This policy supports the principles and aims of the Australian Greens national policy on Economics.
Principles & background
The SA Greens believe:
- The South Australian Government must lead a transition to a low-carbon economy through integrated measures in energy, transport, economic planning and regulation, and urban planning.
- Equity and opportunity for all increases the resilience and value of our economy and promotes social cohesion.
- A healthy environment with healthy and informed people forming cohesive communities is the best way to achieve a prosperous, flexible and sustainable economy for South Australia's future.
- Economic development should place appropriate value on all our natural resources, including clean air, clean water, productive soils and the natural environment, and ensure their economic and intrinsic benefits are available to all South Australians, including future generations.
- Business activity must not be permitted to externalise costs in the form of harms to human health or natural environments.
- The State Government has an essential role in regulating and guiding the South Australian economy by providing services and ensuring an equitable distribution of opportunity, responsibility, wealth and income, particularly through strategic use of taxation and incentives.
- The South Australian taxation and revenue system must be progressive, equitable and efficient in addressing the State's social, economic and ecological goals.
- The long term success and sustainability of our economy relies upon maintaining and monitoring the balance between ensuring the global relevance of our goods, services and skills and recognising the value of domestic activity in serving Australian markets.
- The resilience of our economy and social cohesion will be enhanced through strengthening diverse and sustainable business activity, involving workers and their representatives in economic decisions, and supporting local economic activity.
- The South Australian Government must foster diverse and ethical export markets.
- The State Government must facilitate education and training in order to develop a skilled and adaptable workforce to support our economic strengths and provide for industry development to meet future global demand.
- Innovative measures in health promotion, crime prevention, 'justice reinvestment', education and community development are cost-effective to government and will strengthen the SA economy and improve community wellbeing.
- Meaningful, secure and well-paid work helps to develop a sense of identity, purpose and participation in society, and supports positive health outcomes.
- Volunteering for the care of children, people with disability, or older persons, and many other forms of unpaid work are essential to our economy and society, and must be better recognised and supported.
- Trade unions have an essential role in protecting and improving working conditions and workers' rights and must be free to speak for their members as part of a fair economy.
The SA Greens want:
- State Government to immediately develop a Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI), rather than Gross State Product (GSP) as the standard measure of SA's performance. The GPI is an established indicator which integrates measures of social, environmental and economic performance.
Economic development & job creation:
- Government support for industry development in areas where South Australia already performs well and which are compatible with a clean-energy powered economy such as: renewable energy, water management, agriculture, food production and processing, high-tech manufacturing, the arts, education and tourism.
- Implementation of a long-term program to maintain and develop our position as sustainable producers of 'clean, green' agricultural products to supply expanding markets in Asia.
- Establishment of an independent industry development agency to support innovation, facilitate new business start-up and work with businesses, workers and their representatives to understand and respond to domestic and international market opportunities.
- Target investment towards those industries that minimise harm to the environment and avoid investment in industries likely to become obsolete in the near future.
- Mining industries to be better regulated so as to maximise wider economic benefits and minimise adverse impacts on the environment.
- Support for industry development in 'value adding' to South Australia's primary production.
- Measures to ensure that Government procurement and publically-funded projects source locally-made products and materials wherever possible, and encourage business to do the same.
- To oppose privatisation of Government services and facilities unless there is a demonstrated, long-term public benefit, and support the return of some essential services (such as electricity distribution and public transport) to public ownership.
- To support the development of public infrastructure projects through Government borrowing. Alternative borrowing arrangements for public infrastructure, such as Public Private Partnerships, should only be pursued where there is a high standard of accountability and transparency, and demonstrated public benefit.
Employment & workforce:
- Planning to ensure vocational training provision is delivered to meet the strategic needs of South Australian people, businesses, public agencies, communities and the environment.
- Reduced forced casualisation of the workforce and other insecure forms of employment, including the Government leading by example by offering secure employment.
- Extension of the scope of the Employment and Communities portfolios to address work-life balance and implement strategies to reduce long-term unemployment, under-employment and over-employment.
- To work with employers and trade unions to achieve more flexible working arrangements/hours compatible with workers' income and family or social responsibilities.
- Priority given to equity and diversity in employment by:
- Developing and implementing strategies to improve the employment of older people including promoting the skills and life experiences of older workers to the business community, and supporting older people to take up re-skilling and education opportunities;
- Implementing/supporting tailored programs to improve training and employment opportunities for young people (post-school), Indigenous South Australians, and the long-term unemployed;
- Implementing and reporting on evidence based strategies to improve female participation in the workforce and achieve gender equity in terms of wages, entitlements and career progression;
- Reviewing the content of South Australian equal opportunity laws to ensure best practice in terms of scope of protection and practical implementation.
- Industry bodies to provide training for employers in management skills in order to reduce discrimination, bullying and work-place stress, and enforce existing anti-discrimination and anti-bullying measures.
- Workers to have access to fair and adequate compensation for work-related injuries or illness.
- Provision of well-targeted funding and support for injured workers to improve their health and/or undertake retraining to get back into the workforce.
- South Australia to work with other State and Territory governments to negotiate with the Commonwealth for long-term arrangements for a tax system that ensures a sustainable financial position for States
- South Australia to transition to a broad-based land tax with concessions for low income households and removal of stamp duties on residential property transactions
- Development of a comprehensive concession system to ensure State Government revenue collection is progressive, and does not unfairly impact on low income and other vulnerable people.
Small business, local economies and local communities:
- Government support for activities within communities that support sustainable forms of local production and exchange that contribute to social cohesion.
- Support for the "sharing economy" that promotes local co-operation and exchange of goods and services.
- To embrace new disruptive enterprises that provide goods and services that people want, whilst continue to regulate for environment protection, public health & safety, industrial standards, consumer protection and preventing tax avoidance.
- Review State Government regulations to improve efficiency and reduce compliance burdens on small business, while ensuring appropriate protections for environment, consumers, worker's rights and worker safety.
- Government support for activities within local communities that support mixed use such as local community enterprise, retail outlets, markets and appropriate small business development within smaller shopping precincts, combined with suitable public or community-owned facilities, as an alternative use of public resources to the promotion of expansive shopping malls and outlet precincts.
- Improved accessibility to local business through better planning and public transport.
- Protection of lessees from unfair charges and conditions on commercial leases.
Investment for the future:
- Investment in education and preventative healthcare measures to reduce greater social, health and economic costs later.