Ai Group urges SA gov’t to make early AUKUS investment

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The Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) has released a pre-budget submission urging the South Australian government to balance current challenges with the investment required to capitalise on the AUKUS submarine project.

Ai Group SA Head Jodie van Deventer emphasised that while the full benefits of the AUKUS project, touted as the economy’s largest single investment, will not be fully realised for a decade or more, what the government does now is critical.

“Businesses are dealing with rising inflation, skills and labour shortages, major industrial relations shifts, soaring energy costs and geopolitical and technological changes that are reshaping South Australia’s trade and business relationships with the world,” van Deventer remarked.

To take advantage of the historic opportunity for South Australia, the Ai Group official also noted that a strong business sector and better skill capacities are essential both now and in the future.

“Ensuring Government programs and spending create environments that help businesses – across multiple industries and of all sizes – to operate sustainably and competitively to provide goods and services, generate wealth and create rewarding work opportunities benefits not only South Australian employers, but the entire community,” she explained. 

While the local industry has been understandably cautious because of the shaky history of submarine project announcements, van Deventer stated that it will still be up to the governments to alleviate concerns and set clear deadlines to maximise local participation. 

The Ai Group’s pre-budget submission also made recommendations in five crucial areas including the growing South Australian population and the creation of a skilled future workforce.

Also included in the submission is the increase in global connectivity, enhancement of supply chains, empowerment of the industry, and the creation of fair business environments.

For more information on the pre-budget submission, visit this site.