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Marshall sworn in as Premier promising no slash and burn

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Steven Marshall has been sworn in as South Australia’s 46th Premier, vowing not to use budget surprises as an excuse to slash public service jobs.

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Governor Heiu Van Le swore in the new premier, as well as new Attorney-General Vickie Chapman – who will also be the state’s first female Deputy Premier – and Rob Lucas, as Treasurer, at a closed-door ceremony at Government House this morning.

The balance of ministers will be sworn in on Thursday.

Speaking briefly out of an open car window as he left, Marshall told reporters the premiership was “a great honour and a great responsibility, but a great opportunity – a great opportunity, I’m really looking forward to it”.

Trailing behind in a second car, Chapman agreed it was “a long time coming” that South Australia now had its first woman in the role and Lucas – who was Treasurer in the Olsen Liberal Government until its defeat 2002 – said “everything comes to he who waits”.

Speaking on radio before the ceremony, Marshall said he would not use any “black hole” in the state budget to justify bit cuts to public service jobs.

“I do not expect that there will be a massive black hole (in the state budget) and we won’t be using this as an excuse,” Marshall told ABC Radio Adelaide.

“We’re going to working with the public service to ensure that we have improved customer service.”

Marshall nominated returning the remission on the emergency services levy and deregulating shop trading hours as early priorities for the new government.

“We’re going to be putting plans in place, straight away, first of all, starting with restoring the remission on the emergency services levy,” he told FIVEaa.

“That will have an effect of essentially halving people’s emergency services levy … we’ll do that straight away.

“Then we’ll set about making sure we can lower prices in South Australia.”

He said deregulating shop trading hours would an immediate priority in the new parliament.

“75 per cent of people in the most recent survey want it and we need to push this through as quickly as possible.

“We’ll introduce that legislation as soon as parliament is recalled.”

“(South Australians) told us the wanted a faster-growing economy in South Australia, more jobs, more hours for people.

“They also told us that they wanted much lower cost of living than we’ve seen in South Australia … and also an improvement to fundamental government services.”

He told ABC Radio National that his broad “number one priority” was “restoring state pride and confidence”.

“That’s taken a real knock in recent times,” he said.

“That’s a real measure of state pride – when our kids aren’t finishing school, finishing university, getting a good quality qualification but then leaving our state.

“We’ve got to turn that tap off – that exodus of young people and capital out of our state.”

He confirmed he would not be matching Labor’s election promise with technology giant Tesla to install solar battery systems in 50,000 low-income homes.

“(Former Premier Jay Weatherill) was doing it for Housing Trust homes in South Australia … that’s not on our agenda,” said Marshall.

“What we’re going to do is provide a subsidy to get solar solar rooftop systems … some storage capability in 40,000 homes over the next four years in South Australia.

“Our (policy) is 10,000 homes per year for the next four years.”

Marshall would not commit to backing the Turnbull Government’s push for a national energy guarantee but said he supported a “national approach” to energy policy, and wanted to see modelling from the COAG’s energy security board.

The incoming Premier told FIVEaa the redistribution of electoral boundaries last year helped the Liberal Party get over the line.

“Definitely, the boundary redistribution helped,” he said.

“The Liberal Party has won the popular vote in South Australia in seven of the last eight elections.

“Those boundaries (in former elections) have really been a massive disadvantage … they really kept Labor in power for far too long.

“I want to thank the people of South Australia for the opportunity that they have given us.”

He said his party’s election campaign eschewed the “big bang” policy promises laid out by the Labor Party.

“The people of South Australia actually said ‘we don’t want the big bang, we want some more jobs, lower our cost of living and fix up our hospital system’,” he added.

“They wanted to see somebody that had a plan for more jobs, they were sick to death of (the) rising cost of living in South Australia and quite frankly, they thought that the Labor Government had failed them on critical government services, especially on Health.”

Concerning the future of the Repatriation General Hospital site, Marshall told ABC Radio Adelaide: “We never said that the hospital that was previously there could be re-established in its entirety, but what we did say is that large parts of that hospital infrastructure would have to be re-utilised.”

“Our plan for that site is to make sure it remains a health precinct.

“The (former) Government kept the contract hidden from the people of South Australia.

“I want to meet with the owners of that site – I don’t think that deal has gone through, but … I need to get a briefing on that.”

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