In the week that Premier Weatherill has returned from China, the latest ABS data has revealed that the value of South Australia’s merchandise exports has hit a crisis point.
SA’s value of merchandise exports were valued at $878 million in April 2015 – 16.9 per cent lower than the corresponding period 12 months ago.
The value of merchandise exports has plummeted 7.1 per cent to $11.43 billion over the last 12 months in South Australia.
“South Australia’s exports industry has reached a crisis point under the Weatherill Labor Government,” said State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall.
“However, this is hardly surprising given the Weatherill Labor Government’s slash and burn approach to export assistance in South Australia.
“Since the 2011-12 Budget, Labor has slashed funding for the main State Government program aimed at stimulating exports from $30 million to $19 million.
“The Weatherill Labor Government has continually reduced funding to assist exporters and has missed prime opportunities to open new export markets.
“South Australia does not have individual trade strategies for a number of countries which are key export partners.
“With Free Trade Agreements with Korea and Japan now in effect, South Australia needs to develop robust trade strategies to capitalise on opportunities to trade with these countries.
“This Labor Government has closed and reduced funding to programs that assist our state to become more competitive on an international scale and it’s time investment is improved in an area that is critical to the state’s economy.
“The Weatherill Labor Government must stop its slash and burn approach to export assistance and start supporting our State’s exporters.”