SA a priority for Infrastructure Australia

Infrastructure Australia has released its latest Priority List with the largest number of new proposals for South Australia in the List’s five-year history.

The six initiatives are rated as either High Priority or Priority reflecting the Marshall Liberal Government’s hard work to plan a pipeline of projects and grow confidence within the construction industry in the state.

South Australia has two High Priority Initiatives – Adelaide’s Outer Ring Route capacity and South Australian Road Network maintenance.

There are also four initiatives identified as Priority Initiatives by Infrastructure Australia: Adelaide level crossings congestion and safety; Barossa Valley Region water supply; Northern South Australia productive water security and South Australia High Productivity Vehicle network access.

Premier Steven Marshall said the initiatives build on South Australia’s record $16.7 billion infrastructure pipeline and provide a roadmap to guide future investment.

“These six new initiatives are going to be transformative for South Australia,” Premier Marshall said.

“They will drive economic development across the state, address the current challenges we have with water infrastructure and ease congestion for South Australian road users.

“For South Australia to have six additional initiatives on the IA priority list proves my Government is absolutely committed to building what matters for the people of South Australia.”

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Corey Wingard, said the inclusion of these initiatives shows that South Australia is a safe bet for important commonwealth investment and takes SA’s representation on the list to 12 initiatives and one project.

“We’ve been working hard on planning for major projects and infrastructure upgrades across the state because we know that if the groundwork is laid early, it’s easier to secure funding and get shovels in the ground,” Minister Wingard said.

“The initiatives listed will create jobs, make our roads smoother and safer and will improve freight capacity.

“The former Labor government left us with more than $750 million in road maintenance backlog and it’s fantastic to see that addressing that issue is viewed as a priority by IA.”

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, David Basham, said it was great to see the Barossa Valley Region water supply on the list.

“The Barossa and Eden Valley wine industry is a key contributor to the regional and State economy, as well as significant contributor to both the wine and tourism sectors in Australia,” Minister Basham said.

“There are 2,700 people employed in the wine and grape sector in the Barossa and the region accounts for nearly 10 per cent of national wine sector jobs.

“We recognise a key constraint to agricultural productivity and growth in the Barossa and Eden Valley is the lack of secure and climate dependent water. An additional water supply could be a game changer for the Barossa and Eden Valley region.”

Infrastructure SA Chief Executive, Jeremy Conway, said the additions were an important step for South Australia’s infrastructure future.

“ISA welcomes the engagement with Infrastructure Australia and the identification of priorities of national significance in our state,” Mr Conway said.

“The initiatives identified are consistent with ISA’s 20-Year State Infrastructure Strategy and we look forward to the next steps in progressing these important priorities.”

South Australia’s two High Priority Initiatives will help improve the capacity, productivity and safety of South Australian roads.

The Adelaide Outer Ring Route capacity initiative seeks to improve the safety and productivity of Adelaide’s Outer Ring Route, which is heavily congested during peak and non-peak times, resulting in inefficient and costly freight movements, reduced performance of the public transport system, longer travel times and decreased safety for commuters and pedestrians.

The initiative will identify options to address these issues, such as technology options to improve traffic management, improving or removing intersections and targeted high productivity vehicle access improvements.

South Australian road network aims to reduce the increasing backlog of road maintenance on roads throughout the state, which was estimated to be more than $750 million in 2019.

Improving the condition of roads leads to reduced vehicle operating costs, improved travel times and safety risks and reduces potential resilience issues for traffic.

There is a regional focus to South Australia’s Priority Initiatives, with three of the four to benefiting regional communities.

South Australia High Productivity Vehicle network access will prioritise projects such as improving bridge capacities and duplicating lanes on the South Australian regional freight network, including the Augusta Highway, Dukes Highway and Sturt Highway.

This will enable more access for High Productivity Vehicles, dramatically reducing the costs of moving freight through and around the state.

The other two regional-focused initiatives identified are Northern South Australia productive water security, which aims to identify new sustainable water sources to help unlock investment in mining and industrial activity in the region, and Barossa Valley Region water supply, with a focus on improving water security to underpin the region’s vital wine and tourism industries.

In metropolitan Adelaide, the Adelaide level crossings congestion and safety initiative will lead to improved safety and reduced travel times throughout Adelaide.

The Marshall Liberal Government has already committed to grade separations at the Hove Level Crossing and Ovingham Level Crossing and will now work to prioritise future projects.

Previously 31 level crossings have been identified as posing the highest risk to users and creating the most disruptions on the road network.

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