SA Mid Year Budget Review – what to watch

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Employment is predicted to grow by just 0.75 per cent this year and remain around 1 per cent each year until 2018.

This rate will be a key figure to watch aside from economic growth in South Australia.

The Mid Year Budget Review (MYBR) didn’t include much that is new but it does contain new operating and investing measures totalling $585.9 million with major initiatives including:

  • $176.6 million to support transition to the new RAH
  • $167.6 million for increased prison capacity to support immediate and medium term prison demand and
  • $65.6 million for the Coorong Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth Recovery project (primarily funded by the Commonwealth Government). (p. 3)

Noting that overall figures for the Department of State Development budget see a reduction of between $1.3 – 1.6 million each financial year to 2017-18.

A couple of areas to watch that are emerging from the MYBR include:

Economic Development Board

There is an additional $1 million allocated per year to 2018 to support an expanded role for the Office of the Economic Development Board (p 37).

International Education and Tourism

Opportunities are in international tourism and education,

“…with record numbers of international visitors coming to South Australia—up 7.5 per cent in the year to September 2014. Similarly, international student enrolments were 7.7 per cent higher in the nine months to September 2014 when compared with the same period a year earlier.” (p. 22)

Public Service

There is a reduction in the number of full-time equivalent South Australian Government employees from 81 161 in 2014 to an estimated 78 576 in 2018.

Renewal SA

Alongside the Department of State Development, Renewal SA is the other agency to watch with initiatives like establishing the Riverbank Authority,

“…to oversee the long-term vision and planning for the Riverbank Precinct with the responsibility to facilitate events and oversee development and further investment within the precinct.” (p. 25)

Key message

The key message for growth and funding relates to economic priorities, international markets and export, efficient government, and major infrastructure projects.

These initiatives are all aimed at offsetting the unemployment rate and 2017 looming where we see the full impact of the restructure of the Automotive Manufacturing sector.

An important question then is how are these changes likely to affect your business, industry and region?  What do you need to keep your eye on?  What opportunities might you uncover?

Written by Wendy Perry, Head Workforce Planner, Workforce BluePrint, January 2015.

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