The Albanese Government’s scrapping of the Bridges Renewal and Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Programs will have dire consequences for the regional road network says Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Federal Member for Barker, Tony Pasin MP.


Mr Pasin said the Albanese Government’s decision to scrap two programs indicated a complete misunderstanding of the importance of regional road networks in supporting supply chains and driving economic growth.


“In their first 18 months in Government Labor has taken the axe to important road infrastructure projects funded through infrastructure investment pipeline such as the Truro Freight Route and now they have announced they will abolish two highly successful road safety programs specifically designed to improving first and last mile infrastructure,” Mr Pasin said.


“The Bridges Renewal and Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Programs have been critical to regional Australia, improving sections of our road network for the safe and efficient movement of goods and the safety of all road users.”


The electorate of Barker has been the beneficiary of almost $21 million in improvements through the HVSP Program and more than $31 million through the Bridges Renewal Program since 2015, bringing unquantifiable benefits to road users and the local economy*.


“The Albanese Government have shown once again that rural and regional communities like ours are out of sight, out of mind,” Mr Pasin said.


“Labor are ignorant to the importance safe and high functioning bridges and roads provide, not only to regional industries, but in delivering product to port and beyond which in turn supports national economic growth and prosperity.


“A safe, efficient, and productive supply chain has a direct impact on the cost and quality of goods. It’s in the national interest to support first and last mile infrastructure initiatives to support the freight task and accommodate growth.”


The total domestic freight task is projected to grow 26 per cent between 2020 and 2050.


“The Albanese Government have not considered the flow on effects its decision to cancel these important road programs will have on the expanding freight task, industry productivity, regional road safety and ultimately the cost of living for the consumer,” Mr Pasin said.


Labor claimed the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity and Bridges Renewal programs would be abolished and replaced with a new $200 million per year Safer Local Roads program.


However, the detailed funding data released by the Commonwealth Treasury in the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) in December 2023 shows the new program actually delivers less money over the budget forward estimates than the two original funding programs.


The new Safer Local Roads program also gives no assurance that first and last mile initiatives (the majority of which are in rural and regional Australia) would be addressed as the Bridges Renewal and HVSP Programs achieved.


*projects funded in Barker since 2015 as follows:


Program Project Approved Australian Government
Total Project Cost
Heavy Vehicle Program Ongoing District Council of Loxton-Waikerie – Taplan Road Sealing Project $1,056,000  $1,320,000
Heavy Vehicle Program Ongoing Tranche 3 Light Regional Council – Roseworthy Road Upgrade – Kingsford $734,004  $917,505
Heavy Vehicle Program Ongoing Tranche 3 SA, Department for Infrastructure and Transport – Naracoorte Road Upgrade (Shoulder Sealing) – Meatworks Road to
Stotts Road
$ 4,320,000  $5,400,000
Heavy Vehicle Program R4 Berri Barmera Council – Battams Rd and Old Sturt Highway, Glossop, SA, Intersection Redesign and Upgrade $100,000  $208,708
Heavy Vehicle Program R4 Light Regional Council – Hancock and Kidman Rds Upgrades at Kapunda $475,000 $1,316,028
Heavy Vehicle Program R4 Rural City of Murray Bridge – Road Upgrades of Cypress Terrace, Maurice Rd, Hindmarsh Rd and Old Swanport Rd $2,462,000  $5,185,030
Heavy Vehicle Program R4 Wattle Range Council – Upgrade and Seal Coles Killanoola Rd, Penola $377,000  $763,920
Heavy Vehicle Program R5 Light Regional Council – East Tce & Perry Road Upgrade, Kapunda $950,000 $2,002,184
Heavy Vehicle Program R5 Naracoorte Lucindale Council/Wattle Range Council – Coles Killanoola Road Reconstruction $395,500  $844,460
Heavy Vehicle Program R5 Kilsby Road Junctions Upgrades – Mount Gambier $675,000 $1,490,859
Heavy Vehicle Program R5 Penola – Casterton and Tower Road Intersection $616,227  $1,232,454
Heavy Vehicle Program R5 Reedy Creek (Palmer) Road/Wagenknecht Road Intersection $50,000  $103,645
Heavy Vehicle Program R5 Riddoch Highway (Penola Road) intersection with Wandilo Forest Road/Ridge Road $674,882  $1,349,764
Heavy Vehicle Program R6 Coorong District Council – Kulde Road, Tailem Bend – Widen $532,000  $1,064,000
Heavy Vehicle Program R6 Light Regional Council –  Kings Bridge Road, Bagot Well – Strengthen and Seal $397,000  $890,943
Heavy Vehicle Program R6 Mid Murray Council – Eudunda Road, Dutton – Strengthen and widen $725,310  $1,611,800
Heavy Vehicle Program R6 The Barossa Council – Carrara Hill Road and Stockwell Road, Nuriootpa –
Intersection Upgrade
$145,509 $291,018
Heavy Vehicle Program R7 District Council of Loxton Waikerie – Loxton Waikerie National Highway intersection upgrade package, Paruna $1,300,000  $2,600,000
Heavy Vehicle Program R7 District Council of Loxton Waikerie – Loxton Waikerie Regional Intersection upgrade package $2,000,000  $4,250,000
Heavy Vehicle Program R7 District Council of Loxton Waikerie – Taplan Road Livestock and Grain Productivity Project, Woodleigh $1,020,000  $2,040,000
Heavy Vehicle Program R7 Light Regional Council – East Terrace – Thiele Highway and Perry Road upgrade package, Kapunda $1,900,000  $3,801,484
Bridges Renewal Programme R1 Tatiara Council – Winter Rd Bridge Bordertown $90,000 $183,600
Bridges Renewal Programme R1 Light RC – Gomersal Rd Bridge, Tanunda $48,863  $97,727
Bridges Renewal Programme R1 Naracoorte Lucindale Moy Hall Rd Bridge Culverts, Naracoorte $146,000 $292,270
Bridges Renewal Program R2 Naracoorte Lucindale Council – Sandstone Ave/Cadgee Road Bridge Replacement $73,000  $146,000
Bridges Renewal Program R3 SEWCDB – Moyhall Road Culvert Replacement $157,348  $314,696
Bridges Renewal Program R3 Lyndoch Bridge Replacement $695,000 $  1,390,000
Bridges Renewal Program R3 Stott Highway Bridge Replacement $556,000  $1,112,000
Bridges Renewal Program R3 Mid Murray Council – Milendella Road Bridge Replacement $174,432  $387,626
Bridges Renewal Program R3 Mid Murray Council – Eudunda Road Bridge Replacement $472,500 $945,000
Bridges Renewal Program R5 Light Regional Council – Gerald Roberts Road Bridge renewal, Seppeltsfield $250,00  $566,150
Bridges Renewal Program R5 The Barossa Council – Stockwell Road Bridge renewal, Light Pass $290,329 $580,659
Bridges Renewal Program R5 Tatiara District Council – Victoria Parade Bridge renewal, Bordertown $210,000  $420,000




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