The Weatherill government and Nick Xenophon believe that South Australia was deliberately slighted in this year’s Federal Budget. The politicians have suggested the Liberal Party purposefully excluded SA from infrastructure spending because the state voted Labor in the last election.
According to Senator Nick Xenophon, SA would have been far worse off had he not made an effort to secure funding for projects in manufacturing, apprenticeships, roads, solar thermal and the Proton Therapy Centre.
“The idea that they (the Liberal Party) are so petty, so political, that they are going to walk away from our state simply because South Australians vote Labor… will not be accepted by South Australians,” he told The Australian.
SA Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis and state Infrastructure Minister Stephen Mulligan, called a news conference this week to discuss the fact that of the $70 billion attributed to infrastructure projects throughout Australia, SA will not receive any new funding.
“Last night’s budget was a great victory for the people of NSW, Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia – not so much for the people of South Australia,” he told The Australian.
He added that this was the first time since Federation that SA has not received any new infrastructure spending.
The Weatherill government also complained of a lack of support for steel producer Arrium, and no additional support for Holden workers, who will lose their jobs later this year.
In response to the politicians’ “snubbing” accusations, Federal Finance Minister Mathias Cormann accused the SA government of “whingeing”, while SA Liberal frontbencher Simon Birmingham said the budget supported SA with funding for naval shipbuilding, medical research and advanced manufacturing.