Hills projects reinstated, but rest of SA misses out on new road funding

15 May, 2024

The Federal Budget has left South Australians short-changed when it comes to new road and infrastructure funding – with no new commitment to progress key road and infrastructure priorities.  

While the state’s largest member-based organisation has welcomed the ongoing commitment to the completion of the North-South Corridor and the re-instatement of funding for the Verdun and Mount Barker interchanges that were axed by the Federal Government last year, it is disappointed this Budget does not address South Australia’s road infrastructure needs.

In particular, this year’s Budget does not include further funding to progress:

  • Duplication of the National Highways in South Australia, including Augusta, Duke and Sturt Highways,
  • The Truro Bypass project, and
  • Motor tax reform to replace the fuel excise.

RAA Chief Executive Officer Nick Reade said these were vital infrastructure projects in need of federal funding to improve road safety and boost economic productivity.

“While we welcome the ongoing commitment to the North-South Corridor completion – we have to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time,” Mr Reade said.

“South Australia needs continued investment in other road infrastructure projects to help get our network up to speed, improve productivity and reduce road trauma.

“Duplicating our national highways is imperative if we are to reach the targets set out in both the national and state road safety strategies.

“RAA has consistently called for duplication of these three SA highways.”

The Budget reinstates funding for upgrades to the Mt Barker and Verdun interchanges

Senior Manager of Infrastructure and Road Safety Charles Mountain said RAA was pleased the Federal Government had reversed its decision to axe funding for the Verdun and Mount Barker interchange upgrades.

“The upgrade of the Verdun and Mount Barker interchanges are crucial projects to support the housing and population growth in the Adelaide Hills,” Mr Mountain said.

“There’s also $100 million for South Eastern Freeway upgrades and $360.8 million to continue the Roads to Recovery program as part of a five-year cycle.

“The new requirement for states to publish detailed crash data in order to receive road funding is also a great road safety outcome and we look forward to the SA Government working with the Federal Government to deliver this outcome for all South Australian road users.”

The Federal Budget also allocated $100 million for a national active transport fund to make roads safer for vulnerable road users and $76.6 million toward the Safer Local Roads and Infrastructure Program to help local councils maintain their road network.

South Eastern Freeway

Mr Mountain also said RAA, along with its Federal counterpart the Australian Automobile Association, had also been calling for federal leadership on motor tax reform.

“With the rise of low-emission vehicles in our fleet, the amount of revenue generated by the fuel excise will soon start to decline and the Federal Government needs to look at motoring tax reform to ensure all motorists are paying their fair share to maintain our roads,” Mr Mountain said.

“The Federal Budget was silent on that front and it’s something we’ll continue to pursue on behalf of our members and all road users.”