Federal Budget must reverse Labor’s cruel cuts to SA infrastructure projects

Tomorrow’s Federal Budget must restore funding for significant South Australian infrastructure projects, after Labor made more than $400 million worth of savage cuts to five key road initiatives.

In a huge blow to productivity and safety on South Australia’s roads, the following projects were axed in November as part of the Albanese Labor Government’s “90-day” infrastructure review:

  • Hahndorf Township Improvements and Access Upgrade.
  • Main South Road Productivity Package.
  • Old Belair Road Upgrade.
  • The Onkaparinga Valley Road – Tiers Road – Nairne Road Intersection Upgrade.
  • Truro Freight Route.

Last week, it was announced Western Sydney will receive $1.9 billion of infrastructure funding in the Federal Budget – including for projects that were slashed as part of Labor’s review.

Leader of the Opposition, David Speirs, said if funding for SA isn’t put back on the table it shows Peter Malinauskas isn’t willing to fight hard enough for South Australians.

“Peter Malinauskas told South Australians that he would stand up for the state’s interests – but time and time again he’s waved the white flag and caved in to his Labor mates in Canberra,” Mr Speirs said.

“South Australia needs to see more investment in its road network, not less – and these brutal cuts from Labor have put safety and productivity at risk.

“These cuts were especially devastating for our regions, who already feel neglected by a city-centric Labor Government.

“The Malinauskas Labor Government has admitted these projects were all ready to go, so we’ll be incredibly disappointed if Peter Malinauskas hasn’t put up a fight to get this funding back. If New South Wales Premier Chris Minns can do it, why can’t he?”

Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Vincent Tarzia, said if Labor can perform a backflip on these cuts in NSW, it will be incredibly disappointing not to see the same for SA.

“Tom Koutsantonis said the State Labor Government will keep putting its ‘best foot forward on all these projects’ – well tomorrow night, South Australians will learn if he’s all talk and no action,” Mr Tarzia said.

“Our regional communities in particular are still feeling the sting from these cuts as these projects would have brought incredible benefits for our state by improving congestion and safety.

“South Australia cannot afford to be left behind. Tomorrow's Federal Budget is an opportunity to right these wrongs, for Labor to reinstate funding and get these crucial infrastructure projects back on track.”

Shadow Minister for Regional Roads, Adrian Pederick, said Peter Malinauskas must make road projects in South Australia’s regions a priority.

“The former Liberal Government had a proud record of investment in major infrastructure projects, but this city-centric Labor Government has turned its back on regional South Australians,” Mr Pederick said.

“Peter Malinauskas has already shown his true colours by ditching the standalone Regional Roads portfolio, and allowing major projects like these to be abandoned sends a further message that the productivity of our freight network and the safety of road users isn’t a priority.

“Projects like the Truro freight route are critical to our regions, this funding must be restored.”

This month, the Liberal Opposition launched the “Report Your Road” campaign to advocate for better country roads and to remind the Malinauskas Labor Government of the importance of South Australia’s regional road network.

Travelling on a road in regional South Australia that’s in bad shape? Take a photo and text it to 0416 823 055 with the location and your name.

For more information about Report Your Road, visit reportyourroadsa.com.au

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  • Adrian Pederick