State budget 2019-20: $1.1 billion for regional roads

RURAL ROADS BOOST: Premier Steven Marshall unveiled a $1.15 billion spend on regional road projects and infrastructure upgrades.
RURAL ROADS BOOST: Premier Steven Marshall unveiled a $1.15 billion spend on regional road projects and infrastructure upgrades.

Regional road projects totalling more than $1.1 billion will be part of the the has been announced by the South Australian Government's list of spending in the upcoming State Budget.

It would be the biggest single injection of new funding for country roads in the state's history, according to the government.

Premier Steven Marshall said the boost for roads was part of their commitment to improve road safety, as well as help build regional communities and create jobs.

"This is the single biggest investment in regional roads in South Australia's history, and a true reflection of the value we place on our regions and saving lives on our roads," he said. "Regional South Australia is the backbone of our economy and our exports, and I'm confident that this record investment will unlock further economic potential across a range of industries, from agriculture to mining.

"Our commitment, pure and simple, is focused on building productive infrastructure that facilitates growth, productivity and job creation in our regions so that our famers and entire state can flourish."

Minister for Transport Infrastructure and Planning, Stephan Knoll, said the massive investment would underpin regional road upgrades for years.

"This massive investment to upgrade regional roads across the state will help save lives on our country roads," he said.

The state's peak motoring body, the RAA, has welcomed the state government's $1.15 billion pledge to improve safety on regional roads as well as boost local economies.

The group has lobbied for an urgent increase in regional road maintenance and has called for upgrades of the Lincoln and Tod highways on the west coast as well the Horrocks Highway in the Mid North.

RAA's senior manager of road safety, Charles Mountain, said the group welcomes the Marshall government's crucial commitment to regional road investment in this month's state budget.

"The investment in overtaking lanes and shoulder sealing is welcomed because these measures significantly improve safety, by providing safe overtaking opportunities and reducing the risk of run-off road crashes due to crumbling road edges," he said.

"And the funding allocation for the Horrocks Highway is important to urgently address the poor road surface and other issues on this critically important corridor.''

Key regional infrastructure projects outlined in the 2019-20 State Budget include;

Improving our Regional Roads initiative ($330 million over 8 years), which includes;

  • $143 million towards road upgrades, including additional overtaking lanes and shoulder sealing;
  • $92 million for duplication of Victor Harbor Road between Main South Road and McLaren Vale;
  • $55 million for the Horrocks Highway Corridor;
  • $14 million to support the relocation of the Thomas Foods Facility;
  • $14 million towards the Naracoorte and Kroemers Crossing roundabout;
  • $11 million for increased Dublin Saleyards access; and,
  • $1 million to open Bratten Bridge to road trains.

Roads of Strategic Importance ($275 million);

  • $87.5 million to upgrade the Sturt Highway from Renmark to Gawler;
  • $62.5 million to upgrade the Barrier Highway from Cockburn to Burra; and,
  • $125 million to upgrade South Australia's section of the Eyre Highway from Port Augusta to Perth - including $32 million to upgrade Eyre Peninsula Roads following the closure of the rail line.

Princes Highway upgrade ($250 million);

  • $237.1 million over four years for regional road maintenance;

Regional and remote airstrips ($1.8 million).