QUESTION: Defunding of Brand South Australia

During question time, Mark asked the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment about the economic impact of the closure of Brand South Australia on South Australian businesses.


1. With the imminent closure of Brand South Australia, what analysis has the government undertaken in relation to the economic impact on South Australian businesses of the closure, and in particular has any work been done to measure the likely impact of ceasing the 'I Choose SA' campaign, which is aimed at a domestic audience rather than interstate or overseas?

2. What will happen to the 'I Choose SA' business directory, which is currently compiled, published and maintained by Brand South Australia? Will the government be taking over that project, or will it wither and die?

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY (Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment): I thank the honourable member for his question. It is also a pleasure to see him back here, fit and healthy, after his recent illness. It is good to see him here.

The South Australian government is passionate about promoting the state to the world and sees great value in looking at how we might continue the campaigns that drive success for local businesses. As the member knows, we will have a much far greater emphasis on marketing South Australia interstate and internationally through targeted activities through the Department for Trade, Tourism and Investment and particularly tourism campaigns and outbound and inbound missions.

Our strategy to market South Australia is to ensure that everything we possibly do grows our economy. So we see that in some of our overseas activities we can do more, and we also know that we can do more interstate. There are some functions of Brand SA that are currently under discussion with some other stakeholders in South Australia as to how we might look at, if you like, using the elements of any of the work that Brand SA did that has an economic benefit to businesses in South Australia. That work is continuing to be done. I can assure members opposite that we as a government are invested in the brand. I know props are not allowed but members can see my business card and it is prominent on my business card.

We love the brand and we continue to use it. We will look at all of the elements of the activities that Brand SA did that added value to the business community. A number of businesses have spoken to a range of stakeholders around elements that they would like to see continue, and the directorate—as I think the honourable member called it—is one of those things that we will look at, and if it adds value to South Australian businesses we will look of ways of using it and integrating it in the way forward.

As I said earlier, we are passionate about the brand. It is important to note that the brand is a logo that has been widely supported, but we also know that it actually identifies exactly where South Australia is and it is perfect. That is why, when the premier and I met some five years ago, I said that we supported the new logo and the brand, but we think there are more opportunities now to take that to the world.

We have to grow our economy. As a former New Zealand prime minister once said, 'We're not going to get rich by selling lattes to each other.' While it's a bit of fun to do that, we need to grow our economy and to have more jobs, more tourists and more international students. We think that in the way that we will use this particular brand from now on it will have a much greater interstate and international focus.