Even more homes and businesses could be in the line of fire near the North-South Corridor project – on top of the extra 131 properties already acquired as a result of the Malinauskas Labor Government’s design changes.
During a Budget and Finance Committee hearing last week, it was revealed “small changes to the requirements” of the project could result in more bulldozer activity for families and business owners who are yet to be informed about demolition.
“It is possible (more acquisitions will come),” Deputy Chief Executive of the Department for Infrastructure and Transport Wayne Buckerfield testified.
“It’s not uncommon for any project that as the design gets refined there can be small changes to the requirements,” he said.
“At the moment we don't have that (acquisitions) estimate because we have only identified those properties which are affected by the current design. As that evolves, and particularly as we get into the detailed design once we have awarded a contract, you will find some others might come to light.”
Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Vincent Tarzia, said more bad news appears to be on the cards for people living and operating businesses around the North-South Corridor project.
“If news of Tom Koutsantonis wanting to bulldoze 131 extra properties was a kick in the guts last year, this latest development is a bitter blow to the local community,” Mr Tarzia said.
“We’ve seen this alarming ambiguity before when Tom Koutsantonis refused to rule out further acquisitions under Labor’s new design, only to find out later that there are 131 extra homes and businesses that will be flattened.
“Now we’re being fed that same ambiguous line again about other potential changes to the North-South project and South Australians who thought they were finally safe would be rightly feeling angry at Tom Koutsantonis.
“On top of the possibility of more property acquisitions, we still have no answers when it comes to who is actually footing the bill for the extra $5.5 billion this project will cost thanks to Tom Koutsantonis and Labor’s new design.”