Labor's roundabout preference leaves regional roads funding at a red light

The Malinauskas Labor Government has once again abandoned crucial investment in regional roads and infrastructure project, with the State Budget allocating very little to keep rural communities and drivers safe. 

The $98 million Road Safety Package revealed on Thursday includes a whopping $40 million for the upgrade of a roundabout in Mount Barker - which is not classed as a region - meaning a mere $14.5 million a year must be spread across a vast road network over the next four years. 

Shadow Minister for Regional Roads, Adrian Pederick, said the lack of investment is shocking with the number of lives lost on regional roads skyrocketing in 2023.

"More South Australians have lost their lives on regional roads (35) than anywhere else this year and it is disgusting that this horrific statistic didn't convince Peter Malinauskas that more funding was needed to save lives," Mr Pederick said. 

"We know there has been an 800 per cent increase in lives lost in the Murray Mallee alone this year, jumping from one fatality in 2022 to nine in 2023. 

"People are losing their lives and it is unacceptable that Peter Malinauskas refuses to see the value in boosting road safety,

"There is no new money to tackle the $3 billion road maintenance backlog and no new money for any regional road upgrades such as the duplication of the Dukes, Sturt and Augusta Highways.

"We do welcome the limited funding for road maintenance and improvements on Kangaroo Island, however that pales in comparison to what is required to address the backlog."

Mr Pederick said there are also concerns the Hahndorf Bypass Project, the Truro Freight Bypass and the Princes Highway Upgrades will not go ahead.

"These vital projects are currently in limbo and Peter Malinuaskas is hiding behind the Federal Government's 90-day review of our infrastructure projects. We are also disappointed there is no mention in the budget of the Swanport Bridge Duplication, South East Lines Project and The Greater Adelaide Freight Bypass." 

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  • Adrian Pederick