Adelaide High School

Last week, I had the privilege of addressing the year 12 politics and year 10 civic students at Adelaide High School. These students were undertaking a research assignment on current issues within their community and wanted to hear more about how the Marshall Liberal government was tackling these challenges. 

The first issue we discussed was in relation to health services. The delivery of health services is one of the top priorities for any community and people of all ages. I was pleased to advise these students that since coming into government we have invested over $2.2 billion into the health budget. Three years ago, we inherited a broken health system. Labor's Transforming Health experiment failed and resulted in downgrading hospitals and the Repat being closed altogether. 

The Marshall Liberal government is expanding emergency departments, delivering more beds and more staff. We have established priority care centres, which take the pressure off our hospitals and will provide patient beds for those who need them. We are increasing ambulance resources, and South Australia now has the second highest per capita spend on ambulance resources in the nation. Another group was studying our public transport system. The Marshall Liberal government was elected on a platform of improving services. Recently, Keolis Downer was contracted to deliver our train services. Keolis Downer run rail networks in every mainland state in Australia, and in South Australia our government will still retain the rail assets, retain fare revenue and ticket boxes, and manage customer service standards and service frequency. The new contract will deliver an additional 44 services a week on the Flinders line, which equate to around 12,000 extra trips per annum including late-night services. Our government is also completing the electrification of the Gawler line and investing in initiatives such as tap-and-go technology to provide better public transport services. 

We also discussed the Marshall Liberal government's Hydrogen Action Plan, which was released in September 2019. This details how we are developing a renewable hydrogen export industry. The Marshall Liberal government wants South Australia to become the leading supplier and exporter of hydrogen in Australia. Just last week, in an Australian first, the country's largest electrolyser of hydrogen was switched on. This will deliver renewable hydrogen blended into the gas network to 700 homes in Mitchell Park. 

Projects like this $14.5 million plant were supported through a $4.9 million grant from our Renewable Technology Fund. This fund is part of our ambition to create, use and export green hydrogen, creating local jobs and supporting long-term investment by industry. This is how you deliver the energy infrastructure of the future. As my colleague the Minister for Energy and Mining often says, 'Green hydrogen is a fuel of the future.' It will help us achieve our goals of 100 per cent net renewable energy and a 50 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in South Australia by 2030. 

Another topic discussed was jobs and economic recovery. For young people about to leave school and transition into employment, this is perhaps the most important priority for any government. I am proud to be a part of a government that is driving job creation into the future and building what matters to South Australians. Our record $16.7 billion investment in roads, health, education and other community infrastructure will create over 19,000 local jobs and drastically improve the lives of South Australians. 

For young people, this is an exciting time to build a future here in South Australia. We are continuing to roll out the Skilling South Australia program, which has already delivered 33,000 apprenticeships and traineeships in its first three years. This is about ensuring young people have the skills for the future. Of course, our defence sector plan is further growing the South Australian industry, with more than 4,000 direct shipbuilding jobs and thousands of additional support jobs. 

Finally, Lot Fourteen in my electorate is creating thousands of jobs in high-tech sectors and attracting international companies from across future industries, including space, defence, cyber and big data. All of this investment and growth is exciting because it provides opportunities like never before for young people to access and gives them the ability to achieve their future life goals right here in SA.