The State election is less than a month away and political parties are starting to put their promises on the table.
The State Liberal Party has said that if elected in March 2014 they will reverse Labor’s funding cuts to the seven Regional Development Australia (RDA), South Australian offices and implement strategic reforms to ensure all RDAs are taking a coordinated approach to grow the regional economy.
The party has also said that they will work with industry and stakeholders to ensure that RDA offices in South Australia are able to service the regions to their full advantage.
Stephan Knoll, Liberal candidate for Schubert, said the Liberal Government would increase the current funding from $1.7 million to $3 million a year for RDA which would lead to a couple of extra thousand dollars a year for RDA Barossa.
“It will help give the region the boost it needs,” Mr Knoll said.
“Also the majority of exports come from regional South Australia.
“When looking at who delivers the most productivity and gains, South Australia’s regional areas deliver above and beyond the metro area.
“It makes good sense for us to invest here.
“It’s good that we have this. It shows that we (State Liberal Party) are serious with helping our region compete.
“The good thing about all this funding is that it is reoccurring funding.”
The State Liberal Party has also promised to establish a competitive grants program with $6 million over four years to help with export sales.
One part of their promised grant program is to give businesses the opportunity to apply for up to $3,000 in funding to help them access the export market.
“Regional businesses will benefit as they are the ones that target the export markets,” Mr Knoll said.
“We will also increase FoodSA funding to $1 million to help food producers access international food markets.
“For us it’s about growing the South Australia pie.
“Not just increasing international export sales, but interstate sales as well.
“If we can replace food imports that does help to grow the South Australian economy.”