Social Inclusion under Labor in South Australia

Lou Wilson, John Spoehr

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    3 Citations (Scopus)


    Social inclusion policies were championed by the former Rann Labor government in South Australia from 2002 to 2011. In 2011 the Social Inclusion Unit was dissolved by the South Australian government. It is argued that the relatively narrow focus of the former SIU on 'problem' communities limited its capacity to provide more than residual solutions. The diminishing political returns on social inclusion also encouraged the South Australian government to abandon this initiative. In 2014 this government has had to grapple with the end of car making in Australia and a declining manufacturing labour force, traditionally a 'mainstream' constituency of the Labor Party. The return to 'mainstreaming' social policy in South Australia might offer limited space for realignment of social policy with the concept of social citizenship. It might also represent a move away from the functionalist morality of social inclusion. Social inclusion as practiced in South Australia has limited capacity to address generalised social disadvantage. The latter is likely to concern a re-elected Labor minority government grappling with significant job losses and a declining local economy.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)159-170
    Number of pages12
    JournalAustralian Journal of Social Issues
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015


    • Australia
    • disadvantaged groups
    • inequality
    • social exclusion
    • South Australia


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