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Investment Attraction agency funding to double under Labor

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Labor has promised to boost Investment Attraction South Australia’s funding to $130 million if it wins the March 17 election.

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The government-run agency would receive an additional $30 million towards grants and a further $30 million towards low-interest loans.

Investment Attraction SA was established in 2015 to boost job creation and foreign investment in the state.

Funding loans and grants have helped lure international companies including Technicolor, Boeing, Kaufland and VeroGuard Systems to South Australia in recent years.

Premier Jay Weatherill announced Labor’s latest election promise at tech company PrimeQ’s Adelaide office this morning.

“[Investment Attraction South Australia] has already created 9000 jobs and we’re going to continue to create jobs and opportunity by standing up and going after these companies so they can realise their expansion plans,” Weatherill said.

“What we’ve seen since the commencement of this fund is extraordinary attraction of great companies.”

PrimeQ is an Adelaide-based IT company that provides corporate Oracle cloud services to companies across Australia and New Zealand.

Last year the company received a $500,000 grant from the Investment Attraction agency, which it used in part to fund a graduate program in partnership with universities and TAFE.

“We’re creating jobs for undergraduates [and] graduates and we’re making a big difference in our own little way to South Australia and the people that want to be here,” PrimeQ CEO Andrew McAdams said.

“We’re looking [at creating] another 40 jobs in South Australia within the next four months.”

In other election announcements today, Nick Xenophon’s SA Best promised a campaign to ensure health insurers provide equal rebates, no matter which provider is chosen by a patient.

Xenophon said he had been working with the Australian Dental Association’s SA Branch (ADASA) and other health associations to create a campaign called “Mind the Gap”, designed to combat the practice of health funds providing different rebates for “preferred” providers, despite the delivery of identical services.

“We need a law that forces private health funds to pay the same rebate for the same treatment for the same policy irrespective of the dentist that a patient visits,” Xenophon said.

“Private health funds like BUPA and Medibank Private are paying almost double the rebate to patients who use their contracted dentists and that’s just not fair.”

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