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European Australian Business : 2008
50 south australia South Australia offers a brilliant blend of opportunities – for investment, for the best lifestyle in an incredibly pros- perous 21st-century community, and for appreciating some of the world’s most spectacular scenery. The South Australian economy has never been better. In recent months we’ve again broken all-time records for the number of jobs, and we are entering an unprecedented mining and defence boom. The State’s innovative and dynamic economy has long-term strengths in advanced manufacturing and agri- business, and now joined by major developments in resources, defence and aerospace, education and infor- mation communication technology. Backed by a pro-growth and pro-busi- ness government and world-leading research and technology capabilities, these sectors are surging ahead, at- tracting international attention and forging valuable global partnerships. Private sector investment continues to break previous records in South Australia. Major developments gen- erating significant opportunities for international companies include: n BHP Billiton’s proposed expansion of Olympic Dam – a trillion dollar copper, uranium and gold resource, which is predicted to create the world’s largest open-cut mine in the State’s north, together with a host of other world class mining and energy projects; n nearly ten-fold increase in mineral exploration in just five years; n the A$8 billion Air Warfare Destroyer contract, the larg- est naval shipbuilding project undertaken in Australia; n the $3.5 billion Collins class submarine through-life support contract; the creation of Techport Australia, the shipbuilding hub supporting the State’s defence industry; and n billions of dollars worth of government-backed infrastructure, health, biotechnology and education facilities, including a new A$1.7 billion dollar central hospital and a A$1.3 billion desalination plant; n Outstanding universities, with new arrivals in Adelaide including Carnegie Mellon Uni- versity from the Unites States and Cranfield from Britain. The State’s knowledge-intense industries make it a “nerve centre” for high-technology research and development, both using and fostering an innovative industrial, business and research environment. Silver linings Evidence of a wealth of diverse miner- als beneath the topsoil is responsible for much of the attention now coming the State’s way. South Australia’s unique Plan for Accelerating Explora- tion (PACE) continues to be highly successful for developers, with the State Government providing financial assistance to explorers and making available to them an unprecedented amount of geoscientific data. Through PACE, our mineral exploration is now the fastest-growing in the nation, and South Australia has moved from 36th to 4th place in world mining potential as rated by the Fraser Institute of Canada. Our natural riches are not confined to minerals, however. The largest onshore and gas fields in Australia are located in the State’s north, and we are leading the nation in developing renewable energy alternatives: South Australia has almost half of Australia’s wind power and its grid-connected solar power, and the largest resource of geothermal energy in Australia. Ap- plications for geothermal exploration licences now cover more than 80,000 square kilometres of South Australia and account 80 per cent of all geother-