17th March 2018 State Election :The Questions That Chinese Community May Concern:

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The Questions That Chinese Community May Concern:
Response from the South Australian Labor Government

The questions that Chinese community may concern:
Response from the South Australian Labor Government

Economic
1. Australia and China have strong economic connection; however, sometimes the relationship will be influenced by various political and international factors. So, what is the direction of economic cooperation between South Australia and China? What are your thoughts or specific plans on promoting tourism, education for overseas students, high-tech cooperation, trade in agricultural products and investment promotion in Chinese market?

South Australian Labor has a vision to strengthen the State’s partnership with China and enhance and deepen our long-term engagement in areas encompassing investment, trade and business, education, sport, culture, the arts, science, and the exchange of people, skills and ideas.

We respect and embrace the local Chinese community, which makes a hugely positive contribution to the State.

Trade and investment from China will continue to be critical in guiding our State’s prosperity. The resounding message is: no longer should it be the case in South Australia that we ask ‘why China?”, but rather “how and where do we better engage with China”?

Because of this, the State Labor Government developed the South Australia-China Engagement Strategy to provide guidance. The Strategy outlines key initiatives not only to strengthen our State’s engagement with China but also, importantly, to significantly enhance the prospects of success from that engagement.

Through the Strategy, we are helping business build South Australia’s value proposition as a destination for investment, trade and collaboration. We partner with industry in order to promote trade by facilitating trade missions to China.

At the same time, business is encouraged to leverage strategic government-to-government activity, and the expatriate Chinese community in South Australia is urged to heighten awareness of our State’s offerings in target markets in China.

Tourism is a very important part of the South Australia-China relationship. Labor helped introduce direct flights between Adelaide and Guangzhou in December 2016. In the first year of the new direct route, a total of 60,360 passengers and 1500 tonnes of cargo travelled between the two cities.

That service has made a terrific contribution to our State. It has helped strengthen ties between the China and South Australia, and it complements the presence in Adelaide of the Chinese Consulate-General and a branch of the Bank of China.

It has helped boost the volume of both Chinese visitors and expenditure. In the year to the end of September 2017, visitor numbers from China increased remarkably. They rose from 38,000 to 61,000 visits – easily exceeding the State Government’s target of 57,000 by 2020. In that same 12-month period, Chinese expenditure in our State increased by 54 per cent to a record $371 million.

That task of attracting Chinese visitors is certainly being made easier by the recent appointment of a Chinese superstar, Huang Xiaoming, as South Australia’s Tourism Ambassador to China.

South Australian Labor also has a solid track record of encouraging overseas students to settle in our State.

International education, South Australia’s largest service export, is now our second largest export after wine, and it plays an important role in bringing visitors to the State. South Australia met its international student target at the end of 2017 with 35,719 students.

Study Adelaide provides a range of services and activities to support international students including a welcome program for newly arrived students, the Adelaide Student Housing website and the Employer Portal.

2. What are your thoughts or specific plans to promote further economic development in South Australia, particularly increasing employment rate, improving infrastructure conditions (electricity, transportation, etc.) and improving investment environment in South Australia?

Infrastructure investment is critical to the growth of our economy, the prosperity and standard of living of South Australians, and to industry development.

At a time when our economy needs extra activity to make up for the drop-off in investment associated with mining, our nation needs to invest in infrastructure to drive productivity growth and create jobs for South Australians.

That is why $10.3 billion is being invested to modernise and improve our health, education, housing and transport systems, supporting 5700 jobs, on average, a year.

The South Australian Labor Government is also undertaking major housing and urban renewal projects. A recent KPMG report showed that these projects are generating approximately 2600 jobs and more than $700 million of investment each year.

Labor stands proudly by its record of investing in energy, telecommunications, transport and education.

In energy, the Government is investing $550 million in our Energy Plan – returning control to South Australian hands, improving reliability, making energy more affordable and supporting renewables.

A re-elected Labor Government will make Adelaide the home of Australia’s fastest internet – creating thousands of jobs in key industries and attracting new companies, innovators and entrepreneurs to South Australia.

Labor will invest $35 million to undertake a major expansion of the State Government’s existing fibre network, to be known as the “Fishbone”, across metropolitan Adelaide. It will enable thousands of businesses and households to connect to ultra-fast internet that is many times faster than the National Broadband Network (NBN) and significantly cheaper.

