Infrastructure Minister inspects Port Augusta bridge

Media Release

DC325/2017

30 October 2017

Joint release with:

Rowan Ramsey

Federal Member for Grey

  • Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey brings Minister to Port Augusta for Joy Baluch AM Bridge inspection
  • Current Australian Government infrastructure commitments to Grey total $600 million

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester today joined Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey to inspect Port Augusta’s Joy Baluch AM Bridge.

Mr Chester said the visit was a good opportunity to view first-hand traffic and safety issues associated with the crossing.

“This is the key crossing to access the Upper Spencer Gulf, and Rowan has made me aware that the recent closure of the adjacent Great Western Bridge caused potential safety issues by forcing cycling and foot traffic onto the Joy Baluch AM bridge,” Mr Chester said.

“The Joy Baluch AM bridge needs an immediate solution to improve safety for the community and that’s why I am here—to inspect the bridge and get a firsthand understanding of what is needed.

“I am ready to work with the South Australian government to ensure the community gets the safety improvements it needs.

“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.”

Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey welcomed the opportunity to discuss the bridge issue directly with the Minister, while also highlighting existing federal investment in regional South Australia.

“I brought Minister Chester here to Port Augusta so he can see the bridge and understand the urgency of the current situation.  I haven’t seen State Minister Mullighan out here looking at the bridge,” Mr Ramsey said.

“It is now seven months since Minister Chester and I asked Mr Mullighan to develop options to upgrade the bridge to address pedestrian, transport and heavy vehicle use. It is a complete snub to Port Augusta and all families who need a safe passage across the gulf. There are reports of people defying the closure order on the condemned Great Western Bridge, it simply isn’t good enough.

“I look forward to continuing to work with Minister Chester and other Cabinet colleagues to ensure regional South Australia sees the full benefit of the Government’s record $75 billion infrastructure investment nationwide.”