South Australian Premier Steven Marshall has vowed to engage in a ‘relentless pursuit of economic growth’ as his government gets back to business for 2019.
After taking charge of his cabinet meeting for the new year, the premier has outlined three areas of focus as the government strives to build prosperity and grow jobs.
It will look to finalise the City Deal with the federal government to redevelop the old Royal Adelaide Hospital site and will also present the state’s plan for population growth to the commonwealth by the end of the month.
Mr Marshall says the government is also keen to advance key infrastructure projects, such as completion of Adelaide’s north-south road corridor, and others which will be outlined in the coming weeks.
‘We’re very excited about 2019,’ he said. ‘Yes there are some challenges but we’re up for the task.
‘But most importantly this is going to be a year where we have this relentless pursuit of economic growth for our state.’
Among the challenges for the government will be turning around the crisis in the state’s public hospital network which has been plagued by overcrowding and budget blow-outs.
It will also have to contend with a number of ongoing industrial disputes, most notably a stoush with SA’s teachers who protested loudly in the streets late in 2018 over failed enterprise negotiations.
The government has so far taken a tough stand on some of the demands from the Australian Education Union but Mr Marshall said its actions were not ideologically based.
‘Some people want to make a political statement. Some people want to have a fight,’ he said.
‘We’ll always make decisions in the best interest of all taxpayers in South Australia.
‘That’s what we’ve been doing since we’ve been elected and that will certainly continue in 2019.’