Labor will make the infrastructure available to internet providers to offer faster and cheaper services. The initiative builds on the State Labor Government’s GigCity network, which currently provides ultra-fast internet to start-ups and businesses at key innovation precincts across Adelaide.

Labor has also undertaken some of the biggest road projects in South Australia’s history. The Northern Expressway, Northern Connector, South Road Superway, Torrens-to-Torrens, Darlington and Southern Expressway duplication have all been massive projects that will deliver benefits for generations to come.

On public transport, the Government extended trams through the heart of the city to the Entertainment Centre and is now extending them to the East End, North Adelaide and Norwood.

If re-elected, Labor has committed to a further $2 billion surge in infrastructure construction. This will include removing seven of the most congested and dangerous level crossings across the suburbs, and building a multi-user, bulk-commodity deep water port in the Spencer Gulf.

3. What are your thoughts on improving the affordability of house in South Australia, the active investment in the South Australia real estate market, the allowances for first home buyers, vacant rooms, real estate price control and the construction of apartment buildings?

The South Australian Labor Government is committed to creating jobs and expanding the economy. We have invested in measures to stimulate construction and encourage South Australians to buy their own home. Our First Home Owner Grant, introduced in 2012, provides eligible first home owners with up to $15,000 for any new property purchased.

The grant is available for all new housing and can be used to offset stamp duty. Limiting the grant to new dwellings is in line with recommendations to COAG about cost-effective support for first home buyers.

Our stamp duty concession for off-the-plan apartments has been extended for the second time until June 30, saving eligible purchasers up to $15,500. Combined with the First Home Owner’s Grant, eligible buyers could be entitled to up to $30,500 towards an off-the-plan apartment.

In addition, in the 2017-18 State Budget, we announced a five-year land tax exemption for investors contracting an off-the-plan apartment.

The $208 million 1000 Homes in 1000 Days program to build new public housing is supporting 500 jobs a year during construction. As of December 2017, 527 homes had been completed or were under construction.

Education

4. In order to improve the education level in South Australia, what are the reforms and investment measures in improving primary and secondary education in South Australia? Bilingual schools such as Plympton International College have been very successful and very popular. Is there any plan to open more bilingual schools? What measures will be taken to expand the international student market, attract foreign students especially from China, receive primary and secondary education and university education in South Australia?

Labor believes every child deserves a world-class education, in first-class schools.

Since 2002, Labor has doubled our investment in public schools. We have recently invested more than $1 billion in school infrastructure, including an unprecedented $692.2 million to upgrade 91 public primary and high schools, and $100 million to build the new Adelaide Botanic High School. We will also build two new Birth to Year 12 schools in northern and southern Adelaide, and a new secondary school in Whyalla.

Labor understands the importance of preparing our children and young people to work in the jobs of tomorrow by encouraging strong skills in science, technology, engineering and maths. We invested $250 million to build state-of-the-art facilities in 139 public schools and provided $250 million in low-interest loans for Catholic and independent school infrastructure.

Labor’s Public Education Action Plan – a Your Child, Their School, Our Future – outlines our vision for providing a world-class education and child development system. South Australian children will benefit from an increased focus on literacy, numeracy, science, technology, engineering and maths in early childhood and throughout their education.

Labor understands the study of a language is an essential part of providing a high-quality, world-class education. As the global community becomes more connected, supporting our students to develop multilingual and intercultural capabilities is an investment in our State, its people and our economy.

For this reason, Labor established two bilingual public schools, one of which teaches Chinese, in 2016. These schools are providing opportunities for students and parents who want their children to become fluent in a foreign language, and they have been flooded with demand.Chinese is also offered as a subject in 38 South Australian schools.

Labor has also invested $12 million in our languages strategy, which will deliver better access to language learning across all school year levels, more support for teachers to deliver language education, and an increased number of qualified language teachers in public schools.

South Australia is home to internationally recognised Australian universities, campuses of foreign universities, other higher education institutions, vocational education and training (VET) institutions, private colleges, and primary and secondary schools.

Our Destination Adelaide plan is the State’s blueprint for attracting international students to Adelaide, as well as supporting those in the research and education fields to engage profitably in South Australia’s priority international markets.

It outlines the priority tasks to increase international student numbers in South Australia, and provides the overarching direction for building South Australia’s brand and reputation and promoting Adelaide as an education destination of choice.

Labor has also established South Australia as a must-visit destination. The State has been rated by Lonely Planet as one of the must-see regions of the world, thanks to our picturesque scenery, diverse regions, amazing food and wine, and recreational events and facilities.

