I rise to speak on the Appropriation Bill which is before the house at the moment. I indicate that I will be the lead speaker for the opposition and that we will be supporting this budget.
In fact, it is the Liberal Party's position, as it has always been, that we will support the Appropriation Bill and always support the Supply Bill. It was nothing more than mischievous for the Treasurer to suggest to the people of South Australia in the lead-up to his bringing down the Appropriation Bill that we planned to block supply.
He was indicating to the people of South Australia that the Liberal Party had some evil plan to stop paying doctors, nurses, teachers and public servants here in South Australia, and nothing could be further from the truth. We never indicated that we would be blocking supply. We never indicated that we would be blocking this Appropriation Bill.
There are plenty of things that we are not happy with in this budget and there are plenty of things that the people of South Australia are not happy with in this budget, and we will have more to say about that when the Budget Measures Bill is introduced to this house, and I foreshadow that we will be talking extensively regarding some of the items contained within the Budget Measures Bill.
However, I make the point that we will be supporting the Appropriation Bill, as we supported the Supply Bill.
South Australia is in an absolute world of trouble. Between last year's budget and this year's budget we have lost in excess of 19½ thousand jobs here in South Australia. That is absolutely shameful. We went to the election and both major parties said that the most pressing issue for South Australia was unemployment. We have the highest rate of unemployment in mainland Australia at 6.8 per cent and growing; the May figures saw a significant growth in unemployment in South Australia from 6.2 per cent to 6.8 per cent. It is going backwards under the failed policy settings of this government here in South Australia.
It is not just employment that is a problem here in South Australia, it is also our domestic economy. We know, from the ABS, that our state's domestic economy has shrunk in the last two quarters; in the December quarter we contracted, in the March quarter we contracted, and, guess what? We are on track—with these poor policy settings put in place by Labor—to have a further contraction in this June quarter. That is costing us jobs here in South Australia.
Not only do we have a contracting domestic economy and increased unemployment, but our young people are leaving South Australia. Last year, in a single year alone, we had a staggering 30 per cent increase in net interstate migration. Our young people are giving up hope in South Australia, and that is why it was so important for this budget—this most important budget, the most important document brought down by government each and every year—to favour the business community, to favour jobs creation here in South Australia, and to favour our next generation.
We went to the election saying that we needed a budget in South Australia that backed business to grow the economy, that had substantial tax reforms in place, that reduced regulation, that focused on population growth, that focused on supporting our exporters out of South Australia, and that focused on a better framework for spending our finite capital here in South Australia. There is a way forward. There are six states in Australia, and five of them are currently governed by Liberal reformist governments. Guess what is happening in each and every one of those states? They are growing employment.
I have just spent the weekend with Liberal premiers from around Australia, and I can tell you that they are very exciting times in those states. On Saturday morning I spent some time with Dennis Napthine; he has actually created 18,000 jobs in the 12 months to the end of May. Sound familiar? We have lost 19,600 and guess where they went? Victoria; 18,000 jobs have been created in that state.
Let me tell you what was contained in their state budget, which was brought down in the last couple of weeks: reduction in payroll tax. Why? Because they want to further grow their economy, they want to further grow employment in their state, they want to keep their young people in Victoria—more than that, they want to take our young people from South Australia into their state. Well, enough is enough.
This is a government that should know better. It should have some better economic policies in place to try to grow our economy. That is why we were all very excited about the budget coming down; we thought that here was an opportunity for this government, this 12-year-old government, to recalibrate and put the right policy settings in place to substantially grow our economy. Did they do that? No, they did not. We had more of the same, old, failed Labor policy settings in South Australia, more of the settings that have put us into the situation we are currently in here in South Australia, more of those failed policies put in place for another 12 months.
Let me tell you about them, Madam Deputy Speaker. It is a massive betrayal of the people of South Australia. What did we see in the budget? We saw a stream of broken promises and increased cost of living pressures on everyday South Australians, promises broken that were made to the people of South Australia in black and white only three months ago when we went to the election.
