Minister for Small Business

South Australia’s 140,000 small businesses are the backbone of our economy and key drivers of employment and growth.

In order to make SA the best place to do business we focussed on:

  • Delivering 149 Export Partnership Grants valued at $3.27 million,
  • Providing $10 million for development Grants to small businesses,
  • Lifting local SA business participation in major government projects from 50% to 90%.

I was a small business owner before entering parliament. I employed more than 120 people through six businesses across the country, two of which were located in Waite.

During my time as Minister for Small Business I set up a Small Business Roundtable, developed an action plan to support small business, put together a $10 million grant fund and concentrated the efforts of the Small Business Commissioner, the Industry Advocate and the Department of State Development.

We have lifted participation rates for SA businesses in government contracts from around 50 per cent to around 90 per cent in two years

See the 2017 Small Business Statement I produced at

Minister for Defence and Space Industries

From June 2014 the Abbott Coalition Government was within weeks of announcing that it would build 12 Submarines in Japan – spending $90 billion of our taxes to create jobs and enterprise in somebody else’s country, not our own. I found out about it in July 2014 and, with the Premier, led the charge to fight this decision. As a result, we are now going to build, not only 12 subs, but nine frigates in SA.

South Australia’s stake in defence is growing thanks this work to save the submarine, frigate and patrol boat work for SA workers and businesses. I have argued for the promised 90% local industry content and negotiating the future of our Techport valued at $220 million.

This is all part of making sure our children and grandchildren have the skills and opportunities to work on advanced manufacturing.

Minister for Investment and Trade

Engaging with overseas neighbours is vitally important to the ability of SA businesses to open new markets, remain globally competitive and create jobs.

With this goal in mind, I led trade missions to each of our major trading destinations in support of 320 businesses. We have created 5000 jobs and $1 billion of new investment in 13 major projects by my Investment Attraction Agency.

Local wine exports up by 9.6 per cent and vegetables and fruit exports up by 17 per cent. The number of jobs linked to export activities in SA has now grown to 72,000.

South Australia’s total exports are currently above $15 billion, with our top 5 trading partners including China, the US, India, Southeast Asia and North Asia.

The wine industry, education, mining, health industries, IT and many other industries all now employ
more workers to export their goods and services.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

In this role I have delivered the $10 million Anzac Memorial Walk on Kintore Avenue.

In the last three years more than 260 grants totalling over $1.8 million dollars have been awarded in support of veterans programs and projects.

New health and mental health facilities at Glenside for our veterans were delivered on schedule and within budget.

Throughout the centenary of WWI I have overseen appropriate commemorations and support for our veterans.

Minister for International Students

International education is one of South Australia’s key exports injecting nearly $1.2 billion into our economy in 2015 and creating thousands of local jobs.

THE NUMBER of international students living and studying in SA has grown in recent years and is on target to reach 35,500 students.

I also introduced an accommodation offer guarantee for overseas students, with a new student accommodation website