May 14, 2014

Briggs cuts millions from SA roads

South Australia’s productivity will be lowered and motorists put at risk after the Coalition Government cut millions of dollars of road funding in the Budget.

The cuts show that Assistant Minister Jamie Briggs is simply not up to the job of delivering for South Australia.

The former Labor Government provided $18 million every year to South Australian councils through Identified Local Government Road Funding.

Historically the formula used to deliver local government funding allocates 5 per cent of the funds to South Australia despite the state maintaining 11 per cent of national roads.

Identified Local Government Road Funding addressed that anomaly and has ensured that South Australian councils could maintain safe and efficient local roads.

In addition the Abbott Government has cut over $900 million from the Local Government Financial Assistance Grants Program which means South Australia will have even less funding to fix local roads.

It is critical to ensure people and freight are able to move freely and safely around the state. Cutting the funding will risk lives and cost jobs.

The expensive marketing materials the Coalition Government released last night confirm their claims on infrastructure are simply a con job on the public.

To add insult to injury, the Government is also trying to take credit for funding Torrens-to-Torrens South Road Upgrade whilst simultaneously cutting public transport funding.

In fact, the former Labor Government already funded the Torrens-to-Torrens project, allocating $448 million in the 2013-14 Budget.

There was also existing funding of $31.5 million for the Tonsley Park Public Transport Project and $76 million for the Gawler Rail Electrification.

These two public transport projects alone would have created over 1450 jobs for South Australians.

But last night’s Budget confirmed that these projects have been cut, leaving South Australia without a single dollar of Commonwealth funding for public transport.

Instead of hiding behind expensive marketing materials, Mr Briggs should be honest with South Australians and admit he has been unable to deliver even the most basic infrastructure needs for his home state.