Let us take a look at some of them. It is interesting that the Minister for Health is currently in the chamber; I think he should hang his head in shame—I think he is actually doing something on his iPad, but anyway his head is hung and we will interpret that as hanging in shame—because this is a government that has shelved the Modbury Hospital expansion, a $27.8 million dollar expansion shelved.
Now let me tell you, we cannot even get a straight answer from this government. We cannot get a straight answer as to whether they are even going to keep that hospital open. The Premier was asked in the media this morning, point blank, will you be closing the Modbury Hospital? Well, guess what? No answer. We have had no answer from the minister. We have had no answer from the Treasurer. We have had no answer from the Premier. The people of Florey and the people of Newland need to know: is this a government which supports the continuation of the Modbury Hospital in South Australia? Let me tell you, the Liberal Party supports the continuation of the Modbury Hospital and it is about time the government stood up and told us their plans for health here in South Australia.
But it is not just the Modbury Hospital, Deputy Speaker—which I know is an important institution for you and your constituents in Florey, and I will not pester you on that—but it is also the people who live in the South. The Flinders Medical Centre $100 million expansion has also been shelved; The Queen Elizabeth Hospital $125 million expansion has been shelved; and the Noarlunga Hospital—$31.3 million—has been shelved.
You see we had a whole pile of promises before the election and a whole pile of changed circumstances after the election and that is just typical of Labor. It is a budget filled with broken promises, but it is not just broken promises in terms of health expenditure. Do not forget that before the election the Premier went to some lengths to say that there would be no substantial privatisation here in South Australia. I do not know something that is more substantial than the Motor Accident Commission. If there is, let us know, that might be in next year's budget with this lot.
Let me tell you that before the election they made it abundantly clear that there would be no significant privatisation. Three months later, changed circumstances. Well, guess what? The Motor Accident Commission has gone. We have no indication whatsoever as to whether this is a good deal for the people of South Australia. The government, to try and avoid using this word 'privatisation' are just going to wind up the fund. They are going to wind up the fund in two year's time and magically there is going to be $500 million sitting there on the balance sheet which is going to be given to Treasury to try and bolster our terribly underperforming state budget here in South Australia.
How do we know that the taxpayers in South Australia are getting the best possible deal? It is a significant asset. Surely there should have been an exploration of the various options. If the government made up their mind to sell that, and if they wanted to see if the people of South Australia—well, fair enough, but what about giving some options to the people of South Australia? How do we know that we have the best deal? We have no idea whatsoever.
We saw the SA Water debt transfer and we had the Treasurer telling us we are going to reduce the overall debt here in South Australia. Rubbish. Absolute rubbish. Let me tell you what they are doing with the debt. They are taking it off one balance sheet and they are sticking it onto another balance sheet. The net debt in South Australia continues to go up. What did Dick Blandy say about this? What did he say about it? He said it was a fraud. He called them out. He said it was a fraud. The government does not care. Take it from one balance sheet, stick it to another balance sheet—the pea and thimble trick. Well, let me tell you, the people of South Australia are not in any way, shape or form convinced by this government.
Let us look at the big daddy of them all, the Emergency Services Levy. Well, that is what it is currently being called but let me tell you, it is a land tax, it is a sneaky land tax and it was first envisaged by the member for Playford when he was the Treasurer. We have had a lot of treasurers lately. In fact, we have had three in the last 18 months. Certainly the member for Playford was one of my favourite of the three, and he said, when he first envisaged putting a land tax on the family home, that we would have a conversation with the people of South Australia. Let me tell you, there were no conversations. He said we would take it to an election. Well, guess what? He did not take it to an election. There was no conversation, it was not taken to an election and now that is exactly and precisely what we have in South Australia.
We have a land tax on the family home, and what a massive increase it is. If you have a house with a capital value of $400,000, you will now be paying $241 per year. It is a 163 per cent increase and it is not paid once—every single year. If you have a $750,000 house you will be paying $408 per year, a 219 per cent increase.
The top rate, if you have a more significant property, continues to go up and up and up. There is no end to this whatsoever.
