Department of State Development

South Australia offers a highly competitive environment and an ease of doing business that supports profitable investments.

With a highly skilled workforce, cutting edge research and development, competitive labour costs, and strong collaboration between government, industry and academia, South Australia really is a place where your business can innovate and grow.

South Australia offers a range of cost advantages that no other state in Australia can match, improving your company’s bottom line.

Private sector labour costs in South Australia are 10.8 per cent below the Australian average, making our state a great place to expand your workforce. The Adelaide market continues to be one of the most cost-competitive city centre markets nationally when it comes to setting up business and leasing office space.

South Australia has a range of office space and industrial land available in, or close to the city centre at rates lower than other mainland Australian states. With a well-planned supply of affordable industrial land, linked to strategic infrastructure and transport corridors, the cost of doing business here is highly competitive.

South Australia’s central location provides the ideal gateway into Australia and out to Asian markets and beyond through our modern air, sea and rail freight channels. Our international airport is only six kilometres from the city centre, or 15 minutes by taxi. It services nine international destinations direct with 46 flights per week. Flights to Sydney and Melbourne also depart, on average, every 20 minutes during operating hours.

Every region in the world talks about its quality of life, but in South Australia we really have it!
Our capital city, Adelaide, is consistently ranked among the top 10 most liveable cities in the world, and in the top five must-see regions by Lonely Planet in 2017.

South Australia’s high quality of life and low cost of living combines to create high employee retention rates for businesses, providing business stability, continuity and bottom line benefit by minimising staff turnover and re-training costs.

Adelaide has the shortest work commute times and the lowest residential house prices of all Australian mainland capital cities. (Australian Bureau of Statistics category number 6416.0).

Our state is also Australia’s premium food and wine destination, accounting for almost 80 per cent of Australian premium wine production and is the stage for many international festivals and sporting events.

South Australia prides itself on being the nation’s Knowledge State. With three highly-regarded public universities and campuses of two of the world’s best universities, South Australia produces an extensive range of graduates per year ready to enhance your workforce. Currently, South Australia has more than 103,000 students enrolled in university courses in the state.

Additionally, there are more than 37,000 international students from over 130 countries within our education system, providing international knowledge and language expertise.

University and commercially-based research and development in Adelaide has led international change in the biotechnology, agriculture, wine-making, animal science and information technology fields. These close links have been formed by a strong research ethos in the public and private sectors.

There are also many private specialist training institutions working with industry to meet future workforce needs.

South Australia is a place where ideas can be developed, trialled and sold to the world, in an environment with innovation at its core. We apply this creativity using the latest technological and scientific research, while building successful collaborations.

Our state is home to a number of specialised, world-class research and innovation districts including Lot Fourteen, Tonsley innovation district, Techport naval industry hub, the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), and the Waite Agricultural Research Precinct, which create high performing, collaborative environments.

South Australia’s excellent technology infrastructure makes it a great choice for enterprises such as support services, cyber security and software development, whilst our geographic location enables work to be delegated across time zones.

GigCity Adelaide is offering innovation precincts next-generation gigabit internet that is up to 100 times faster than the national average. Our network is growing quickly, with local businesses across innovation precincts already enjoying this ultra-fast, affordable internet.

South Australia has a deep, technical manufacturing skills base developed from a long history in the automotive and defence sectors, and the industry is providing a solid platform for new and existing manufacturers.

We are known internationally as Australia’s defence hub, having secured the Federal Government’s $50 billion Future Submarine Program – the largest defence procurement in the nation’s history. The Program will define the future of advanced manufacturing in Australia and create significant opportunities throughout the design development, build, integration and sustainment phases.

Technology plays a central role in the competitiveness of South Australia’s advanced manufacturing industry, supporting innovation, driving product and service development and improving performance.

In emerging technologies such as photonics, nanotechnology, additive manufacturing, advanced materials and robotics and digital technology, South Australia is demonstrating emerging strengths in research and development expertise.

The South Australian Government is pro-investment and committed to supporting business.

Our policies include:

  • an industry assistance framework, delivering assistance to private sector entities through three new designated funds
  • establishing a South Australian Productivity Commission to provide advice, ensuring the government more effectively supports the vital sectors of our economy to grow
  • building Lot Fourteen, Australia’s first creation and innovation neighbourhood.