The South Australian Labor Government must invest in job creation in regional South Australia as population growth stalls and residents seek employment elsewhere.
Data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) yesterday shows that South Australia’s regional population growth has only increased by just over 20,000 people since 2004, at half the rate of the rest of the state.
“Regional South Australia needs job creation if we are going to stem the flow of young people to Adelaide and interstate in search of work,” said Shadow Minister for Investment and Trade Tim Whetstone.
ABS net emigration figures also showed that almost 3000 South Australian residents left South Australia in 2013-14.
Another worrying sign is the fact that 15,000 South Australians between the ages of 20 and 29 have migrated interstate under Labor.
Shadow Minister for Investment and Trade Tim Whetstone said the continued stream of people leaving South Australia was striking at the heart of economic growth.
“Young people are being forced to seek career options interstate because this Labor Government has failed to create employment opportunities,” Mr Whetstone.
“With the state of South Australia’s regional economy, it is hardly surprising that young people are moving to Adelaide and interstate to seek better employment opportunities.
“The effects of migration and low population growth are exacerbated in regional South Australia where insufficient support services are also driving our population to other areas.
“South Australia has the highest unemployment rate in the nation in terms of both trend and seasonally adjusted data.
“Put simply, we cannot afford to lose some of our best and brightest young people, who are the future of our state.”
Mr Whetstone said providing tax relief for businesses across South Australia should be Labor’s number one priority.
“With the highest taxes in the nation, rising water and electricity prices and low business confidence, these factors make it extremely difficult for South Australia businesses to employ more people, particularly in regional South Australia,” Mr Whetstone said.