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Media Release


Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Business, academia, communities and government are rallying together to map an internationally competitive, sustainable future for South Australia and put in place key initiatives to help grow the State.

The “Shaping the future of South Australia” program – which has the backing of the South Australian Governor, His Excellency Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce and the Chair of the State’s Economic Development Board, Raymond Spencer – is one of the strongest future-focused strategic development programs ever undertaken in the State’s history.

The program features a non-partisan approach and is funded by key partners:

  • Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA);
  • BankSA;
  • KPMG;
  • Department for Manufacturing, Innovation, Trade, Resources and Energy; and
  • Flinders University.

The State’s key influencers are already behind the project. CEDA, KPMG and DMITRE hosted a forum in February this year which brought together almost 450 leaders from business, government and the community after the Governor called upon CEDA Trustee members to help address the current challenges facing South Australia.

Workshops involving a range of business and community leaders, government representatives and academics will be held over the next month, starting today. Eight workshops incorporating public input, live-streamed forums and intimate ‘think tanks’ involving leaders from government, business, academia and the community will be held around the key themes of:

  • Venture capital / funding;
  • Regulatory reform;
  • Trade;
  • Infrastructure;
  • Migration / skills;
  • Innovation;
  • Leadership; and
  • Action planning.

Each workshop will:

  • Identify key barriers to growth for the State in relation to each theme;
  • Define what will drive growth;
  • Identify key South Australians committed to driving action under each theme; and
  • Identify those projects which add value and contribute to that growth.

KPMG Managing Partner, Mr Con Tragakis said a report identifying specific recommendations and actions from the workshops would be delivered by the foundation partners of Shaping the Future of South Australia to the Economic Development Board. The report is intended to provide a platform for further engagement with business, government, academia and the community to generate actions for growth which have broad support and common direction.

Governor Scarce said the workshops were a powerful way to energise the debate about South Australia’s future business opportunities.

“By bringing business, academia and government even closer together we can develop a number of targeted business prospects that could drive our economy into the next decade,” His Excellency said.

The Chair of the Economic Development Board of South Australia, Raymond Spencer said South Australia was at a pivotal time in its history.

“This is the decade when it will be decided whether it’s a new dawn or approaching dusk; whether South Australia becomes a glowing example of one of the world’s greatest places to live or a 2030 Harvard case study entitled “Lost Opportunity”, Mr Spencer said. “If all of us – the public, private, non-profit and community sectors - willingly work together and invest today in the critical economic, digital and social infrastructure that is needed to underpin our State’s development we will inevitably increase opportunity and prosperity for all the people of the State.”

BankSA Chief Executive, Nick Reade said his organisation’s involvement in Shaping SA aligns strongly with BankSA's values and commitment to support the prosperity of South Australia.

“The State faces some unique challenges and it’s important that South Australia's business leaders develop collaborative partnerships, think positively and strive towards common goals. Together with our foundation partners, BankSA is committed to playing a key role in shaping the future of this State."

Flinders University Vice Chancellor, Prof Michael Barber, who is providing the rallying point for academic input to the “Shaping the future of South Australia” program, is vocal in his support.

“The future of South Australia is of vital interest to Flinders University,” Prof Barber said.

“Together with the other two public universities we will supply many of the people through whose lives and careers the future of the State will be built. Conversely we are keen to ensure that the State and its economy offers exciting opportunities and careers for our graduates. Sponsorship of Shaping SA is testimony to Flinders' strategic commitment to contributing to important public debate in South Australia and helping build our community.”

Mr Geoff Knight, CEO of the Department for Manufacturing, Innovation, Trade, Resources and Energy said that as the State Government’s lead economic agency, DMITRE was proud to be a foundation partner in the Shaping SA series of events.

“As a State we are well and truly on the economic transformation journey. The seven themes represent the pivotal challenges and opportunities that we need to embrace so that all South Australians can enjoy continuing prosperity and well-being into the future. The foundation partners bring business, finance sector, university and government interests together in a ground breaking approach for South Australia."