Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey has called on the Government to commit funding to continue the duplication of the Augusta Highway begun by the Coalition Government in a speech to Parliament on Monday.
“As a Government we had an amazing record of investment in roads right across the electorate of Grey delivering more than a billion dollars of Federal taxpayers funds to re-building our networks, and mostly matched by a 20% state contribution, however many of those projects are either close to or already completed and we need a new commitment,” Mr Ramsey said.
“With the second bridge at Port Augusta, the dual lanes and overpass at Port Wakefield completed and the duplication of the Augusta Highway from the overpass, over the ranges and through to Lochiel, has reached an advanced stage.
“These works were enabled by a $208m contribution from the former government it is important we maintain the momentum and keep the work crews together to make the most efficient use of resources.
“Among all of the works we also allocated $8m for full planning for the duplication of the single busiest section of Augusta Highway from Crystal Brook to Pt Pirie.
“I believe the work has been done by the SA Department of Transport and Infrastructure and all we need now is an allocation from the Federal budget and a 20% contribution from the state and it can go ahead.”
Mr Ramsey said Labor’s October budget announced $400m for the Freight Highways Upgrade Program in SA and that the money was designated for the Stuart, Dukes and Augusta Highways.
“At first glance I thought well that will be useful, but then I noticed in the explanatory notes that it was a ten year program and frankly that amount would hardly pay for the white posts over that extended period,” he said.
“The Government needs to take the task of maintaining and improving our regional road network seriously.
“There is Budget due in May, and that would be a very good time to start so we can actually handle the expansion of the industries happening in the north of the state, the industries that will underwrite the prosperity of South Australia.”
Mr Ramsey said the news over the last few days that the Augusta Highway, is the state’s most dangerous road based on SAPOL statistics, recording 44 fatalities in the past five years, should provide added momentum for the government to act.
March 21, 2023
Media contact: Leonie Lloyd-Smith 8633 1744