With the State Budget being released today, the Opposition wants to see meaningful investment to tackle South Australia’s road safety and infrastructure concerns.
Last month, it was revealed the road maintenance backlog has reached a staggering $3 billion under the Malinauskas Labor Government.
The RAA has called on Peter Malinauskas to commit $750 million over four years in order to address important upkeep and repairs.
This growing backlog has led to South Australian roads deteriorating, impacting the safety of road users.
So far this year, 59 people have tragically lost their lives on SA roads compared with 36 at the same time last year. It has been the worst year for road fatalities on record in over two decades.
Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Vincent Tarzia, urged Peter Malinauskas to significantly increase road safety funding and to properly address the neglected road maintenance backlog.
“The lives of South Australians depend on safe and well-maintained roads. Peter Malinauskas can’t afford to ignore this pressing issue as it affects the day-to-day safety of South Australian road users,” Mr Tarzia said.
“Proper investment in road safety and infrastructure is not just an option, it’s a responsibility we owe to every South Australian.
“It’s time to prioritise the safety and wellbeing of South Australians by making the necessary investments in our roads and infrastructure.”
Shadow Minister for Regional Roads, Adrian Pederick, said regional roads in particular have been an afterthought for the Malinauskas Labor Government.
“Proper investment in South Australia’s regional roads is vital to support communities, improve economic outcomes and to help save lives,” Mr Pederick said.
“More than half of the fatalities on our roads this year have been in country areas, so it’s vital we make sure the thousands of kilometres worth of regional roads around the state are safe and up to scratch.
“In last year’s State Budget, funding for regional roads made up only a tiny percentage of the total roads budget. I hope to see a u-turn from the Malinauskas Labor Government this year and regional roads pushed higher up the priority list.”
The Opposition is also calling on the Malinauskas Labor Government to direct part of the surplus revenue from the new mobile phone detection cameras into Rider Safe training to better educate and prepare motorcycle users before they take to the road. The initiative is projected to increase expiation revenue by $17.1 million per annum (indexed) from 2024‐25.
“We know motorcycle riders are a vulnerable cohort of road users. We want to see the appropriate resources and funding being directed to equip new riders with the knowledge and practicable skills necessary to protect both themselves and others on our roads,” Mr Tarzia said.
Under Labor, South Australia’s flagship infrastructure project, the North-South Corridor, has experienced an eye-watering $5 billion cost blowout to a total sum of $15 billion. It’s also suffered two timeline delays pushing the critical project back by two years.
The Malinauskas Labor Government must ensure no further blowouts or timeline delays affect the North-South Corridor, which is now expected to be completed in 2031.
Other road project proposals, such as the proposed Greater Adelaide Freight Bypass, have been placed on the back burner by the Malinauskas Labor Government. Despite being characterised by senior transport officials as “economically positive” the Greater Adelaide Freight Bypass “is not funded at this time.”
“Peter Malinauskas has the opportunity to deliver real, tangible change by improving road safety and infrastructure funding in this upcoming budget,” Mr Tarzia said.
“Only time will tell if the Malinauskas Labor Government delivers or if we will see another infrastructure budget burnout.”