The revenue increase from this emergency services levy increase is $384 million, but guess how much of that is actually spent on emergency services? There are only $8 million worth of new programs envisaged in the budget, but $384 million worth of new revenue which is included in the budget. It is a shameful situation and the Treasurer and the original architect of this land tax on the family home (the member for Playford) should hang their heads in shame, because it is just putting an added burden on the people of South Australia.
Of course, my favourite component—and I wait for it every single year—is the statement by the Labor Treasurer—it does not matter who it is. We have had three in the last 18 months and they all say exactly the same thing when they bring down the budget. They say, 'Look, this is a tough year. It's a very tough year but, don't worry, in two years' time we return to surplus.' That is one of the greatest frauds, one of the greatest fantasies perpetrated on the people of South Australia, and it is the same tune every single year. Of course, this year when I sat down here on budget day I was not disappointed, because the Treasurer—bang! Up he pops and, guess what, it is a tough year but, don't worry, in two years' time we are going to be returning to surplus.
Let me tell you about the accuracy of this government's projections in terms of surpluses. Since the global financial crisis, which occurred in 2008, we have had seven predictions of surplus, and they add up to a total of $2.6 billion. This is a government, on that side of the chamber, on the Treasury benches, which has said, 'We are going to deliver for the people of South Australia, between 2008 and 2014-15 (next financial year), $2.6 billion worth of surpluses.' Remember that number; that is what they promised.
What have we actually got when we have a look at how they performed over those seven years? Let me tell you: $3 billion worth of deficits. The number is around the same, it is just that there is a big fat negative in front of it: $2.6 billion worth of surpluses promised; $3 billion worth of deficits delivered. That is the problem. So, the Treasurer stands up on budget day—he goes to his budget lock-up, he stands up in the house and he says, 'Well, don't worry, it has been a tough year, but in two years' time we return to surplus.' Why should we believe this government? Why should we believe them when they have let us down time and time and time again: overpromising and under delivering.
Let us take a look at what the other Liberal premiers are doing around the country. I had a great opportunity to meet with Campbell Newman over the weekend and had a look at what he has done. Let me tell you, when we look at what he promised and what he delivered, they are two completely different numbers, but they are not in the wrong direction. They are actually under promising and over delivering. When we look at the original budget net operating balance when he came to power, they were running deficits in that state, after the dysfunctional Labor government had essentially ruined their budget position, of around $4.5 billion per year. In the 2013-14 year, the year that we have just finished, they set a budget to reduce that down to $3.7 billion. So, they were going to bring it down to $3.7 billion. Let me tell you, when they finally brought down the budget, guess what the deficit had reduced down to: $2.2 billion. You see, they have actually outperformed by $1.5 billion in a 12-month period. They are under promising and over delivering, and guess what is going to happen next year? They are going to return their basket case budget in Queensland to surplus. Next financial year, Queensland, which has been running these massive deficits for an extended period of time, are going to be returning their budget to surplus.
I will tell you another statistic about Queensland. This is a really important one, and I hope that the Treasurer is listening to this. Campbell Newman has returned his budget to surplus, they have reduced their wasteful expenditure and, guess what happened to jobs in Queensland? You would never guess it. You would never predict this, but let me tell you, in the 12 months to the end of May, the Queensland economy grew the number of jobs in that economy by 60,800 people. They have returned their budget to surplus and created jobs.
We have got exactly the opposite situation here. We have these unrealistic, fanciful return to surplus predictions and increased unemployment here in South Australia. You have got it wrong. You have every single one of your policy settings wrong and every single South Australian is paying the price for your ineptitude.
Sixty thousand jobs in Queensland—we lost nearly 20,000 jobs here in South Australia. Well, let me tell you about the financial year which just ended. Labor promised that we would make a 400… I know I can hardly say this with a straight face, so they promised over there to create a $480 million surplus last year. Well, guess what? A $1.232 billion, $1,232 million deficit, the largest deficit in this state's history. A $1,232 million or a $1.232 billion deficit, the largest deficit in this state's history.
