National

SA Labor acknowledges its mistakes

By AAP Newswire

South Australia's former Labor government could be rightly proud of its achievements during 16 years in office but must also acknowledge its failures, Opposition Leader Peter Malinauskas says.

Mr Malinauskas says no-one can deny the party's successes while in government, such as the development of its world-leading energy policy, its efforts to introduce economic and social reforms and to create and protect jobs.

But he says it remains a fact Labor lost the March election and it would be "intellectually dishonest" to deny the failures that occurred on its watch.

He singled out the Oakden nursing home scandal and problems with child protection and in the TAFE sector as areas where Labor "let people down".

"In order to be proud about what we did right, we must be honest about what we did wrong," Mr Malinauskas told the party's state conference on Saturday, the first since its election defeat.

He also told the conference he remains confident in the ability of his team to return the party to government at the next election, arguing it "lines up well" with the government.

But he said it would be Labor's willingness to listen to what voters wanted and to respond with the right ideas that would hold the key to success.

In SA's four-year election cycle, he said Labor would use the first two years to listen to and connect with voters.

It would use the third and fourth years to develop and deliver policies ahead of the 2022 poll.

"It's a pretty simple plan," he said.

"Our inspiration comes from what we seek to achieve from the society in which we live."

Mr Malinauskas said Labor would work to return a greater level of fairness to ensure, at a time when the economy was strong and profits rising, that everyone shared in the rewards.

"We in Labor believe that we must have a growing economy in order to be able to deliver a fair society," he said.

"We believe that growing prosperity should deliver for everyone."