Premier Jay Weatherill has launched Labor’s re-election campaign at Adelaide Oval, citing the major redevelopment in his vow to keep building South Australia instead of imposing cuts.
Supported by federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, the premier listed Labor’s achievements since it took power in 2002 when SA was considered a “rustbucket”.
“This election is about one thing above all else, it is about jobs,” he told the cheering party faithful on Sunday.
He, his wife and two young daughters were greeted with applause by the 100s of attendees, many wearing t-shirts with the logo Jay4SA.
The premier said Labor would continue building the state, while the Liberals would stand back and “toe the Federal/Liberal party line and cut”.
Mr Shorten said the redevelopment of the oval – which could have been left as a museum to a faded glory – showed how much Adelaide and South Australia had come forward under the last 12 years of a Labor government.
“I don’t remember coming to Adelaide before and seeing so many cranes on your skyline,” he said as he described the state’s transformation.
But he warned that everything would be up for grabs under a Liberal government, saying voters just had to look at the damage done by Tony Abbott’s government in only five months.
“Liberals don’t create jobs, Liberals cremate jobs,” he said.
Under Labor mining jobs had quadrupled, the state now had 25 per cent of the nation’s defence work and more international flights had been generated, a new major hospital was being built and the Murray River had been saved, the premier said.
He took the unusual step, for so early in a campaign, of releasing a 216-page book setting out the government’s plans for the next four years if re-elected on March 15.
While an expansion of the details would be revealed in the next four weeks, Mr Weatherill said the comprehensive statements of action in the book were in stark contrast to the secrecy around the Liberals’ plans.
“We are releasing our plan right at the start of this election campaign because we want South Australia to be fully informed ahead of the critical decision they will make on March 15,” he said.
“We will continue to transform and modernise our economy and to make our State an ever better place to live and work.
“The Liberal alternative is to cut jobs, cut services and cut the funds that make communities stronger.”
Labor’s plans included new concession payments, relocating city health jobs to the country, banning bikie gangs from owning tattoo parlours, requiring new teaching graduates to have a Master’s degree from 2020, electrify the Gawler rail line to Salisbury and pledging not to introduce any toll roads.