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Labor: PM's SA visit lacked substance

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March 10, 2018

Malcolm Turnbull has called for an end to the "failed leadership" of the SA Labor government.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was glowing in his endorsement of South Australian Opposition Leader Steven Marshall during a trip to the state on Saturday, but the Labor government said his visit lacked substance.

Mr Turnbull called for an end to the "failed leadership" of the Labor government during a visit to the McLaren Vale wine region one week from polling day.

"How can you be in a position where you have the most expensive and the least reliable energy in Australia?" he asked reporters.

"The long and sorry era of Labor government in this state has let South Australians down."

Mr Turnbull said Mr Marshall was an "absolute vital necessity" for the state but would not comment on the future leadership of the party if Labor were to win a fifth consecutive term at the March 17 poll.

He also skirted questions about whether a ban on foreign donations should be imposed at a state level, similar to the one proposed federally, after Mr Marshall was dogged by recent rumours of a $1.2 million donation from Chinese businesswoman Sally Zou.

The Labor Government, who hosted Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten last Tuesday, downplayed the prime minister's visit during a morning press conference.

"What's the announcement? Where's the money for infrastructure?" Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis said.

"We're only getting two per cent of the nation's infrastructure spend, yet we make up seven per cent of the nation's population."

Labor began the day with a call for the Opposition to rule out the privatisation of the state's publicly-owned power plant if it forms government at the election, then turned its focus to the Port Adelaide Football Club redevelopment.

Premier Jay Weatherill announced a re-elected Labor government would partner with the football club to build a centre for Aboriginal Excellence and Leadership.

SA-BEST Leader Nick Xenophon has already said his party would push for $7.5 million for the redevelopment of the club, and on Saturday welcomed the premier's pledge.

"If I manage to nudge the premier to do the right thing in terms of an Indigenous Centre of Excellence for more community involvement in sports... that's a good thing," he said.

Mr Xenophon was joined by a group of embattled taxi drivers at Adelaide Airport to push for a series of relief measures, including an increase in plate compensation payments from $10,000 to $40,000 per licence.

He said the party would push for initiatives to help taxi operators and drivers who are struggling financially because of the introduction of UBER.

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