Adelaide doorstop

Steven Marshall: Good morning. It's great to be back at Lot Fourteen. I love coming here; I never get tired of coming here. In fact, if I could move my office here, I'd be very, very grateful. Today, I'm joined by my friend, Alan Tudge, Federal Minister, Cabinet Minister, who's been a great friend to South Australia; Sandy Verschoor, the Lord Mayor of South Australia; Nicolle Flint, the Federal Member for Boothby; James Stevens, the Federal Member for Sturt; and also Di Dixon, who’s setting up this important project on behalf of the Department of Premier and Cabinet, on behalf of the people of South Australia.

Today, we're here to officially launch the Implementation Plan. As I said, I couldn’t be more excited about what is going on in Lot Fourteen. Two years ago, it was a hospital. The previous government wanted to turn it into a housing development. Now, what we have is the most exciting urban renewal project in the country. And we've got a chance to create absolutely the biggest and the best precinct innovation ecosystem, not just in Australia, not just in the Southern Hemisphere, but for our entire region.

We've got more and more global companies now saying: we love what you are doing here. Defence, space, cyber, machine learning, blockchain, agtech, creative industries, all on this site and its major focus is creating jobs for the next generation. So the City Deal was a classic example of what can happen when a grownup government can sit down with the Federal Government, with the Local Government, and design something in the best interest of the next generation of South Australians. And that's what we're delivering here: jobs for the future. I couldn't be more excited.

Now, my great pleasure to introduce Alan Tudge. And I've got to say, in introducing him, we couldn't be more delighted with the way that we've been able to interact with the Federal Government, talk about our aspirations for our state and future industries here, and work cooperatively with you. So thank you very much. Welcome back to Adelaide.

Alan Tudge: Thanks, Premier. Well, thank you very much, Premier, for that very nice welcome to Adelaide. And to the Mayor and my colleagues behind me, Nic and James, welcome.

Today, we are announcing and launching the Implementation Plan for the Adelaide City Deal. And for those who don't know, we just launched this with the Prime Minister and the Premier and the Lord Mayor in March of this year. Today, we outline the Implementation Plan, and what this does is it details the precise timelines for each of the initiatives over the next decade. As the three levels of government working together cooperatively over the long term to make Adelaide more prosperous, to grow its population, and to cement Adelaide as one of the cultural and innovation centres of Australia. And of course, right here, Lot Fourteen, is where most of it is all happening. And as is outlined in this document, we have waited for this plan to be signed in order to get on with it. As you can see right here, that there is already so much construction underway.

In fact, about $100 million worth of construction contracts have already gone out. About 450 people are already working here. And then, we've already signed the Designated Area Migration Agreement as well, which is another element of this Implementation Plan. Over the next 12 months, we're going to see the Space Agency Headquarters open up. The following years, we're going to see Mission Control. Then the year after, we're going to see the Discovery Centre. So it's all going to be happening over the years ahead. The document itself not only outlines the timelines and the KPIs for us, but importantly it outlines the governance structure for the three levels of governments to ensure we stick to the deadlines, to ensure that we maintain our accountability, to ensure that we’re transparent in terms of how we report to the South Australian public.

I’ve got to say it’s been an absolute pleasure working with the Premier, the most exciting, the most dynamic, the most enthusiastic Premier in the country in relation to innovation, and certainly, the Lord Mayor as well, as well my colleagues, Nicolle and James, behind us, who have been also instrumental in helping design this Implementation Plan. And particularly to Nicolle Flint, for the cultural elements of this Implementation Plan. That's really exciting as well. So, thank you very much, Premier. Congratulations in all the work that you are doing, as well as to you, Lord Mayor. This a great partnership across the three levels of government and I think that is what the people of South Australia wants to do.

Sandy Verschoor: Thank you. It is actually an absolute pleasure to be here today. This City Deal is going to help us accelerate the rollout of additional infrastructure, which is going to change the way the city works. Whether it’s smart technology, digital wayfinding or CCTV, It’s absolutely going to change the way that we work, and actually make living inner city a better life. And I really thank the Premier, his enthusiasm is absolutely [indistinct] and for your support in this deal. This is going to change Adelaide forever. And I wish I had a time machine to jump forward just a few years to see everything that’s happened. I know everybody around the country is talking about what’s happening right here in Adelaide, and hats off to both of you for the City Deal and the Premier for your foresight and vision of Lot Fourteen and I’m very excited that we [indistinct].

