Responsible, Transparent & Accountable Government
For too long successive SA governments - Labor and Liberal - have operated under a cloak of secrecy and just aren’t accountable for decisions they make, and the money – your money – they spend. Too many of us feel disconnected and disempowered.
SA-BEST will change all of that with a series of reforms that will deliver better, dynamic and responsive government that is truly accountable to the people of South Australia.
Here just a few of the reforms we’ll bring about to make sure government really works for you:
- Reducing the number of state MPs and making them more accountable
- Stronger and more open Freedom Of Information laws
- Sweeping changes to whistleblower protection laws
- A more open independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC)
- Strengthening our key watchdogs and institutions: the Ombudsmen, the Auditor General, the Coroner and the Victims of Crime Commissioner
- Reform our parliamentary system and processes: more sitting days and reforms to the estimates process, which keeps government accountable on how they spend your money
Strengthening our parliamentary system and processes will help prevent massive costly mistakes.
Taking Back Control of our Essential Services
Essential services, such as electricity, gas and water need to be under public control. They are effectively core monopoly services that shouldn’t be used to gouge huge profits from families and businesses.
SA has the most expensive electricity – not just in Australia – but in the world. A combination of privatisation (which Nick voted against), weak regulation, bad planning and incompetent decision making by successive governments has led to this mess.
This is hurting all of us – especially vulnerable individuals and families on fixed incomes and energy intensive businesses.
SA-BEST will bring back control of essential services for the public good. We will:
- Strengthen pricing control powers to protect consumers and businesses
- Ensure we are as self-sufficient as possible with power, including making appropriate investments in electricity assets, as well as providing retail services to provide more competition and lower prices
- Implement energy efficiency measures to reduce consumption and costs for households and businesses, but without compromising essential needs and wellbeing
A big part of SA's future - to grow jobs - is to get power prices down and boost reliability.
Cut Waste and Re-Direct Resources into Health and Communities
SA-BEST will tackle government waste head on. We will change the culture of government in the way it spends your money, so it can be best spent where it is needed most.
How can it be that the state government has an $18billion budget, but there are still critical and unacceptable shortfalls in our public hospitals and our community services – especially child protection and substance abuse. We have a highly dedicated and professional public services in SA – and it's important that they are given the opportunity to provide services where they are most needed.
At SA-BEST when it comes to waste we believe that politicians need to lead by example. That’s why we will:
- Cut the total number of state MPs from 69 to 50. From 47 to 33 in the lower house and from 22 to 17 in the upper house (with 4 year terms for both)
- Cut pollies' perks. Scrap the system of individual chauffeur driven vehicles for the Premier and Ministers and senior opposition MPs. It's unnecessary and a waste of money.
- Undertake an operational audit of the public service in consultation with key stakeholders, including the Public Service Association, to identify where resources can best be allocated to improve service outcomes
- Support continuous reviews by the Auditor-General aimed at eliminating waste, improving efficiency and securing the best value for money across all government agencies
- Strengthen the Parliamentary Estimates process to make Ministers and senior public servants explain to the parliament and people just how and on what they spend public money on. Individual ministers and high paid public servants must take direct and personal responsibility for spending and face the consequences when they get things wrong, or ignore legitimate public expectations.
These changes will come with strong legislated transparency measures so that you will know where and how your money is being spent.
Revitalise our Economy and give our Kids a Future
South Australia has fallen behind the rest of the country for far too long. SA-BEST will not only revitalise our system of government, we'll re-energise the state's economy.
Our focus will be to create and environment where local businesses can thrive, where SA will be a magnet for young people from the rest of Australia - and the world - to come here and give it a go. We can be both the start-up capital of Australia and a beacon of excellence in health and aged care.
- Choose and adapt to our needs the best examples of successful policies and innovations from around the world in revitalising economies, to boost our state
- Make SA the pre-eminent state for startups, innovation and incubator hubs by creating an ecosystem of support where good ideas can be nurtured and commercialised
- Harness the 'brain belt' of our universities to drive collaborations with industry and government to establish and grow industries and jobs
- Help build on our strengths in defence industries and high technology, to ensure that submarine construction and other major defence projects deliver lasting benefits to our state
- Address skills shortages and failures in our education and training system to ensure job applicants of all ages have the skills and training that are in demand
Instead of people leaving SA, these changes will not only keep our best and brightest here, they will also attract others with big ideas and dreams to our state.