Apr 27, 2013

Tony Abbott’s “aspirational” South Road promise

I welcome Tony Abbott’s belated interest in Adelaide’s infrastructure needs.

But let’s be clear: today Mr Abbott hasn’t committed to building anything.  All he’s promising is a process for considering possible future funding for South Road and the Darlington Interchange, a project which has merit.

This is simply another of Mr Abbott’s “aspirational” promises.

For our part, we are currently working with the State Government on finalising the next set of improvements to the north south corridor, complementing the work we are already doing such as building the Northern Expressway (completed) and the South Road Superway (underway).

In fact, these are the two biggest road projects in the State’s history, part of the unprecedented $2.7 billion investment we have been making in the State’s road, rail and public transport infrastructure.  All up, we have more than doubled annual infrastructure spending from $109 to $272 per South Australian.

Going forward, Federal Labor will continue to follow a proper, rigorous assessment process which delivers real money for real projects that make a real difference.  After all, it was this Federal Labor Government that established Infrastructure Australia in the first place.

What’s more, our plan to keep our cities moving involves investing in both its road AND rail infrastructure.  That’s why in Adelaide we have not only funded major road projects, but also invested in rail including the Noarlunga Rail Extension, the Gawler Rail Line Upgrade, and the Goodwood and Torrens Junctions Upgrade.

If not tackled in such a balanced way the cost of urban congestion in all our cities will continue to rise, as it did under the former Howard Government by more than 60 per cent.