RAA is calling for a long term federal and state government investment worth billions of dollars in South Australia’s road network to save lives and boost the state’s economy, as it unveils its priorities ahead of this year’s federal election.
These infrastructure upgrades will ensure South Australians get home sooner and safer, while creating more than 38,000 new jobs and boosting state economic activity by $22 billion.
RAA is seeking a $6 billion government commitment over the next 25 years to complete the duplication of the Augusta Highway and continue the staged duplication of the Sturt and Dukes Highway to support upgrades of the Hills Freight Bypass and reduce heavy vehicle traffic on the South Eastern Freeway.
The state’s largest member organisation is also seeking an injection of an extra $1.6 billion in infrastructure upgrades across South Australia, RAA Senior Manager of Safety and Infrastructure Charles Mountain said.
“This multi-billion-dollar investment will not only get our state moving again but our economy as well,’’ Mr Mountain said.
“Tragically, more lives were lost on our roads last year than in 2020, making this investment crucial to bringing our transport infrastructure up to date and creating safer roads and more efficient freight transport.
“This is the level of funding need to help meet the national Road Safety Strategy of zero road fatalities by 2050.’’
RAA is also calling for the investment boost to create a four-year road maintenance fund worth $600 million to address the backlog of road maintenance across SA’s road network.
“This fund would be used to prioritise key regional roads including the Old Sturt Highway, Horrocks Highway, Owen Road, and Thiele Highway,’’ Mr Mountain said.
“We also need $120 million for metropolitan road upgrades, including a third lane on the South-Eastern Freeway between Stirling and Hahndorf and installing a third safety ramp at the bottom of the freeway descent.’’
Other RAA investment priorities include:
Mr Mountain said RAA had joined forces with Australia’s other motoring clubs to call on all political parties and candidates to greenlight a multi-billion-dollar national infrastructure injection plan.
The clubs said the much-need infrastructure injection could be funded with the tax motorists are already paying at the pump.
“The next Federal Government should ensure the full $13 billion raised nationally each year in net fuel excise is invested into transport infrastructure to help to pay for this plan,’’ Mr Mountain said.