It’s Budget day in South Australia today – finally. The budget was scheduled for May. It got put off for four months while Treasurer Kevin Foley looked down the back of every public service sofa in a desperate search for small change.

Mike Rann’s Labor Government was re-elected by a whopping majority just back in March – and despite the budget hiccough, it’s all systems go. Just a couple of weeks ago he promised in a press release:

The Rann Government will begin a massive program of legislative reform when Parliament resumes this week.

The Government has a program of more than 100 bills to take to Parliament to implement Labor’s bold second term agenda.

“We’ve already passed more than 20 bills since the election, and now we are introducing dozens and dozens more covering law and order, victims’ rights, the environment and sustainable development,” Premier Mike Rann said…

“People have criticised this government for inaction, but with more than 100 pieces of legislation being prepared for debate, it’s clear we’re moving ahead with our program of change…”

There were actually only four pieces of legislation on the House of Assembly Weekly Program distributed by the Leader of Government Business in the House, Patrick Conlon, when the sittings started. And the public galleries weren’t exactly crowded for debate on the Geographical Names (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill.

And this week a memo come from Conlon’s people letting SA’s pollies know that Parliament will not sit next Monday.

So much for the bills and boldness.

Peter Fray

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