are now home to 90 space-related organisations. That makes South Australia the space state.
The opportunities in space go way beyond sending astronauts up in rockets. For example, the Bureau of Meteorology is putting its space weather hub at Lot Fourteen. Just as BOM checks on our weather, they are also looking at events beyond our atmosphere. Solar flares can be disruptive to GPS and radio, they can damage satellites and electricity transmission networks. We need to know what’s happening up there. Space is, as John Kennedy predicted, the new frontier.
Many new industries can start off slowly and then burst with energy. That’s where the space industry is now in Australia – bursting with energy and opportunity. There’s a lot happening at Lot Fourteen: the Australian Space Agency, the Space Discovery Centre, SmartSatCRC, Inovor Technologies, Myriota and more. It’s happening now – not an empty promise for the future.
We’re a traditional agricultural state. So it’s been smart to build on that, respecting our traditional industries and moving into the future. The Morrison and Marshall governments in partnership with three big industry players are making South Australia an international hub for plant-based protein production. Thomas Foods International is a famous supplier of red meat but they recognise the burgeoning trend to plant-based protein and have joined in the venture. South Australia is at the forefront because Marshall thinks ahead.
He’s not talking bread and circuses, new cities, multi-function polis’s: he’s focused on new industries to enliven South Australia and bring jobs. Jobs in new industries to which young, smart people are attracted. It’s not a promise. It is happening.
We’ve got more people coming to South Australia than leaving, a respected budget, a growing economy, falling unemployment and more people in jobs. That sounds good to me and very good to anybody who wants their kids to have the chance of gaining a great job in their home state.
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Amanda Vanstone was a senator for South Australia for more than 20 years and a minister in the Howard Liberal Government. The former Ambassador to Italy presents the Counterpoint program on ABC Radio National.
Amanda Vanstone’s election commentary will be published in InDaily every Friday of the campaign, alongside a weekly contribution from former Labor Premier Mike Rann. Read his contribution here.Make a commentView comment guidelines Jump to next article
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