5. What measures should be taken to protect the physical and mental health of adolescents? How to solve the discrimination problem caused by gender, race, economic conditions and so on.

Labor is the party of multiculturalism. Labor will continue to work towards an inclusive community where all South Australians feel valued and can participate in society without discrimination. We will develop a Multicultural Charter, which will be a statement of our values, and create an environment where all individuals, groups and the Government engage in a respectful and inclusive manner.

Labor believes the Chinese community enriches our State both culturally and economically, and plays a pivotal role in expanding South Australia’s global networks.

A re-elected Labor Government will contribute $4 million towards the redevelopment of Moonta Street, in Chinatown, to support the City of Adelaide’s plan to reinvigorate this key cultural precinct.

A re-elected State Labor Government will build a $4 million Multicultural Hub where migrant communities can hold workshops, festivals, training courses, cultural activities and other social gatherings. The Hub will include office space, meeting halls, a library and an industrial kitchen.
It will be fitted out with internet, audio-visual resources and catering equipment, and it will have disability access to all areas.

Labor is also aware of the need for strong policies to protect the physical and mental health of adolescents. We will stand up for South Australians and partner with our non-government and community organisations to deliver better adolescent mental health services.

A re-elected Labor Government will provide more than $70 million over the next five years in additional funding towards mental health services across South Australia, with a focus on supporting people in their homes.

Labor’s commitment to supporting mental health in South Australia includes a $17.2 million funding boost for community outreach, providing drug and alcohol addiction services in the home, and expanding home-based services and transitional care.

This in addition to the $17.1 million provided by the State Labor Government to reverse the Federal Liberal Government’s cruel cuts to the Intensive Home-Based Support Service, ensuring continued support to South Australians with acute mental illness.

A further $5.5 million will be provided to support existing and new suicide prevention work in the community through the South Australian Suicide Prevention Plan.

6. Australia has passed the homosexual marriage-related legislation, which will cause what sorts of impacts on South Australia’s social life, especially education?

South Australian Labor has long been a leader in LGBTIQ reform in Australia, and we are committed to creating a more inclusive South Australia.

Since the 2014 election, we have amended laws to provide same-sex couples equal access to adoption and assisted reproductive treatment, simplified the process for South Australians to change the gender they are registered as on their birth certificate, removed discriminatory language from across the statute books, and formally protected intersex status.

Before marriage equality became law in Australia, we established the relationships register to ensure same-sex couples were recognised under the law. The Premier, Jay Weatherill, also issued an apology, in Parliament, to the LGBTIQ community for historical discrimination.

Livelihood

7. What policies should be adopted in respect of personal tax relief and corporate tax relief in order to improve living abilities of residents in South Australia?
8. Regarding the issue of cost of living, is there any new policy to reduce the medical insurance premium? What are the new policies on the provision of financial support for poor families and pensioners?

The Commonwealth Government is responsible for regulating private health insurance, personal income taxes and corporate taxes. However, State Labor is committed to making South Australia the best place to do business, and we have implemented sweeping tax reforms that will return $2.5 billion to businesses and the community over the next decade. These reforms abolished stamp duty on non-real property transfers and phased out stamp duty on business property transfers.

By July, non-residential, non-primary production property transactions in South Australia will be stamp duty free. In addition, reforms to Return To Work have reduced insurance premiums for businesses by about $220 million a year.

On 1 July this year, a major milestone will be reached when South Australia becomes the only State in the nation to abolish taxes on key transactional activities of businesses.

On that day, stamp duty will be cut to zero on the sale of non-residential, non-primary production real estate. That is, there will be no stamp duty on the sale of shops, offices, workshops, factories, warehouses, and other such commercial and industrial premises.

Every other State charges stamp duties on these sales.

The State Government earlier abolished a raft of taxes and duties on other business transactions. Transactions which are now tax-free and duty-free include:
●sale of non-real property, such as plant and equipment, intellectual property, goodwill and business licences;
●corporate reconstruction; and
●sale of shares.

These cuts to transactional taxes have reduced costs for businesses by about $170 million this financial year, and the savings will increase again next financial year to an estimated $240 million a year with the new tax cuts.

This Government has cut land tax seven times by lifting the tax-free threshold. In 2002, the tax-free threshold was $50,000. It is now $353,000. Land tax is applied under a progressive scale of marginal rates. These start at 0.5 per cent and top out at 3.7 per cent for aggregated land holdings valued above $1.176 million.

