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SA Labor’s pledge to create an extra 100,000 jobs by 2016 on track

The Labor government in South Australia insists it is on track to create an extra 100,000 jobs by 2016 under a bold re-election promise made in 2010.

This is despite a Treasury forecast in the last state budget that only 58,400 jobs would have been created by 2016 if the Olympic Dam expansion had proceeded.

BHP Billiton has indefinitely shelved its proposed $28.7 billion expansion project.

Premier Jay Weatherill and Employment Minister Tom Kenyon yesterday told parliament that, “we maintain that (100,000 extra jobs) as a goal and we intend to continue to achieve that”.

“We maintain that is a worthwhile goal to try to achieve 100,000 new jobs by 2016,” Mr Kenyon told parliament.

Mr Weatherill said the extra jobs would come from the state’s premium clean food industry, an advanced manufacturing sector, a mining boom and a vibrant city.

He pointed to the emergence of Asia from poverty as the new driver of the state’s economy, given the shelving of the Olympic Dam expansion.

“We are seeing the largest movement out of poverty of a group of peoples that we have ever seen in the history of the world. Their demand for resources and food will be the thing that fuels the growth for this region for the future,” Mr Weatherill said.

“We think that we stand at the cusp of enormous opportunities, not only in our traditional industries such as our food industries, but also challenges in relation to our manufacturing industries which we must transform into an advanced manufacturing industry.”

Opposition treasury spokesman Iain Evans said the 2012-13 budget included employment growth from the Olympic Dam expansion and predicted employment to 2015-16 to grow by 1.75 per cent.

“As at March, 2010, when the 100,000 extra jobs were promised, the total jobs were 806,200 and as at June, 2012, the total jobs were 816,600,” he said.

“If the 816,600 jobs figure grows at the employment growth rate predicted by the budget, then there are 58,400 more jobs created by June, 2016 – and this was if the Olympic Dam mine expansion had proceeded.

“The Premier needs to explain why his budget employment growth does not match the 100,000 jobs target or indeed the 100,000 jobs promise.”

Former Labor premier Mike Rann made the jobs promise on February 28, 2010 in Adelaide with former prime minister Kevin Rudd.

Mr Rann promised to spend $194 million on about 62,600 extra training places and apprenticeships to help meet his pledge of 100,000 extra jobs during the next six years if re-elected.

He said to reach the jobs target, employment growth would have to average 2 per cent a year, higher than the 1.92 per cent average during the past eight years Labor had been in power in South Australia.

Reinvent Your Career would like to thank The Australian where this article first appeared.

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