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South Australian Productivity Commission Bill

Second Reading

The Hon. J.A. DARLEY (15:33): This bill will establish a productivity commission, which will look at improving South Australia's economy by improving productivity. I understand this was an election commitment by the government to establish a productivity commission for the betterment of South Australia.

Whilst I put my support for a productivity commission on the record, I have some concerns which are partially addressed by the opposition amendments and also by amendments I have filed. Currently, the government's bill only allows the commission to look at matters which are referred to them by the relevant minister. This could lead to the government pushing their own agenda without the commission being able to independently look at matters which they believe is of merit. The opposition has suggested allowing either house of parliament to refer matters to the commission, and I am supportive of this.

Furthermore, I have filed amendments which would allow the commission to investigate matters of competitive neutrality on their own initiative. This clause is similar to that which exists in the federal Productivity Commission Act whereby a person can complain to the commission if they believe there is an issue regarding competitive neutrality. I have also filed an amendment which would oblige the government to provide a response to the commission's reports. That is to say that the government must indicate whether they agree with the recommendations or not and what they will be doing about it, if anything. My final amendment would cause a review of the act to be undertaken three years after commencement to see if improvements or modifications to the act need to be made. I support the bill and look forward to progressing it in the chamber.