You see, Deputy Speaker, we are heading in the wrong direction. We are heading in the wrong direction because we have got a government which has not put their policy settings in the right place and every single South Australia will be paying for it. This current financial year that we are in, when this was originally forecast, they told us that we would be making an $840 million surplus, but every single announcement since then has diminished down the size of this surplus to the point that we are now predicting a $479 million deficit this current financial year. So, they predicted $840 million in surplus, they are now predicting, changed circumstances, a $479 million deficit. But let me tell you, that is not the end of the bad news. They have never delivered on one of those budgets yet.
It is going to be significantly worse because they do not have the backbone whatsoever to bring their budget in as they have actually forecast it and that is the problem. That is the problem. If we look at last financial year, $311 million in a single year of unbudgeted expenditure, so each year the government sets their budget, it is not like it is in a company where often the managing director will set a divisional manager's budget, 'Right, you have got to achieve that'. 'You know, geez, that is very hard to achieve, but it has been forced down. Now, here they set their own. They set their own budget and each and every year they do not see it as a budget, an upper limit, they see it as a target and they blow it out of the water every single year. They go over and above every single year, but the problem is they go over and above on their expenditure because they have got no fiscal discipline whatsoever and that is the problem for South Australia.
Since they came to power we have had almost $4 billion worth of unbudgeted expenditure. Imagine where our state would be if we had that unbudgeted expenditure back in our treasury. Imagine where we would be. We could have bought the new Royal Adelaide Hospital with cash. We could have paid for it with cash. What are the holding costs? $4 billion worth of unbudgeted expenditure over this state is absolutely incredible and that is what is holding our state back. A complete and utter lack of fiscal discipline by this government over an extended period of time.
So, how are they going to achieve this budget? Well, let me tell you, there are not that many people out there that think they have got any shot whatsoever. Let me tell you, this is a budget which produces a whole range of predictions. Now, we know that there is no economic modelling capability within treasury, for some reason. That has been hived off to DPC. We are trying to find out why this is the case, why we are the only treasury in Australia without an economic… because let me tell you, we are not served well. We are not served well with the forecasts that are being brought down.
This current financial year that we have just started, South Australia's taxation revenue growth is predicting to grow by 6.2 per cent, so I thought, well, let us just do a bit of a comparator. Let us go and do a comparator with every other state. I was genuinely amazed to read that South Australia is predicting the fastest revenue growth of any state in Australia. I mean, we have just had two successive quarters of domestic contraction in our economy, but for some unbenown reason we are going to have massive taxation growth here in South Australia.
That is not where it ends. The South Australia housing market will be—are you ready for this?—the strongest of all states, with stamp duty growing the fastest of all states in the country: 9.4 per cent. What is actually driving this? South Australia's payroll tax revenue growth is actually going to be stronger than Queensland and Victoria. I mean, how can it possibly be? Victoria grew their employment last year by 18,000 people. Queensland grew by 60,000 people, yet their payroll tax growth is going to be lower than South Australia which lost 19,000 jobs.
I mean, it is just completely and utterly, as the member for Unley says, voodoo economics and, as the member for Flinders says, it is séance economics. Let's just hold hands, sing Kumbaya, and let's hope that somehow magically our economy here in South Australia can improve.
I thought that the words of Dr Julie Novak were particularly sage as reported in the Australian last week on 26 June. She said that the forecasts were simply make believe; completely and utterly. It must break his heart to read what the real economic commentators are saying about this budget, Deputy Speaker. It is make believe. In fact, Dr Novak went on to say it is just inconceivable that South Australia, which historically has a proven track record of low growth, would actually suddenly have a residential property boom and an employment boom that will yield such high growth re3venues. It is just inconceivable and that is exactly and precisely what it is: it is completely and utterly inconceivable. When we look at these growth forecasts that are factored in we might as well switch the channel and watched the Disney channel because let me tell you it is a complete and utter fantasy.
