100,000 South Australians on the road to nowhere

4 March, 2024

As South Australia’s population climbs towards 2 million, RAA is calling for a massive expansion of the Adelaide rail network and utilities infrastructure to meet the growing demand. 

RAA has welcomed the State Government’s release of significant parcels of land to build almost 25,000 new homes to help address the housing and affordability crisis.  

According to Plan SA – a state government department – the state’s population could reach 2 million as soon as 2029.  

Over the last 12 months, the State Government has released enough land to build almost 25,000 new homes.  

The proposed new developments, coupled with existing developments like Riverlea, will house approximately 100,000 more people – from Sellicks Beach down south through to Concordia in the north.   

To cater for this housing and population boom, the state’s largest member-based organisation would like to see:

  • An expansion of the metropolitan rail network, including:
      –  An extension of the Seaford line to Aldinga by 2030, 
      –  An extension of the Gawler line to Concordia,  
      –  A rail line or high-capacity bus service to cater for people living in the Dry Creek and Riverlea developments. 
  • Concurrent road infrastructure planning,
  • Concurrent utilities infrastructure planning. 

Chief Executive Officer Nick Reade said RAA was supportive of the State Government’s moves to release more land for housing to make it easier for South Australians to get into a home.   

“We think the State Government is absolutely on the right path by releasing more land for housing into the market – especially as our population climbs towards 2 million,” Mr Reade said.  

“We’re pleased to see alignment between government and industry, supporting housing and population growth.  

“There’s no doubt we need more homes, but we also want to see an investment in infrastructure to support this growth at the same time.  

“Housing developments can’t outstrip infrastructure and utility investment – otherwise we’re doomed to repeat the mistakes we’ve seen in Mount Barker where infrastructure is playing catch-up.  

“That means everything from roads and rail, through to water and electricity. 

“Industry are telling us the funding and construction of water infrastructure is a big concern that may stall development, particularly for the greenfield sites.”  

Mr Reade said the major housing developments either in planning or underway would see around 100,000 more people living in areas like Dry Creek, Riverlea, Concordia, Sellicks Beach and West Lakes.    

“That’s a lot of additional people soon to be living in these areas, putting huge pressure on our roads, public transport, utilities and services,” Mr Reade said.     

“In fact, in some of these areas which are greenfield sites there’s no suitable public transport or road infrastructure at all.    

“We don’t want to see a situation in the future – like at Mount Barker – where roads, public transport and utilities are playing catch-up.   

“That puts more pressure on our road network, increases congestion and impacts the liveability of Adelaide – something we should never compromise on.   

“RAA would like to see an expansion of the rail network to service some of the new developments that have been proposed.   

“We also want to work with Government on road infrastructure planning, to ensure there’s a plan to invest in our road network to support this population boom.”