Millions of dollars have been earmarked for schools, health, emergency services and job creation in the Murraylands in the 2019-20 state budget.
While there were no major surprises in the budget, revealed on Tuesday, there were significant funding commitments for projects already announced in the region, including:
- $10.5 million towards a new nursing home at Strathalbyn
- $7 million for roads connecting Thomas Foods International's new meat works, with $10.3 million for utilities to come
- $5.7 million for Murray Bridge High School as it prepares to welcome year 7 students in 2022
- $4.6 million towards a new visitors' centre at Monarto Zoo
- $4 million for upgrades at Murray Bridge Soldiers' Memorial Hospital
- The cost of a new Country Fire Service station at Tailem Bend
At the high school, two new buildings will be built by the end of 2021 to accommodate growth in the middle school and in special education.
A new tech studies workshop is also planned alongside the trade training centre, and additional learning areas will be added "where required", according to the Department for Education.
The hospital's emergency department and sterile supplies department are due to be rebuilt over the next 12 months, and all works completed by the end of 2020.
Country Health SA chief operating officer Wayne Champion said it was an exciting time, and that the Murray Bridge community could expect "world-class" health care.
A contractor would be appointed and work would start as soon as the redevelopment was approved by the government's public works committee, he said.
The committee is due to meet on Thursday of this week.
Member for Hammond Adrian Pederick described it as an infrastructure budget.
"Sure, we're going to rack up a bit of debt ... but if everyone had a house loan only equivalent to one year's income, you'd be pretty happy," he said.
"And the beauty of it is it's infrastructure debt ... it's not just frivolous debt."
He noted millions would be spent giving every school a high-speed internet connection - "that's a big thing down the Dukes and in the Mallee".
The budget also committed South Australia's share of funding to a $1 billion upgrade of the Princes Highway - including overtaking lanes, widening and other safety works - due to start in 2020-21.
"That's a significant amount of money and will do many kilometres of work to get that road up to a better standard," he said.
"If you're not going to duplicate a road - and you don't need that one until the Dukes gets done - overtaking lanes save lives."
His only criticism was of a point-of-consumption tax, introduced in 2017 and much criticised by the horse racing industry, which he hoped the state would reconsider in future.