Let me tell you that this year the government is saying that we are going to grow our economy by 2.25 per cent; next year it is going to go up by 2.5 per cent. Let me tell you what other people are saying. The South Australian Centre for Economic Studies said that there is no way that we are going to have 2.5 per cent economic growth next year. It is predicting 1.75 per cent. If you go to Deloittes they are actually pretty less than one per cent— less than one per cent growth: that is all that this government to manage. Let me tell you what Queens land are predicting next financial year, Deputy Speaker. It is predicting a six per cent growth in a single year because they have a Liberal reformist government that wants to reduce taxes, reduce red tape, spend its finite capital on productive infrastructure which is going to grow the economy—not as we have here in South Australia, where we have increasing taxes, increasing fees, increasing charges, increasing red tape and no framework whatsoever to spend our capital on productive infrastructure which is sorely needed here in South Australia.
Let me tell you about the jobs growth forecast figures in the budget. They are absolutely and utterly appalling. Let me tell you for the 2013-14 year, the year we have just started, the government said that we were going to have a 1.75 per cent increase in employment. As I have already pointed out, it does sound good but unfortunately it is completely inaccurate because they are now saying that we are going to have a jobs loss from last year of 0.75 per cent. So instead of creating 1.75 per cent of new jobs we went backwards here in South Australia.
The government very clearly went to the 2010 election and said, 'We will create 100,000 new jobs.' I think it is really important, because this is going to be delivered—are you ready for this—by February 2016 which is actually coming around extremely quickly. We are over two-thirds into the time the government allocated for this great new jobs focus. Let me tell you that what we have in South Australia is a situation that after four and a bit years of it the government six-new program we have lost jobs. We have 800 fewer people employed in South Australia now than when they made the promise.
We agree with the government—the most important thing that could be concentrating its effort on is growing our economy, creating jobs, keeping young people here in South Australia. We agree with the objective but what is the government honestly doing to achieve it? As I said, it is seance economics: let's hold hands, sit around the oija board, lete's make a couple of policy announcements and just hope the best. Well, it is not good enough. The people of South Australia—and I see the Treasurer over there laughing. He is laughing at the people of South Australia who have lost their jobs. They have lost their jobs because of the ineptitude of you, sir, and your government. Not you, Deputy Speaker, they would certainly not be laughing at you.
No plan for infrastructure whatsoever. The government went to the election saying, 'We are going to build, build, build.' Consequently, we got to budget day and we thought, 'I wonder how much bigger this captial investment is actually going to be from this government.' It is an incredible situation. It is actually diminishing; it is actually coming down. They are not going to be building, building, building, they are actually going to be cutting their capital expenditure and certainly not prioritising around productive infrastructure.
The only thing that they seem to be building with any great consistency whatsoever is state debt. On that front, they are certainly building, building, building. No other state in Australia is as effective at building debt as the current Treasurer, the current Premier and the current tired 12-year-old dysfunctional Labor government here in South Australia.
When they came to power, we were diminishing our debt year on year. It was going down and down and down. Of course, the Labor Party, when they formed government, continued, to their credit, to reduce the debt levels in South Australia. Of course, they were somewhat aided by this 'rivers of gold', as we refer to it, GST revenue into South Australia—which, by the way, they opposed. They opposed this money coming into South Australia, but to their credit they continued to pay down the debt. But now, year after year, we seem to be increasing our debt.
You would not mind if that debt was incurred to build productive capacity of our state, to put that productive infrastructure in place which was going to improve the productivity of our state and help exporters send goods and services out of this state. But it is not. As I pointed out, $4 billion—4 billion in just the last 12 years in—has been incurred in terms of debt just from unbudgeted expenditure.
Let me tell you what the former Treasurer, the member for Playford, said. He said to take on debt merely to pay for the running costs of government is tantamount to stealing from our children. The are in water for its, but never a truer word has ever been sent in this parliament. Never has a truer word been said. Of course, that was made in his own budget speech in the 2011 12 year. I will repeat, 'to take on debt merely to pay for the running costs of the government is tantamount to stealing from our children.' But that is exactly and precisely what this government has actually done.
