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Unemployment in South Australia

Mr WINGARD (Mitchell) (15:20): I rise today to speak on this very dark day. I know that we have been hearing a lot about the shocking treatment of the people at Oakden in the mental health and aged-care facility, and we are all appalled at what is going on there and the mismanagement of this government in dealing with this issue. However, today I rise to speak about the darkness that surrounds our job prospects in South Australia. 

The unemployment figures came out again today and South Australia is at 7.3 per cent. We have the highest unemployment rate in the nation and we have been there for 29 months in a row. We have been the worst state in the nation when it comes to jobs for 29 months in a row. It is an absolute disgrace and it sits with those on the other side of the chamber. It is a clear indication that the Weatherill Labor government's policies have failed the people of South Australia, and that is the bottom line.

in place—well, none of their plans are working. This government is not working on so many levels and today the numbers are right there for us when we look at unemployment. South Australians have every reason and every right to feel let down by this Weatherill Labor government. They have really let down all the people of South Australia. To be in this position after 29 months is an absolute disgrace.

We know the policies of the government on the other side. They want to jack up our energy prices, which they have done successfully. We have the highest energy prices in the country and the most unreliable energy supply. That is what they have done to us in South Australia. As far as tax grabs go, the ESL is as big as it gets. Taking that money from the back pockets of South Australians and from South Australian businesses is hurting job creation in this state. Water prices are another cost that is strangling South Australia's economy and preventing us from growing jobs in this state.

We know that the Weatherill Labor government and their policies are hurting South Australians. We know that Mike Rann promised to create 100,000 new jobs. In fact, we have 8,800 fewer jobs than when he made that promise back in 2010. That is how the Labor government rolls in South Australia, and again everyone has reason to feel disappointed and let down. In fact, in July last year the Treasurer, in one of his jobs policy speeches, said, 'South Australians are through the worst of it. Our economy is coming out. There are green shoots all across this state.' Hasn't he been proven wrong? Here we are now, nearly 12 months later, and again we have the highest unemployment rate in the nation. It is an absolute disgrace.

Youth unemployment—that is, 15 to 24 year olds—is also through the roof. It has jumped to 18.7 per cent, up from 17.3 per cent last month. It is an absolute disgrace and shows that this lazy Weatherill Labor government is letting down South Australians right across the board. We can look through some of the suburbs, too. I have been out with a number of good, solid community members who are working very hard in their local area. These figures came out in December last year and we are expecting some more suburb by suburb figures very soon, and it is concerning where these figures will go.

In the Aldinga area, I know that Andy Gilfillan has been out speaking to a lot of people in his local community. The unemployment rate in Aldinga is 10.6 per cent. In Christies Beach and Christie Downs, the rate is up around 19.5 per cent and 13.7 per cent respectively, which is very alarming. Aaron Duff has been doing a whole heap of work down in Morphett Vale and they have every right to be concerned. Morphett Vale East is 10.5 per cent and Morphett Vale West is 14.3 per cent.

Up in Mount Barker, Dan Cregan has been doing a heck of a lot of work. He has been out speaking to loads of people, doing a lot of work in that area and engaging with the community. They have 9.7 per cent unemployment, which is reason to be concerned. Steven Rypp has been doing a lot of work in his region. Around Royal Park, Hendon and Albert Park, the unemployment rate is 7.9 per cent, which is alarming.

If we look at Salisbury, we know that the closure of Holden is coming later this year. The Salisbury unemployment rate is 17.4 per cent, which is also alarming. In my own electorate, around Warradale the unemployment rate is 8.5 per cent, which is alarmingly high. That is what this state Labor government has given us and it is a disgrace. To sit at the bottom of the table for 29 months is an absolute crying shame.

The alarm bells should be ringing in Premier Jay Weatherill's office. If it is not issues such as Oakden or child protection or the chemotherapy bungle, it is unemployment that should now be causing big panic in his office because South Australians are duly disappointed.

From our side, we know that we need to grow the size of the pie, that we need to generate jobs and that we need to grow exports. That is why we want to open trade offices overseas: to grow exports and bring money into South Australia and also return $360 million into the pockets of South Australians by returning the ESL remissions. That is what we want to do. We know how important it is to grow jobs in South Australia, unlike this Labor government.

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