Tuesday 02 May, 2023

Critical South Australian infrastructure projects now face massive cuts, cost blowouts, or never-ending delays in a desperate move by Labor as it depends on a “trojan horse review” to slash spending and help balance the books ahead of the Federal Budget.

Member for Barker, Assistant Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Tony Pasin MP, described Labor’s review of the $120 billion infrastructure pipeline as a “sneaky excuse to cut and delay funding from important South Australian infrastructure projects”.

SA projects now facing uncertainty include:

  • The Truro Freight Route
  • Princes Highway Corridor Upgrade
  • Old Belair Road Upgrade
  • Marion Road and Sir Donald Bradman Drive Intersection Upgrade
  • The Hahndorf Township Improvements and Access Project
  • Road maintenance and safety programs.

“Cutting or delaying funding to these projects will be a handbrake on economic growth and a barrier to driving the efficiencies needed to support budget repair. It’s simply robbing Peter to pay Paul,” Mr Pasin said.

“Labor is gearing up to take an axe to regional roads, strategic freight routes and congestion-busting urban road projects across the country at a time when the Government’s budget repair strategy should be to invest in productivity enhancing capital products not cut them.

“This is bad news for important infrastructure projects in South Australia. Labor talks a big game about increasing migration and rebuilding the economy and yet they take away the investment into infrastructure to support growth.

“This will lead to more congestion in our cities and regional roads falling further into disrepair. It will do nothing to address productivity for our freight operators and nothing to improve road safety.”

Mr Pasin said the former Coalition Government saw the importance of a bold infrastructure agenda to support current and future growth with projects such as the North-South Corridor, Truro Freight Route, Hahndorf bypass and Marion-Sir Donald Bradman Drive intersection upgrade. 

“We need clarity as soon as possible that these important South Australian infrastructure projects will be fully funded and delivered on time. Labor’s uncertainty will impact investment confidence at a time we need it most.”

“The Labor Government seems to misunderstand the importance of the infrastructure portfolio and it’s potential to strengthen the economy given the opportunity,” Mr Pasin said.

State Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Vincent Tarzia, said South Australia can’t afford to miss out on vital infrastructure projects due to short-sighted budget cuts.

“This review is typical from Labor, and we fear South Australia is about to lose its fair share of infrastructure funding as a result,” Mr Tarzia said.

“It really does feel like Peter Malinauskas is Anthony Albanese’s little lap dog that jumps up and down and rolls over on command. That’s why when SA gets the short end of the stick, Peter Malinauskas doesn’t make a peep.

“This situation is serious and Labor’s funding detour might appear like they’re making savings, but this will cost South Australians big in the long run and cause a detrimental domino effect on jobs, businesses and our quality of life which will spiral down.

“South Australia deserves strong infrastructure investment to support growth, not cuts that will set us back decades.”