Click here to read my speech on interstate migration:
Mr WINGARD ( Mitchell ) ( 12:35 ): I rise today to support the motion put forward by the member for Chaffey to stop South Australians leaving this state. This has been a key topic of conversation when I have been out doorknocking and at listening posts at supermarkets. I have heard so many examples from people who have stories of family and friends who have left or are going to leave SA because of the lack of job opportunities. I understand why many people head interstate to further their career and gain new experiences, as I did when I was in my early 20s, but what South Australia has lost is the ability for those people to be able to return, live and enjoy the great things that SA has to offer at their choosing.
The key factor behind this is jobs. There are no jobs in South Australia. These people want to come home, but they cannot. We know SA has the highest unemployment rate in the nation. The most recent ABS unemployment figures, which came out today, show that the unemployment trend rate is 8.1 per cent in South Australia, the highest of any state in the nation and the highest it has been since April 1999, 16 years ago.
The national figure is 6.2, Tasmania is 6.5, New South Wales is 5.9, Victoria is 6.2, Queensland is 6.4 and SA is 8.1 per cent. These are the Australian Bureau of Statistics' figures. South Australia deserves better. I have schoolmates who have moved back to Adelaide wanting their children to grow up here and make South Australia home. They have worked in various fields from geology and mining to sports management, media, banking and accounting. They all wanted to be here, but a lack of employment opportunity has forced them out of South Australia.
Just for a minute, think of the fallout. This forces people away from their elderly parents reducing care in their twilight years, and children are separated from grandparents, cousins and other family members. In some cases, one parent is forced to leave the state to work while the other parent stays in Adelaide on their own to raise the children.
Ultimately, South Australia's poor unemployment figures are an indicator of the poor performance of the current Weatherill government. For SA to be 8.1 per cent when the national figure is 6.2 per cent is not acceptable and South Australia deserves better. The opposition has outlined our emergency response to help turn things around. Amongst these options are:
bringing forward planned stamp duty relief to take effect next year;
committing to reducing payroll tax;
reversing Treasurer Koutsantonis' $90 million hike to the emergency services levy;
committing to build the Northern Connector road;
finalising investigation into the Strzelecki Track upgrade; and
creating a state-based productivity commission.
We need the government to act now. This is a serious problem now.
As a father of four it is a large reason why I am here. South Australia is a beautiful environment in which to raise a family and live a healthy lifestyle. We have a caring society and community that, on the whole, is supportive and loving but, sadly, we are struggling economically and we are falling well behind all the other states.
I want to create an opportunity for everyone in my community. We need to grow business. We need to grow enterprise. South Australians are innovative and I back South Australian people to get our state up where it belongs, but we need a government that will create a positive environment that will allow people and business to flourish. I want all people to have the chance to follow their dreams, be what they want to be, and contribute to our society to make South Australia a great state. I will keep working to do everything I can to steer the state in the right direction, a state full of opportunity.
Debate adjourned on motion of Mr Speirs .