Working together for South Australia

Article image - Working together for South Australia LGASA President, Mayor David O'Loughlin

South Australian Minister for Investment and Trade, Martin Hamilton-Smith told a Local Government Association of South Australia (LGASA) President's lunch in Adelaide, that South Australia must capitalise on the opportunities presented by our proximity to rapidly expanding economies in the Asia-Pacific Region.

"Following engagement strategies with China and India, the Government is now extending its focus to South East Asian nations encompassing Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Timor-Leste.

"For a small state in a global economy, export growth provides local businesses with the opportunity to expand our economy based on the sale of our world-class goods and services.

"With the economic impacts, such as the imminent closure of Holden, we must create opportunities for economic development.

"Our Government is looking at cross-government efforts to provide avenues of growth - the development of our economy must be the responsibility of all of us here today."

Mr Hamilton-Smith congratulated Local Government for leading the way in identifying prospects for engagement with China and said the Government has a number of major projects and investment attraction initiatives in which Local Government could be involved.

LGASA President, Mayor David O'Loughlin said when the Premier released his 10 economic priorities in August it was pleasing to note that Local Government is active in all the areas and has since sought to establish links with the State to leverage each other's work.

"Local Government is certainly not idle in the economic development space, we know just how important it is to keep jobs and therefore people in our communities and particularly in regional and rural communities.

"We know that core Local Government business such as roads is vital for business but Councils are also in a unique position to engage local businesses in key strategies.

"The LGA is developing a China Engagement Strategy to support Councils to assist local businesses to engage with China, this may then be a prototype for engagement with India and we have also been involved in the development of the Government's South East Asia Engagement Strategy.

"We are developing an engagement protocol for gas, mining and oil development projects in regional SA, we are supporting food and wine industries and other industries identified as future 'winners' by the Government and we are very active in tourism promotion and encouraging innovation.

"Last week the LGA Board resolved to develop an LGA Economic Development Statement to ensure Local Government is positioned to work as effectively as possible with other spheres of government to foster economic development."