The business community is suffering. The census business index, which was released only the week before last, paints a very gloomy picture. Everybody talks about the importance of the small business sector here in South Australia; everybody nor is that it is the back them all of our economy but no body on that side of the house wants to do one single solitary thing to help small businesses which are struggling in—struggling with the highest business taxes in the nation; struggling with the highest electricity prices in the nation; struggling with the highest water prices of any capital city in the nation; struggling with a WorkCover regime which is completely and utterly broken. We are paying all four double the national average in terms of a WorkCover rates in South Australia and businesses are doing it extraordinarily tough.
The census business index, which is the longitudinal study of small business confidence, shores a further deterioration, a further deterioration, in small business competition is a here in South Australia. This index also operates individual state and territory governments and you would not believe it—in fact, you would believe it, Mr deputy speaker—we are at the lowest rated state in the country. Let me tell you, which jurisdiction jumped in the last quarter. Tasmania. Tasmania now has the highest business confidence for the small business sector in this state government in the nation in – in the nation. In fact, they have not even had that metric in positive territory since 2006.
I make this point because a lot of people say, 'well, it is doom and gloom out there.' Sure, we have got the economic settings wrong here in South Australia, but you pretend liberal reformist governments in place, you will increase confidence in the business sector, you will create economic growth, you will create jobs here in South Australia and you will put your estate back onto an even keel. That is exactly what we need in South Australia. We need that; we need business confidence and we need a government that has the right priorities for our state.
Let me tell you, this is a government which does a lot of talking—a lot of talking, but not a lot of action. In one area, which is particularly important to us on this side of the house is agricultural expenditure. This is a government that has no interest, despite its recent visit to the river land, there is absolutely no interest in the regions in South Australia whatsoever and this is a problem for South Australia because we nor from those economies that are growing that a lot of that growth is coming from their regional economies. We have such an opportunity, such an incredible opportunity in South Australia, by putting a focus on our regions, to create jobs. But what does this government do? Nominal, they are actually going to take jobs from the regions. Have a look at their marine Park legislation. I have never seen anything more inane in my entire life.
Nobody would have a problem whatsoever if the sanctuary zones were put in place on a threats basis. If there is a threat to the marine environment, sure, put a santuary zone in place. In fact, put in an aquatic reserve; you can do it under the Fisheries Act and we have been doing it for years. Anyway, if you want to put in a sanctuary zone, put it in place, but our sanctuary zones here in South Australia are not based on threats like every other set-up right around the country. Ours are based on creating (are you ready for this?) a representative sample of our state waters locked up in a conservation framework. I mean, give me a break.
When we asked questions to the chief executive in the select committee and we said, 'Is fishing doing any damage to these pristine marine environments?' they said, 'No.' 'Sorry, so they are pristine, fishing is not doing any damage, but we're going to put in a sanctuary zone.' 'Yes.' 'Why?' 'Because we want to have a conservation framework in the water.' Well, we do not want a conservation framework in the water. What we want is regional jobs in South Australia. If there is any damage to the marine environment, put a santuary zone in place, but if not, do not take jobs away from our regions. We can ill-afford it, and that is why we find ourselves in the situation that we find ourselves in at the moment.
The budget in South Australia for agriculture, which the Premier is always talking about—clean, green, food to be exported overseas—we support the objective, but let's look at what he has delivered. The state agriculture budget now is down to $59.8 million; that is just 35 per cent. It is essentially a third of what we were spending five years ago. Every single year, we cut the elements of our budget that can create exports and can create jobs. That is what we are doing in South Australia. We have got no problems with having unbudgeted expenses of $311 million in a single year, but spend some money supporting our famers. Spend some money to support our exporters to increase exports and create jobs—no way. No, no, that's got to go. There is no way we are going to be doing that.
Have a look at our state mineral resources budget: that has actually fallen. The government goes on and on about this, but it has fallen from $88 million in 2012-13 down to $76 million in 2014-15. There is a lot of talk and this is a government which still supports the carbon tax and the mineral resource tax. Ask the Premier—actually, why don't you ask the Treasurer? I think he might have a slightly different answer to that. Certainly the chief executive of his department last year let the cat out of the bag. They do not support it whatsoever. Why? Because it drives investment out of our state, and that has been our problem. That is what stalled our investment here in South Australia in the minerals sector—that and our complete lack of productive infrastructure, because this is a government which has put favour to their pet projects in marginal seats around electoral cycles rather than putting some investment into the productive infrastructure which is going to grow exports out of our state.
