Regions to take front seat says Marshall

This is the second of a series of articles this week featuring the Premier Jay Weatherill and Steven Marshall in the lead up to the March 15, South Australian election. 

Liberal Party leader Steven Marshall says if the Liberals form government after Saturday's state election, regions will be given their rightful place in South Australia.

In an interview with Fairfax Media Adelaide, Mr Marshall said he had visited the regions in the lead up to the election with trips to Whyalla, Port Pirie, Port Lincoln and Mount Gambier.

"I've been listening to people and that is why our policies reflect what people in the regions are saying," he said.

"We don't want city-centric policies that ignore the people in country regions. The best decisions should take the regions in to account as there is huge chance for growth in these areas.

"Look towards Monarto, Murray Bridge and the river – it is a great corridor for potential grown for food, wine, agriculture..."

Mr Marshall said there were two issues he would look at that were close to the heart of people living in the regions – road speed and equality for country fire fighters.

"The current government want a blanket speed reduction to 100kph to all country roads outside of towns. Regional communities don't want this," Mr Marshall said.

"If there is a compelling reason to lower the speed limit on a road, then sure – reduce it, but is should be decided on a road by road basis.

"Dropping speed increases travel and therefore increased fatigue."

Mr Marshall said Country Fire Service volunteers were part of the backbone of regional communities and deserved fairer treatment when it came to the issue of cancer compensation.

"The Country Fire Service needs to be treated equal to the Metropolitan Fire Service – anything less is wrong. The CFS volunteers are angry at being ignored and feel as if they are being treated as second class citizens. 

"We will be backing the fight for 100 per cent equality for the CFS."

Mr Marshall said his top three priorities once in the Premier's seat would be jobs, jobs and jobs.

"What do we do in this state in five years or 10 years if we don't create jobs," he said.

"Government policy setting is behind job losses – the latest figures shows SA has the lowest forecast growth in the country."

Mr Marshall said the race to Saturday's election was far from over.

"I think the election will be exceptionally tight," he said.

"I think there is a mood for change in the state but we have to make sure we don't get a hung parliament.

"If people want a change they need to vote Liberal as voting for an Independent or minor party won't deliver the change they want."