Still waiting for SA gov to provide bridge plans

Media Release

DC371/2017

20 November 2017

Joint release with:

Rowan Ramsay

Federal Member for Grey

The South Australian Government has failed to provide any details of its so-called plan to build a new bridge at Port Augusta.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester has challenged South Australia to publicly release any details for the bridge duplication project it predicts will cost $200 million.

Mr Chester visited Port Augusta's Joy Baluch AM Bridge with local Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey last month.

Mr Chester said he saw first-hand the traffic and safety issues associated with the key crossing to the Upper Spencer Gulf.

“The Australian Government is committed to providing an immediate short-term solution to improve safety for the community and assessing long-term options to duplicate the bridge,” Mr Chester said.

“In March, I wrote to Mr Mullighan seeking options for short and long term improvements, including the duplication of the bridge.

“No options or business case for the duplication has been provided to the Australian Government, so work can't get started.

“Mr Mullighan needs to act now to improve safety for locals. We stand ready to consider a business case and funding request from the South Australian Government for both short and long term options.”

Mr Ramsay said he was hopeful the South Australian Government wasn't purely focussed on the upcoming election and was serious about fixing the bridge.

“The duplication of the bridge will take some time, so an immediate solution to the walkway issue is needed first,” Mr Ramsay said.

“The problems Port Augusta has faced since the closure of the Greater Western Bridge and increased pedestrian use of the main bridge is a serious safety issue and something the Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester and I have been trying to solve.”

The Coalition Government is already investing more than $600 million in transport infrastructure across the electorate of Grey to improve safety and freight productivity for the state's major regional industries.