South Australia dominates nation in economic growth with second #1 ranking

South Australia tops the nation in economic growth, unemployment, construction, and dwelling starts for the second time, as it tackles the housing crisis with potential 3500 new dwellings through rezoning initiatives.

South Australia’s economy has again topped the nation ranking on four of the eight key indicators in the CommSec’s State of the States report. For the second time running, South Australia maintains its premier position in economic growth, unemployment, construction work, and dwelling starts.

The positive streak started in January, steered by the state’s robust job and housing markets. Amid declining dwelling starts across other parts of the country, South Australia continues its leadership, buoyed by the Malinauskas Government’s decision to abolish stamp duty for first-home buyers building houses.

In addition to the duty abolition, Minister for Planning Nick Champion has kickstarted the rezoning of two empty parcels of land in Smithfield and Elizabeth South, which could potentially house up to 3500 new dwellings to assist with the existing housing crisis.

The Smithfield site, spanning 33.5 hectares, is located between the Munno Para Shopping City and the Adelaide-Gawler rail line. This site could house as many as 3000 high-density dwellings. Alternatively, the Elizabeth South area, standing at 9.1 hectares, located on John Rice Avenue between Commercial Road and Jarvis Road could house up to 520 medium-density dwellings. The proposed plans for both sites could house approximately 8500 people in the northern suburbs, where there is a surging demand for houses.

Minister Champion said, “As a Government we are committed to tackling the housing crisis and these rezonings could potentially open up 3500 new opportunities for South Australians to find a place to live.” He also highlighted the potential of the Smithfield site to create a community surrounded by important public transport links and commercial centres.

The South Australian government acquired the Smithfield site through the AUKUS land transfer initiative, and further investigations into traffic impacts of both sites will be underway. Following this, the proposed code amendments will be put forth for community discussions involving target stakeholder engagement. This aligns with the Malinauskas Labor Government’s commitment to streamline the amendment process within metropolitan and regional South Australia as part of the A Better Housing Future initiative.

The timeframe for completing a code amendment under the Malinauskas government is now 45 weeks, down significantly from the previous 29 to 37 months.

Echoing this sentiment, Will Frogley, CEO of Master Builders SA, commended Minister Champion on identifying the potential sites and his intent to work swiftly. He further emphasised the crucial need for suitable land to meet housing demands, which are rapidly growing dry over the year.

Executive Director of Housing Industry Association, Stephen Knight stated, “These two well-located and serviced development sites provide an excellent opportunity to deliver multiple housing options to meet changing consumer demand.”

In a statement, Treasurer Stephen Mullighan said that the government has been resolute in bolstering its economy and the results reflect these efforts. He emphasised on the state’s strong job market, significant infrastructure investments, and continuous focus on housing. Despite our present robust economy, Mullighan acknowledges the prevailing softness in the national economy.

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