Alan Tudge: Well done. Do we have any questions on the City Deal?

Question: Just how much pressure is on this government to make sure that plans are going to be executed?

Steven Marshall: Well, the Commonwealth have been very generous with their support, financial support, but they want to make sure that they get bang for their buck and see this site roll out, the City Deal done, in accordance with budget, in accordance with the plan. That's why we've done this detailed work, to show them that we are absolutely fair dinkum about delivering. The people of South Australia will hold us to account as well. And have a look around us; two years ago it was a functioning hospital. We've worked extraordinarily hard in the 19 months that we’ve been in government to transform this site.

Later this month we’ll open the Australian Institute of Machine Learning, one of the pre-eminent machine learning centres in the world right here at Lot Fourteen. Next month the first people will move into the Australian Space Headquarters, and the SmartSat CRC. So there is a massive amount of work. We believe by the end of this year, there’ll 900 people working back on this site. Now, it's not at the levels it was when it was the Royal Adelaide Hospital. But each month we are increasing the working population on this site, so that we can make sure that we can create a precinct that is going to generate activity here at the East End of Adelaide. But most importantly, create new jobs for the next generation of South Australians.

Question: Premier, is it hard to keep up your unbridled enthusiasm with our state of unemployment the way it is? The new figures are out in a few hours’ time.

Steven Marshall: Yeah, well, can I just say, we have record employment in South Australia at the moment. Employment has gone up 15,000 people since we came to government. Our jobs growth figures are double what it was before we came to government. But there is no doubt there is more work to be done. At each and every day, we apply ourselves to creating more jobs. And Lot Fourteen is a major part of it. If we looked at the fastest growing sectors in the world at the moment, they are around key sectors like Defence, space, cyber, machine learning and all of them have got a place here at Lot Fourteen. And that means great news for school leavers, university leavers, creating great jobs in South Australia. Keep them here. And I’m very proud of the fact that since we came to government, we’ve almost halved the net interstate migration out of South Australia. Almost halved, because we're giving much greater job opportunities for the next generation.

Now my goal. Is to start having a net migration to South Australia. I don’t think it's going to be too long until we're talking about a net interstate migration to our state, because of the exciting job opportunities that we’re creating. And Lot Fourteen is a big part of it.

Question: Premier, we know that the state government is contributing $364m to this project. Do you foresee a need to take more taxpayer funds to get the results you need?

Steven Marshall: Well, we’ll look at opportunities into the future. We've got seven hectares on this site. We're excited about Phase One, which we're implementing as quickly as we can at the moment. But we also believe there is potential opportunity for further expansion down the track. That’s why we’re working hard on the new masterplan overall for the remainder of this site. That's why we're working very hard for the establishment of the Aboriginal Art and Cultures Centre on this site. And the international culinary and hospitality management courses that are going on to the site. There's plenty of options for this site, but our principal focus is always on creating more jobs and more opportunities for our next generation.

Question: Just one more question to Minister Tudge. Minister, is the Federal Government’s contribution here absolutely set in stone when it comes to finances?

Alan Tudge: Absolutely, it's documented here. We’ve signed this and agreed on contract. We’ve set up a governance structure to hold us all accountable. And they'll be an annual statement put out which tracks our progress. So this is our seventh City Deal document that we have signed, and in every single one we document the governance structure, the implementation steps, and we make public commitments to track the progress against what we've stated.

Question: Premier, can I just ask one quick question? Your treasury yesterday explained that it took a swipe at the tourism department [inaudible]…at a cost to taxpayers. Do you personally support that campaign [indistinct]?

Steven Marshall: Well look, I'm not a commentator on advertising campaigns, but what I will say is I'm interested in results for South Australia. I want to see visitation going up. I think there are great opportunities in terms of tourism and increased visitation to South Australia. That's why one of our first sector plans was on tourism. We've got a goal to take this sector from $7.6 billion of impact on our economy each year, up to 12.8. We want to do that by 2030, creating 16,000 new jobs.

Now, advertising the great offers that we have in South Australia is part of that. Now, we’ve listened to professionals and they’ve assisted with this is campaign which is already having enormous benefit to our state, massive increase in traffic on our digital platforms. Let's wait and see how it goes.

