Investing in SA

Australia is an island continent having an area of 7 682 000 km2 (2 966 000 sq. miles) and surrounded by the Indian, Pacific and Southern Oceans. It comprises six states and two territories. South Australia, which is in the central southern region, occupies about one eighth of the continent.

South Australia
Area ........................... 984 377 km2 (380 100 sq. miles)
Coastline .................... 3700 km (2300 miles)
Capital city ................. Adelaide (population 1.19 million)
Population .................. 1.6 million (in 2009)
Main language ............. English
State founded ............. 1836

South Australia combines competitive cost, skill and infrastructure advantages with an exceptional quality of life. It is strategically located at the convergence of the nation’s road, rail and air transport linkages. South Australia is an ideal location for national and international investment and business ventures.

South Australia and its capital, Adelaide, shine as being among the best places in the world in which to live, work and do business.

• strategic location on the Asia-Pacific rim
• well-developed modern industry
• competitive business costs
• advanced research and development base
• highly skilled and productive workforce
• successful collaboration between industry, government and universities
• high-quality living.

Australia’s seasons are opposite to those of the northern hemisphere. The southern settled districts have a Mediterranean climate with mild wet winters and hot dry summers. The hottest months are January–February with a mean maximum temperature of 29 °C (84 °F); the coldest month is July with a mean maximum of 15 °C (59 °F). At Moomba, in the NE of the state, temperatures can range as high as 48 °C (118 °F) in summer, while overnight temperatures can drop to 2 °C (36 °F).

The average annual rainfall for Adelaide is 585 mm (23 in) a year. In far northern South Australia, average annual rainfall is 176 mm (7 in) and the heaviest rainfall months are December–February. In South Australia’s South-East, average annual rainfall is 712 mm (28 in) and the driest months (during which drilling and seismic operations are typically scheduled) are December–March.

South Australia is closely integrated into the Australian economy. In the past decade its growth has paralleled that of Australia as a whole and all indicators show this trend continuing. Traditionally strong in agriculture, raw materials and automobile production, it has diversified into a wide range of manufacturing industries of international standard. High technology has become one of the state’s growth industries, in particular defence technology, microelectronics and biotechnology.

The development of Olympic Dam, the world’s biggest copper–uranium mine, in the 1980s helped stimulate South Australia’s economy. A major A$5 billion expansion of the mine has recently been proposed by the operator BHP Billiton. Foreign investment is encouraged, and government policy is directed towards the development of companies and industries with export potential. South Australia is a net exporter of goods, including energy.

Major exports include wine, seafood, live sheep and meat, communications equipment, machinery, optical lenses and gemstones.

Australia was founded as an independent sovereign nation within the British Commonwealth in 1901. It comprises a political federation with a central Commonwealth (federal) Government based in the capital city Canberra, six states each with its own government, two internal territories and several external territories. Australia retains the British monarch as Head of State, represented by the Governor-General who resides in Canberra, and by a Governor in each of the states.

Major Commonwealth Government responsibilities include defence, foreign affairs, immigration, customs and excise, public finance and taxation. State governments are responsible for justice, onshore mineral and petroleum rights, education, child welfare, transport and similar matters directly affecting the state. There are also local governments comprising city, country town or shire councils.

Federal Parliament is democratic and based on the British system. It comprises an upper house (the Senate) and a lower house (the House of Representatives) both of which are directly elected by the public. Voting is compulsory. Lower house members represent electorates or seats and function to serve the people and to introduce new legislation (which must then be passed by the Senate). The political party with the majority of votes at a general election forms the government, its leader becoming Prime Minister. Ministers are selected from government members and given a portfolio to administer one or more government departments. Cabinet is the policy-forming committee of the government and is selected from the ministry. State governments are modelled on the Commonwealth Government. The leader of the elected state government is called the Premier.

The main political parties are the Australian Labor Party and the Liberal Party. Other political parties of significance are the National Party (normally in coalition with the Liberals) and the Australian Greens.

Time zones
There are three time zones in Australia: Eastern Standard Time (EST), which operates in New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, and Queensland; Central Standard Time (CST), which operates in South Australia and the Northern Territory and is 30 minutes behind EST; Western Standard Time (WST), which operates in Western Australia and is two hours behind EST. London is 9.5 hours behind and Houston is 15.5 hours behind Adelaide.

The World Clock - Time Zones gives current local times around the world.

South Australia offers exceptional value and advantages to businesses setting up operations in the state and is increasingly being chosen as an ideal location to do business.  The State has grown a reputation as reliable exporter of quality niche products for markets all over the world and many multinational companies have recognized the advantages of locating their Asia Pacific or Australian operations in Adelaide.

South Australia and its capital Adelaide offer exceptional value and advantages to business, confirmed by the independent study, KPMG Competitive Alternatives Report 2006

Business climate - industrial harmony; government assistance to potential investors; fast-tracking of major projects; collaboration between industry, government and community leaders.

Management and labour costs - a highly educated, multi-lingual and skilled workforce; nationally competitive labour and management costs; low on-costs; cost competitive professional services.

Construction advantages - well-located, inexpensive industrial land; easy access to all transport services; an average 3.5 months planning and building approval time; building completion costs among the lowest of any advanced industrial country.

Factory and office rental and purchase - among the lowest commercial rents and purchase costs in Australia.

Lower energy costs - Australia's energy costs are low from an international perspective; gas and electricity prices in Adelaide are competitive.

World-class telecommunications services - satellite and cable networks ideal for regional hubbing;  local and international calls among the cheapest in Asia; sophisticated IT infrastructure provided by multinational companies.

Transport advantages - efficient and easily accessible road, rail, sea and air networks; with the completion of the Adelaide-Darwin Railway Adelaide has become the nation’s logical distribution point for 85 per cent of Australia’s population; the Port of Adelaide now has a greatly increased catchment area that can be fed by the railway.

Living costs and lifestyle - Australia has one of the highest standards of living in the world; Adelaide is the most affordable Australian capital city in which to live; its living costs are also very competitive with Singapore, Hong Kong and Jakarta.

Information extracted from the Department of Trade and Economic Development website (see below for contact details).

Further information
For further information contact the Department of Trade and Economic Development. It is the South Australian Government’s key agency for economic and industry development policy.

Mr Raymond Garrand
Chief Executive
Department of Trade and Economic Development
10th Floor, 178 North Terrace
GPO Box 1264
Adelaide, South Australia 5001
Phone +61 8 8303 2400
Fax +61 8 8303 2410

Further information can also be obtained from the South Australia Central website.