Recovery on the way: expert
Will South Australia emerge from the global economic crisis relatively unscathed and enter a period of unprecedented prosperity?
That's the question being tackled in a new book edited by the University of Adelaide's Associate Professor John Spoehr.
The book, called State of South Australia: From crisis to prosperity?, was launched in Adelaide recently by the Premier of South Australia, the Hon. Mike Rann.
The book addresses a range of questions, offering a comprehensive analysis of key challenges facing this state.
Issues covered by more than 25 contributors to the book include: the state's changing population, Aboriginal policy, gender, health, education, industrial relations, law and order, social inclusion, the arts, environment, urban planning and infrastructure.
"The book contains revelations in each of these areas which point to the state's prospects of economic recovery in the context of the global economy," said Associate Professor Spoehr, Executive Director of the Australian Institute for Social Research and the Centre for Labour Research at the University of Adelaide.
"While the medium-term outlook is bright for South Australia, we face a difficult year ahead as the fallout from the global financial crisis leads to job losses.
"Nevertheless, as all booms end in bust, a recovery from the depth of recession will come in due course. When it does, South Australia will benefit greatly from the inevitable recovery in global demand for mineral resources, and recent investments in defence manufacturing - including the air-warfare destroyer contract and the submarine expansion program - will bolster an otherwise sluggish manufacturing sector."
Associate Professor Spoehr said the expansion of mining, in particular Roxby Downs, would add significantly to South Australia's economic output.
"There is little doubt that global demand for mineral resources will reach new heights once the economic crisis subsides," he said.
"On the back of a mining boom, major contributions are expected from other sectors, including construction, finance and insurance, and property and business services.
"South Australia will also continue to be a major exporter of educational services, water resources technologies, wine and grain.
"The challenge for South Australia's future prosperity and sustainability is how rapidly the state is able to make the transition to a low-carbon economy. We must not lose sight of this as we grapple with the global economic crisis," he said.
Premier Rann said: "This text captures a pivotal period in our State's economic, social and cultural evolution. It provides a detailed snapshot of where we're at, and where we're headed. But crucially, it's an analysis that must be viewed through a unique, contemporary lens. And State of South Australia represents another vital element of that ongoing dialogue.
"This is a most worthy resource, and I commend it to everyone with an interest, and a stake, in South Australia's future."
Associate Professor Spoehr is one of South Australia's leading social and economic researchers and commentators.
His previous books include Beyond the Contract State: ideas for social and economic renewal in SA, Power Politics: the electricity crisis and you, and State of South Australia: Trends & Issues.
This latest book is an update of the 2005 edition of State of South Australia. A fully revised edition of State of South Australia will be published every three years. Updates of selected chapters will be available at: www.aisr.adelaide.edu.au
State of South Australia: From crisis to prosperity? is published by Wakefield Press.
Story by David Ellis