Michelle Lensink

Economic Development

I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, representing the Premier, a question about the Economic Development Board and summit.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: We have had two events held within the walls of this parliament which cost considerable resources to organise and stage and which may both be mechanisms for the government to defer its decisions. We know the cost of one, that being the Constitutional Convention, but my searches of Hansard have not yet yielded an answer on the other, the Economic Development Summit, which hosted of the order of 300 delegates over three days.

I note that the Office of Economic Development has been established to implement the board’s policies and that it is actually a rebadged carve-up of the old department of industry and trade. We also have a series of new boards and offices being announced under the auspices of the board to advise on infrastructure, venture capital and the defence industry—and one wonders what other fields, which only time will tell. My questions to the minister are:

1. What were the total final costs associated with the Economic Development Summit?

2. Will the minister advise whether all the senior positions in the Office of Economic Development and the Department for Business, Manufacturing and Trade have now been filled?

3. What are the costs associated with the ongoing maintenance of the Economic Development Board, including sitting fees, salaries and travel?

4. What are the costs associated with any of the new and/or revised structures, such as the new Venture Capital Board, Defence Industry Board and Office for Infrastructure Development? Will the government announce any further such organisations?

5. Is the government applying any performance criteria to the Economic Development Board, such as measuring unemployment rates and the volume and value of trade?

The Hon. P. HOLLOWAY (Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries): I will pass those questions on to the Premier. I will make one comment in relation to the first part of the question. My understanding is that the summit was fully sponsored and that the Economic Development Board was able to arrange private sector sponsorship. Whether there was any contribution in kind in relation to the cost of staging it here, I cannot say, but my understanding is that it was sponsored. I will refer the other questions to the Premier and bring back a response.

 
Monday 4 April 2005

In reply to Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: (25 September 2003).

The Hon. P. HOLLOWAY: The Premier, and Minister for Economic Development has provided the following information:

1. The total final cost associated with the first Economic Growth ummit held 10 – 12 April, 2003 was $874,032.92 (this includes in kind support costed at $617,000). These costs were completely offset by the generous sponsorship of the South Australian business and broader community such that there was no net cost to Government.

2. Acting on the key recommendations of the review of the Department for Business, Manufacturing and Trade (DBMT) the Government merged the Office of Economic Development and the DBMT into a single entity. A new agency, Department of Trade and Economic Development (DTED) commenced on 8 April 2004. It is a leaner administrative structure than the old Department of Industry and Trade, with a significant reduction in staff to 120 compared to 247 at the time of the review and over 300 at its high under the previous Government.

All senior Executive positions advertised have now been filled.

3. The approved budget for the operation of the Economic Development Board in 2003/04 was $1,335,000, which includes $630,000 to cover Board fees and related expenses. This does not include costs of DTED staff in supporting the Board.

4. The Office of the Venture Capital Board was established in December 2003 as a separate administrative unit and 5 staff and an annual budget of $1,333,000 have been transferred from DBMT.

This Office supports the Venture Capital Board and the annual budget includes $350,000 for Board fees and related expenses. The Defence Industry Advisory Board is supported by the Defence Unit within DTED. The approved budget for DIAB in 2003/04 was $950,000, which covers Board fees and some Defence Projects. The Office for Infrastructure Development (OFID) was formed through transfer of staff and budgets from the Major Projects Group of DAIS and the Infrastructure Division of DBMT. The budget for OFID for 2003/04 was $2,349,000.

The Government will announce any new organisations as and when approval has been given to establish such organisations.

5. The Economic Development Board has a Charter and an established Performance Agreement with the Government. The Government is committed to performance measurement for itself, its advisory bodies, the public service and the wider community. It will be implementing a sophisticated benchmarking process in conjunction with its release of the State Strategic Plan, the creation and adoption of which was a key recommendation of the Economic Development Board.

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