Greens SA State Budget 2017 Response

Greens Parliamentary Leader Mark Parnell MLC’s response:

“The Greens have welcomed new spending on public transport including the new Park and Ride stations and the increased frequency on metro rail lines.  However, the electrification of the Gawler line seems as elusive as ever with the Government commitment dependent on matching federal funding.”

“When it comes to energy, the Government is spending two thirds of their $550 million energy security fund on fossil fuels.  This includes a $360 million gas fired power station and $48 million to gas companies for exploration, including in high value farm land in the South East.  These priorities are all wrong.  We need to phase out fossil fuels and move to a more secure and affordable renewable energy future with storage, such as the proposed solar thermal plant at Port Augusta.”

“The Government’s housing plans are loaded towards apartment buyers.  There is reduced investment in public and social housing.  The number of public housing rental opportunities provided by Housing SA is forecast to drop by nearly 6,000 homes. Vulnerable South Australians facing housing stress will have little to cheer about in this budget.”

Greens MLC Tammy Franks’ response:

The Greens welcome the State Government’s announcement of $15 million dollars for the installation of solar panels and LED lights for 900 preschool, primary and high schools across the State. The Greens have called for the State’s Education Department to pay for the utilities cost of public schools and we are pleased to see this policy adopted by the State Government.

“We welcome the utilities measure as a win for the environment and for education. School principals should be freed up for use in classrooms not to cover power bills”. 
The Greens welcome $2.3 million to be spent over 4 years for the establishment of a South Australian Aboriginal Interpreter Service. The new office will be responsible for engaging, recruiting, training interpreters, providing training for public servants engaging with interpreters and meeting with government agencies to ensure interpreters are used to support government service delivery.

“The Greens warmly welcome this small measure that we know will have a huge impact. Interpreters will keep Indigenous people who have English as a second or third language from ending up in gaol. The Greens fought for this policy and will be keenly watching the space to see its speedy implementation.” 
The Government’s policy on ReturnToWorkSA reform will see $220 million per year savings for employers. “The so-called largest single tax cut we’ve ever offered is made on the broken backs of injured workers.”