The South Australian government will double COVID-19 stimulus spending in this week’s state budget, with forecasts the extra cash will leverage more money from the commonwealth.
Premier Steven Marshall says Tuesday’s budget will provide an extra $2 billion (US$1.4 billion) to help SA bounce back from the coronavirus downturn which will plunge the state’s finances deep into the red.
The extra funding is expected to generate another $1 billion in commonwealth, local government and business support, taking the total rescue package to $5 billion.
Marshall said the focus of the government spending would be on projects that could be completed, or significantly completed, within the next two years, creating jobs and backing business at a time when SA needed it most.
“This is the single biggest hit of economic adrenaline by a state government in South Australia’s history,” he said on Sunday.
“A huge stimulus investment that will create thousands of jobs, back local businesses and build what matters particularly over the next two years.
“We’ve always said we will do whatever it takes to save as many lives and livelihoods throughout the greatest economic challenge of our time in COVID-19.
“By doubling our stimulus funding to $4 billion, we will drive jobs growth and ongoing business recovery.”
Stimulus spending to be unveiled on Tuesday will include a near $1 billion “tradies package” to provide a pipeline of building and construction work.
There will also be a $230 million boost to the Business and Jobs Support Fund and $220 million to support growth industries.
In other budget announcements on Sunday, Sports Minister Corey Wingard said the government would allocate $35 million for new community sports infrastructure including $25 million for grassroots funding across all sports, not just football, cricket and netball.
“The government is committed to upgrading facilities at the grassroots level through to the elite level because we know how important it is for everyone in our community to be active and healthy,” Wingard said.
By Tim Dornin