Labor is committed to keeping South Australia an affordable place to live by helping families who are struggling with cost-of-living pressures, by improving access to affordable transport and by addressing housing affordability.

In December 2017, Labor negotiated a new deal with Origin Energy for concession holders to save up to $531 off their annual energy bills. Labor also supports people on low incomes with energy concession payments of up to $215 each year.

In the past decade, Labor has almost doubled the amount provided in concessions to help reduce the cost of living for pensioners and people on low and fixed incomes. Concessions for cost of living, energy, water and sewerage save eligible South Australians up to $831 each year. Labor introduced a new Cost-of-Living Concession to provide up to $200 for 186,000 South Australians to assist with household costs.

9. What policies and investments are available in South Australia in the field of advanced technology development, including energy-efficient cars and ships? What policies are there for nuclear energy utilization and nuclear waste yard construction?
10. What are the measures to be taken in the construction of medical facilities in South Australia and in the export of medical services and medical products in Adelaide?

The closure of the car manufacturing industry in Australia has highlighted the need to focus efforts on supporting traditional manufacturers to transition their business to advanced manufacturing and ensure that skilled workers are available to make that transition.
Whether it is fighting for traditional jobs, or creating new jobs in industries, Labor stands up for the everyday working South Australian. Jobs are our number one priority, and we are partnering with industry through our Future Jobs Fund to boost jobs today and create the jobs of tomorrow in five key growth sectors:
●shipbuilding and defence;
●renewable energy and mining;
●tourism, food and wine;
●health and biomedical research; and
●IT and advanced manufacturing.
We strongly support the development of health industries in South Australia. We established Health Industries South Australia (HISA) to promote our State as a destination for health industry investment, research and development.
We have also established a world-class biomedical and health precinct in Adelaide’s west end, housing the iconic SAHMRI and the new RAH.
In relation to nuclear, following the release of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission Report in May 2015, the South Australian Government undertook an unprecedented Statewide consultation program and two Citizens’ Juries, which uncovered a diverse range of community views about this proposal. This consultation process has helped guide the Government’s next steps on this matter.
The South Australian Government released its formal response to the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission Report in late 2016, and it outlines support for nine of the Royal Commission’s 12 recommendations.

12. What measures are we taking to ensure the supply of electricity and to reduce the price of electricity?

In March 2017, Labor launched its $550 million Energy Plan to deliver reliable, affordable and clean energy for all South Australians.

Our energy plan has:

●secured a 150MW solar thermal plant for Port Augusta, which will boost market competition and drive down prices;
●delivered the world’s largest lithium ion battery, at Jamestown, which is already improving energy security and saving millions of dollars;
●delivered a $150 million Renewable Technology Fund, which is supporting investment in new renewable energy projects;
●delivered a State-owned power plant, meaning that South Australians now have stand-by power available in emergencies; and
●established new powers for the Energy Minister to ensure the market works in South Australia’s interests.

We already have evidence that our plan is improving reliability and affordability. The Australian Energy Market Operator says the plan is helping to alleviate risks to the energy system, and to provide supply for the market.

We have also recently announced that we are partnering with Tesla to build the world’s largest virtual power plant, with a network of 50,000 home solar and battery systems working together to form a 250 MW plant. This is expected to lower energy bills for participating households by 30 per cent.

Safe society

13. In the area of social security, what are the measures for the security protection of public facilities such as airports and stadiums and the maintenance of public order?

Labor has a proud record when it comes to being tough on crime and keeping our communities safe. We are building on our record investment in South Australia Police, and record levels of police officers, by giving officers the best technology and resources.

Since 2002, we have almost tripled the police budget to a record $915 million. We have more police on the beat than ever before.

We have spent more than $19 million in the past four years alone to give police officers the best technology – including body-worn cameras, mobile rugged tablets, new sensor technology for the SAPOL helicopter, and a virtual reality firearms simulator for the Police Academy.

Counter-terrorism is a responsibility shared by all Australian governments, the community and private sector. Labor has introduced a range of counter-terrorism initiatives, including legislation to crack down on extremists, tougher penalties for making bombs or explosives, increased the CBD CCTV network, and raised police numbers to record levels.

Labor is also cracking down on anti-social and disorderly behaviour, with our declared public precincts allowing the police to use similar powers to the ones they already possess within licensed venues.

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