Question: But do you personally like it?

Steven Marshall: Look, you know what? I look at some commercials on television which are really annoying, they can often be the most effective and all I'm interested in is the results for South Australia.

Question: It’s not annoying, it’s a depressing [indistinct].

Steven Marshall: You know, when I grew up there was that Palmolive dishwashing ad, you know, imagine [indistinct]. I thought it was the most annoying. It ran for years and years because it was effective. And look, the reality is all we are interested in is results for our state. We've got a great product; what we’ve got to do is get out and sell it. What the professionals are telling us is that the Old Mate campaign has generated unprecedented levels of interest from interstate. And that's exactly right we want more people from interstate and overseas coming to South Australia, spending time here, spending money here because we know if they do that, it creates jobs.

Question: Premier, just on another matter [indistinct] your time here, but yesterday morning [indistinct]. Yeah, sorry Premier, no, no, obviously yesterday morning we asked you about the fatal crash that happened in the Northern suburbs and obviously at that time we didn’t know it was Paralympian was involved. Have you got a message for his family?

Steven Marshall: Well this story has a bit of a personal note for me because I was at school with Kieran; he was a great athlete. He represented Australia on the world stage. I think every South Australian felt enormously proud when he was on the dais time and time again with the gold medals hanging around his neck. He was an outstanding internationally, globally significant Paralympian. And also he was just a great bloke. It just brings it home: too many people are thinking that, you know, these road fatalities occurring to somebody else.

Look, the reality is we've got to take this situation very, very seriously now. These figures that we're now at are completely and utterly unacceptable. Every single South Australian needs to take care when you're on the road, protect their own lives but to also protect the lives of other road users.

Question: [Inaudible]

Steven Marshall: Look, those details will need to be worked through. He was a great South Australian; hugely loved. My thoughts are with his family at this very tough time. It is just a tragedy.

Question: [Inaudible]

Steven Marshall: Well look, we’re going to just keep working respectfully with the members of the Legislative Council. I think the package that we have before the Parliament at the moment really moves South Australia forward. What we put forward is a fairer land tax system with lower rates. Most important it's going to drive more investment into South Australia. I mean, it beggars belief that the Labor Party is not supporting this. So now, we work with the crossbenchers but with a top marginal land tax rate of 3.7 per cent paid each and every year, this is driving investment dollars out of South Australia. It’s repelling dollars coming into South Australia and that's really stifling, massively stifling, investment and job creation in South Australia.

So for those reasons, we are absolutely keen to do whatever we can to get this legislation through. It will take a massive handbrake off our economy. And I mean again, just to the Labor Party, to the crossbenchers, we urge people to put the people of South Australia first. By rejecting this bill, we’ll essentially be entrenching a very uncompetitive land tax rate for our own state. And that means that we won’t be able to, I think, get the jobs that we need for the future.

Question: [Inaudible]

Steven Marshall: I understand the emotion associated with what happened. People feel very upset about the tragic loss of life. Of course, it’s pretty confronting to see the Parliament House with that protest out the front, with those hand prints on our historic building. You don’t like to see that but I do understand the emotions going around with this argument at the moment.

Question: [Inaudible]

Steven Marshall: Well we're working very hard to make sure that the Commonwealth understands that South Australia is the home of the Collins class submarine. We built the submarines here. We've done the full cycle docking extraordinarily well for the Commonwealth. The most important thing for our nation, this is what the Defence Minister, the Prime Minister take into account is the availability of our submarine capability. And that's been very well served with the full cycle docking being done here in Adelaide. I think we've got the best place to continue to do that. In fact, I think it would be dangerous to move it away from Adelaide because this is the place where all of the knowledge about the Collins class submarine exist. It doesn't exist in the other jurisdictions. I mean there's no greater repository of Collins class knowledge and experience, design, engineering than here in South Australia. It’ll be dangerous to move it elsewhere.

Question: [Inaudible]

Steven Marshall: We want to retain every single job here in South Australia. If you could imagine splitting the capability, having the design and engineering in Adelaide, fabrication 2000 kilometres away, I think this is a dangerous situation. And again I just say, number one issue here, number one issue, is the Collins class availability right through to when the attack class submarines come into service and that is best served here in Adelaide.