THE State Opposition underlined the importance of South Australia’s multicultural communities, especially in regional towns such as Murray Bridge, as it launched its “Growth Action Agenda” on Wednesday.
The agenda, launched at Murray Bridge business Swanport Harvest, has seven aspects which together would facilitate South Australia’s population growth, encourage productivity and improve the State’s economy, Opposition Leader Steven Marshall said.
To achieve this, he said, a Liberal government would promote South Australia as an attractive migration destination and reduce immigration laws.
“The State Liberals understand that growing our State’s population goes hand in hand with growing our State’s economy,” Mr Marshall said.
“That’s why we have committed to reducing red tape waiting times for visas; promoting SA interstate and overseas as an attractive destination to live, work and invest; and working with the business sector to identify skills shortages for employer-sponsored visas.”
Under the plan, the Multicultural Grants Scheme would increase by $400,000 and provide greater support to new migrants staying in South Australia.
Swanport Harvest managing director Don Ruggiero said, with 90 per cent of employees being immigrants, he would be pleased for the Liberal party to be elected and for the scheme to go ahead.
“It is definitely going to help us,” he said.
“It would give us the confidence to expand and employ more people.”
On Thursday, Mr Marshall added to the initial agenda by announcing additional support for Education Adelaide, in a bid to increase the number of international students.
By 2024, the current Opposition would like to see more than 40,000 students from around the world studying in South Australia.
If elected, they would provide Education Adelaide with $2 million per year as well as the adequate resources to attract those students, Mr Marshall said.
“Boosting our population boosts our State’s productivity, and that’s why we need to encourage more people to live, study and work in our great State.” he said.
“Boosting our international student numbers will have a flow-on effect for the construction, retail and tourism industries and the economy as a whole.
“International students shop, rent and travel.”