I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Regional Development a question about stamp duty for regional properties.
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: In May this year, the state government announced that it would be abolishing stamp duty for two years followed by a partial stamp duty concession for a further two years on eligible apartments within Adelaide's CBD with a view to assisting more people into the area.
In regional areas across South Australia, however, the ABS has recorded declines in the majority of South Australia's population until the period of June this year, which includes declines in the outback, Mid North and the South-East. My question for the minister is: has the government considered abolishing stamp duty in regional areas of the state to assist growth; and, if not, why not?
The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, Minister for Forests, Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Tourism, Minister for the Status of Women) (14:25): I thank the honourable member for her most important question. The initiative that the Hon. Michelle Lensink outlined in relation to stamp duty incentives in the CBD relates to our 30-year plan. We have a plan to develop the CBD to increase occupancy and residency in the CBD. We have a vibrant city priority, part 1 of the Jay Weatherill government's seven priority planks in terms of an economic plan for this state.
That vibrant city also reiterates the priority of this government to increase participation in the CBD. We want more people to live here, to work here and to play here, and that is about improving the efficiency of our infrastructure. We know that it is completely inefficient to allow urban sprawl to keep moving our suburbs further and further out. The costs of that are prohibitive on ordinary ratepayers, as roads, power lines and other infrastructure need to be rolled out, and it is also bad environmentally.
We have a strategy where we have lined up main arterial routes into the city, with a plan to increase the number of residents living along those transport routes. We have a plan to increase public transport and a plan to enable people to move in and out of the city in a much more efficient and effective way and, hopefully, with a much smaller environmental footprint. So the initiative that was put forward was a strategy in relation to those plans. That does not extend to regional areas. It was quite specific to the plans that I have outlined.
However, I have certainly outlined in this place on numerous occasions this government's and the commonwealth government's commitment to our regions and the degree of regional spending. Just recently, the federal government announced rounds 3 and 4 of the regional development fund, and the federal government has also recently announced our next round for the T-QUAL grants to help particularly tourism in the regions. Of course, in our last budget I talked in this place about both our state and commonwealth budgets and about the sorts of initiatives where we have indicated spending to assist the prosperity of our regions.