Discrepancies between the Federal and State Budget papers have revealed delays in the rollout of a key road safety initiative according to Shadow Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Tony Pasin MP.

The Heavy Vehicle Rest Area Initiative is a $140 million Federal Government road safety initiative intended to provide safe rest areas for heavy vehicle operators.

Tranche 1 of the program announced 15 April 2024 included $3.8 million for upgrading the Salt Creek Rest Area on the Princes Highway in South Australia. The project is expected to deliver five parking bays, a unisex toilet block, installation of metal shade structure and picnic tables.

According to the Federal Government funding schedule, the $3.8 million project is currently in planning with works to begin in December 2024 and be completed by March 2025.

However, the South Australian 2024-25 Budget has the $3.8 million project spread over three years with only $190,000 being spent in the 2024/25 financial year and the project due for completion in June quarter of 2027.

Meanwhile, two parking bays planned for the Barrier Highway at Winnininnie and Bindarrah totalling $2.121 million due to be completed in January 2026 don’t appear to be mentioned in South Australian expenditure at all, despite the Federal Government announcing the project funding om the 29th April 2024.

Minister Koutsantonis is delaying the delivery of key road safety initiatives to help prop up the South Australian Government budget.

It seems to be a key theme of both Federal and State Labor Government’s to make big announcements and take little action.

Given the Federal Minister has announced $140 million into improving the network of heavy vehicle rest areas and so far has only committed $5.9 million for South Australia, the least our State Government could do is spend that investment in the timeframe initially proposed and get on with improving the productivity and safety outcomes for heavy vehicle operators.

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