Well given that Labor are currently in power and face an election next month, they're hardly likely to say anything different. Although even they don't say it will be a 'massive' surplus. They predict it will be 'modest', which seems to be a novel synonym for 'fanciful'.
If the state can see $376m wiped off its finances in two months and hasn't yet faced the hit of Holden closing or having to pay for its infrastructure projects, it's very hard to see how it will produce a budget surplus in 2016. Beginning that year, SA tax payers start paying for the RAH. That alone will swallow $397m each year for the following 30 years (that's bigger than the $376 black hole that's got them so worked up). That figure's not to pay for the patient care during that time, or the wages of the doctors and the nurses, but just for the physical infrastructure.
Most of those cranes on the skyline that make the cbd look so 'happening' are only there because of tax payer money, not private investment, and the money hasn't yet been paid – it needs to come from future years' budgets.
Just over a decade ago there were 20,000 more people working in manufacturing than in the public sector in SA. Now the figure has reversed; SA has lost 23,000 manufacturing jobs and gained 20,000 public sector workers. Public sector pay is typically $20k more than manufacturing. This is a massive shift. Paying for the public service in SA accounts for 47% of the state's income. Of course, teachers, nurses, police and those in government departments have to be paid, but this 47% is higher than any other state.
Based on what they pay in taxes, it's hard to see why a business would set up in SA over, say WA, NSW or Qld. In WA, businesses with a turnover above $750k pa pay rayroll tax; in NSW it's $750k and in Qld it's $1.1m. In SA the threshold is $600k. So, it's hard to replace the industry that gets lost in this state because it's cheaper to do business elsewhere.
Unemployment in this state is higher than nationally, but even this disguises the fact that in the last year (somewhat less than a full year, actually) 27,000 full time jobs have been replaced by part time roles.
SA has lived for years on the promise that it's on the 'cusp of a resources boom'. If that's the case, it's still not happened and doesn't look imminent. Even if BHP suddenly found the resolve to expand Olympic Dam (and it's recently been flogging off parts of the site, which hardly seems like a positive sign) and even if some heavyweight decided it was economically viable to go full pelt after the shale gas in the Cooper Basin, these wouldn't be producing a return for SA by 2016.