Mr WINGARD (Mitchell) (15:01): It hurts me to hear it and it hurts me to say it, but the facts are out there for all to see: South Australia has the highest unemployment rate in the nation, the highest youth unemployment rate in the country, and the highest underemployment rate in Australia as well. South Australia's position is so dire and the state has been let down so badly by the Weatherill Labor government that federal opposition leader Bill Shorten has stepped in to offer our struggling Premier, the Treasurer and other ministers help to do their job.
After 14 years of a state Labor government in South Australia, we have hit rock bottom, and Mr Shorten has realised that our Premier has no idea and no plan to get South Australia's economy moving again. So concerned is Mr Shorten that he has stepped in to assist his Labor colleagues in South Australia and he has called for 'a taskforce for ideas' to build the South Australian economy. A taskforce for ideas? You must be kidding me! What has the Premier been doing for 14 years? What have the ministers been doing?
This is the biggest slap to the face for a Premier that I have seen, and it comes from his own side of politics. Mr Shorten clearly believes the Premier, Treasurer and all other state ministers have lost their way. They have no plan for South Australia and, as such, Mr Shorten has called in federal Labor MP Nick Champion (member for Wakefield) to do the work of the Premier. Mr Shorten said:
We are so committed to economic growth I have asked Nick Champion to finalise our policies specially aimed at improving the circumstances of South Australians.
He goes on to say:
The task of revitalising SA's economy, facilitating a transition to new and growing industries and, importantly, lifting the education and skills of South Australians is now urgent.
Wow. Mr Shorten has lost faith in the Premier and believes Mr Champion would do a better job than Jay. Mr Shorten has conceded that the Premier cannot turn South Australia's horrid unemployment situation around. Mr Shorten has also realised that the Premier has no plan and no idea how to grow jobs in South Australia. This is an amazing revelation.
Let us just recap on where the state Labor government has landed us after 14 years. Last week, the latest unemployment figures came out in the Australian Bureau of Statistics, and South Australia has slipped further behind. The unemployment rate blew out to 7.7 per cent, seasonally adjusted, from 6.85 per cent. What has to be noted is that, at the same time, the national unemployment rate came down from 6 per cent to 5.8 per cent. While South Australia's unemployment rate goes up, on the national scene the figure is coming down. South Australia also has the highest youth unemployment rate in the nation, and the highest underemployment rate as well. People are wanting to work more, but there just aren't the opportunities.
The people of South Australia want a job, and they want a job now. What has the Premier been doing for the last 14 years that has led us to this point? My fear, and South Australia's fear, is that he has done nothing to create jobs in our great state. There was the promise of 100,000 jobs for SA back in 2010—how did that work out? The answer: just 5,850—94,150 jobs short of the mark. That is just not good enough.
The Premier has to understand that we need to create an environment that can create jobs now. Fourteen years of state Labor has brought us to this point, and we cannot hide from the fact anymore. Blaming the federal government and looking for handouts is the Premier's only tactic to grow our state, and that is an embarrassment. By contrast, our leader has put forward a plan in the recently released 2036 document. It outlines the need for our state government to:
support small businesses as the backbone of our economy;
create the right environment to allow businesses to grow jobs;
reduce the tax burden on SA households and businesses by putting more money back in the pockets of South Australians;
cutting the red tape and unnecessary regulation that inhibits the growth to create more jobs; and
This is the foundation document—the bedrock for returning South Australia to greatness by growing our economy and generating jobs. I invite everyone to read the 2036 manifesto by going to the website: marshall2036.com.au. This is a plan for South Australia. This is a plan to turn our state toward prosperity. This is a plan for a journey South Australians can all take together.