But the most heinous crime of all has been the massive cut in support for our exporters out of South Australia. There are only a few ways to grow the size of our economy. There are only a few ways to create increased employment here in South Australia. We can grow our population, or we can increase investment into this state, but the most obvious opportunity and the thing that every other Liberal form of government around Australia has focused on is growing the size of exports. You see, every time you send a good or a service across your border, you are going to be bringing somebody else's money in to grow the size of your economy, and that is what we need to have been focused on, but this is a government which has got no plan. They have a couple of glossy brochures, but they have no plan whatsoever to substantially grow the size of our export value out of this state. They are completely and utterly dependent on having a good rain. Let me tell you, you cannot have an export strategy which is just weather-dependent, but that is exactly what we have had in South Australia under this government for an extended period of time.
Let's take a look at the 2012-13 year. Let me tell you, there was a $750 million reduction in merchandisable exports out of this state, so not agricultural products—sure, have a bumper crop, fantastic, love it—but in terms of merchandisable exports we went backwards $750 million in a single year because the programs that the government have put in place simply do not work, and not only that, they continue to cut the budget. Yes, they have got a new minister. I think this is the third or fourth minister that we have seen in the last couple of years. None of them have been much good, and I do not hold much store for the current one, but let me tell you what budget he has been able to deliver into this area.
In 2011-12, the program, which was called Globally Integrating the South Australian Economy, received a budget allocation of $30 million.
Now, we need to grow the size of our exports, so we were thinking in this budget it might go from $30 million to $40 million, or, even better, if it could go from $30 million to $60 million. Well, what was the actual outcome? I will tell you what it was: it was down to $15 million. They have halved the budget to support our exporters. Let me tell you what the New Zealand Prime Minister told me. The New Zealand Prime Minister told me that in New Zealand they have a saying that you can't grow the prosperity of New Zealanders by simply selling to themselves. You cannot grow the prosperity of the nation by selling to itself. That could simply apply to South Australia: we are not going to grow the size of our economy by selling to ourselves. Let me tell you, every other state is coming here to try to take a piece of the action.
When it comes to the state government, even if it is just buying a simple thing like a flag, sure, Victoria—come and buy one! Take it out of our state! We do not believe in exporting our jobs. We believe in exporting goods and services and bringing in somebody else's money to grow the size of our economy, grow employment and to keep our young people here in South Australia.
The Treasurer said, when he brought down the budget, 'This is not the budget I wanted to bring down'. I can tell members that he is not the person the people of South Australia wanted to be bringing down the budget. In fact, when we look at the election result it was quite a clear result. The Liberal Party had one of its best results in the history of its party.
They might laugh! There is the Treasurer laughing uncontrollably, but again he is laughing at the people of South Australia and is laughing at democracy. He is laughing at democracy! There was an overwhelming mood for change. The Liberal primary vote was in excess of 25 per cent higher than Labor's vote, and the will of the people was completely and utterly ignored by the result which was delivered in March.
I foreshadow that later today I will give notice of a bill to establish a statutory inquiry into our electoral system in South Australia. This is not something I am doing because the Liberals are having a whinge about an electoral result. I am arguing on behalf of the people of South Australia, who wanted a change in government and were denied by the electoral system in place in South Australia at the moment. I am arguing on behalf of the people of South Australia, and that is exactly what needs to happen. Their voice needs to be heard. One of the great things about our society is that it is underpinned by a democracy.
Let us be very clear about this: in three of the last four elections the people of South Australia did not want Labor, but at all four they have been lumbered with Labor, and look at where we are as a state. We are absolutely going backwards: increased unemployment, young people leaving our state, population growth half the national average. Imagine where we could be if we had a Liberal reformist government in South Australia. I put to you that every single day that this tired, divided, dysfunctional, incompetent government remains in place is another day that South Australia does not get its act together, another day that we don't create jobs, don't get our economy moving in the right direction and another day that our next generation completely and utterly gives up hope.