Liberals propose Regional Growth Fund

Opposition Leader: Steven Marshall. Photo:

Opposition Leader: Steven Marshall. Photo:

The Liberals have promised to create a new "regional growth fund" if they win the next state election, but the Labor government has dimissed the idea as nothing new.

The current Regional Development Fund is not guaranteed beyond 2021, and Opposition Leader Steven Marshall said grants from the fund had tended to go only to large organisations, or to those which could have got funding from elsewhere.

Mr Marshall said the Liberals' Regional Growth Fund would be guaranteed for 10 years and have fewer strings attached.

"Businesses have refused to accept current Regional Development Fund grants due to the onerous conditions imposed by the (Jay) Weatherill government," he said.

However, grant recipients will need to show how they will increase the total number of jobs in South Australia rather than shifting employment between businesses or sites.

In response, State Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis pointed out that regional SA would not receive any extra funding under the Liberals' $15 million-per-year plan.

"All the Liberals have announced today is that they will match what Labor is already doing," he said.