Critical infrastructure projects in South Australia are being put in the slow lane by the Federal and State Labor Governments with new delays revealed in Senate Estimates last week.
Federal Shadow Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Regional Development Senator Bridget McKenzie is visiting South Australia today, alongside federal and state colleagues David Speirs, Tony Pasin and Vincent Tarzia, to hear first-hand how these delays are impacting locals.
Projects in the slow lane:
Senator Bridget McKenzie said the Senate Estimates process had revealed cuts and delays to key infrastructure projects in South Australia designed to support economic growth.
“The Albanese Government has taken the knife to the infrastructure budget to pay for their own election commitments and key projects in South Australia seem to be the paying the price with $811.6 million cut from the local infrastructure budget over the forward estimates,” Senator McKenzie said.
“The embarrassing delays and cost blow out on the North-South Corridor, scrapped plans for Hahndorf interchange, Victor Harbor Road upgrade and Truro bypass, all lead to one conclusion – the State Labor Government seem to regard infrastructure as very low priority.”
State Liberal Leader David Speirs said delays to South Australian infrastructure projects are unacceptable.
“It is clear the handbrake has been put on key infrastructure projects in South Australia thanks to Anthony Albanese and Peter Malinauskas which is devastating for local residents and our state economy,” Mr Speirs said.
“The North-South Corridor is the most important infrastructure project in the state’s history and since Labor has taken government all we have got is delays, cost blowouts and uncertainty.
“It’s less than three weeks until Christmas, it’s time for Peter Malinauskas to be up front with South Australians that may need to have their homes or businesses acquired.”
Federal Shadow Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Tony Pasin said Senate Estimates have confirmed that key infrastructure projects designed to get South Australia moving have been put in the slow lane.
Mr Pasin said projects like the Hahndorf access upgrade were planned to improve safety and access for the growing number of visitors accessing the premier tourist destination as well as increasing productivity and efficiency for freight vehicles. Around one million visitors each year visit Hahndorf’s main street with this number increasing 1.9 per cent annually.
“With around 11,000 vehicles using the main street of Hahndorf each day, including almost 500 heavy vehicles, a solution to the increasing congestion and safety concerns is well overdue,” Mr Pasin said.
“With the Hahndorf Strategic Traffic Planning Study released over 18 months ago, construction on the $250 million project was expected to begin early next year. Instead, the project is effectively back on the drawing board and funding has been stripped.”
Another key freight route designed to increase productivity for South Australian industry between Adelaide and the Riverland is the Truro Bypass. Mr Pasin said shovels were originally scheduled to break ground this month, but instead the Government was still developing design elements.
“The Truro bypass is a $200 million project designed to see freight travel along the Sturt Highway more safely and efficiently but again, the Government has put the project in the slow lane,” Mr Pasin said.
“Since being elected to Government, Premier Malinauskas has acted quickly to secure car races, golf tournaments and footy festivals but when it comes to doing the hard work required to improve the productivity and efficiency of our road network he seems to have been asleep at the wheel.”
South Australian Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Vincent Tarzia called on Peter Malinauskas to be honest with South Australians.
“Time is running out for Peter Malinauskas to reveal his new design for the North-South Corridor and many South Australians may be about to get a nasty Christmas surprise,” Mr Tarzia said.
“Government leaks have shown the removal of elevated roadways at Anzac Highway and at West Hindmarsh which we know will result in more property acquisitions.”
Media Contact: Charlotte Edmunds | 0428 238 562 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Hon David Speirs MP Media Contact: Elise Baker 0427 525 926