Infrastructure injection a must in State Budget

4 June, 2024

Infrastructure to support South Australia’s growing population, fixing the state’s deteriorating road network and progressing the duplication of the three National Highways must be key priorities in the upcoming State Budget: RAA.

With more than 820,000 members, the state’s largest member-based organisation is calling for a significant injection of infrastructure funding after the recent Federal Budget failed to deliver new projects.

RAA’s key State Budget priorities for South Australia include:

  • $1 billion over four years to tackle the $2 billion road maintenance backlog,
  • Progress the duplication of the National Highways in South Australia, including Augusta, Dukes and Sturt Highways,
  • Commit to extending the Seaford line to Aldinga, and,
  • $10 million State Bicycle Fund each year.

RAA Chief Executive Officer Nick Reade said South Australia needs a huge infrastructure funding injection to fix our existing road network.

“Quite frankly, the state of our road network is becoming alarming,” Mr Reade said.

“The road maintenance backlog is growing faster than our roads are being fixed.  

“The latest Auditor General Report shows 20 per cent of our 13,000km sealed road network is in the maintenance backlog – which is more than 2,500kms of road in need of repair.

“That means our roads aren’t as safe as they should be, nor are they as productive as they could be from a freight productivity point of view.”

RAA is calling for funding to address SA’s road maintenance backlog

Mr Reade said planning and funding for road and public transport projects was imperative to support the state’s growing population which is expected to hit 2 million by 2031.  

“The State Government is rightly releasing more land to address the housing shortage – particularly in the north and south of Adelaide’s greater metropolitan area,” Mr Reade said.

“In the upcoming State Budget, we’d like to see progress for projects that will help ease congestion on our roads and support this housing and population growth.

“In about seven years, there’ll be around an additional 150,000 people living in South Australia according to the government’s population projections.

“Without the right road and public transport upgrades, we’ll have more congestion, increased travel times and we’ll be further compromising road safety.

“RAA is here to drive a bigger, better South Australia – a state that is safe, sustainable and liveable – that’s why we need this infrastructure injection.

RAA is calling for more investment in public transport

“We appreciate the significant investment and commitment to the final stage of the North-South Corridor from all levels of government, but we need to carry on with other projects around the state at the same time.”

Senior Manager of Infrastructure and Road Safety Charles Mountain said the progressive duplication of the National Highways continues to be a priority for the state’s peak motoring body.  

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

“We’ve consistently called for duplication of these three SA highways which will improve road safety and boost economic productivity too.

“We acknowledge the Strategic Business Case for a High Productivity Vehicle Network the Government is undertaking, which includes the Eyre, Sturt, Augusta and Dukes Highways.

“With Stage 1 of the Augusta Highway duplication set for completion in mid-late 2024, RAA would like to see funding allocated to construct the second stage along a section of approximately 18 kilometres between Crystal Brook and Port Pirie – the busiest section of the Augusta Highway.”

Download RAA’s 2023-24 State Budget submission.