Building South Australia's future

Opinion Piece


14 September 2015

The Advertiser

The Australian Government is building for South Australia's future with billions of dollars in game changing infrastructure projects now underway or commencing construction soon.

The first of these projects which will slash travel times for motorists and support almost 500 jobs a year during construction is the $1 billion Torrens to Torrens upgrade on South Road. Last month the Prime Minister, Premier and I turned the first sod on this vital upgrade which will deliver a three kilometre section of non-stop roadway along one of the busiest sections of the North-South Corridor.

Major construction is also set to start in a matter of months on the $620 million Darlington Interchange Upgrade. This project will support almost 400 jobs during construction and help eliminate congestion by creating a non-stop motorway along the 2.3km section of Main South Road between the Southern Expressway and Ayliffes Road. It will also allow thousands of motorists who use Flagstaff Hill Road and Main South Road every day the ability to use the non-stop motorway to avoid three sets of traffic lights.

Together the Torrens to Torrens and Darlington Interchange projects represent a joint $1.5 billion investment with the State Government that will transform Adelaide's transport network and drive economic growth for years to come. They will also improve access to key industrial and residential growth areas, helping revitalise neighbourhoods and making Adelaide an even better place to live and do business.

But with local unemployment at a disappointing 7.9% and congestion set to cost the South Australian economy $4 billion annually in the next decade, we need to build more. That is why the Australian Government is investing an additional $788 million to build the next major project along the North South Corridor, the Northern Connector project.

The Northern Connector project will involve construction of a new 15.5 kilometre motorway linking the Northern Expressway to the northern end of the South Road Superway and will start major construction by mid-2016. With over half of Adelaide's freight task located in the north and north-western suburbs, this vital project will significantly reduce heavy vehicle travel times and lower operating costs for the transport industry.

When complete, the Northern Connector together with previously completed projects and the Torrens to Torrens project will mean motorists can travel almost non-stop along a 40 kilometre corridor from Gawler to the River Torrens. This will unlock massive investment opportunities in the north of Adelaide and increase South Australia's freight capacity meaning our primary producers can get more products to market more effectively and at less cost. This project will also support 500 jobs a year during construction in a part of Adelaide that desperately needs more employment opportunities.

The Australian Government is embarking upon the biggest infrastructure programme in South Australia's history because we are focussed on making our great state an economic powerhouse once more. By next year there will be more bulldozers on the ground and cranes in the sky in Adelaide, building world class infrastructure that will support thousands of jobs during construction. Coupled with our recent announcements on the construction of future frigates in Adelaide and our small business package in the Budget, South Australia's economic future is looking much stronger.

Unlike the previous Labor government that enjoyed celebrating big new announcements, this government is getting on with delivering new infrastructure. This is our economic plan hard at work, creating the jobs South Australians need today and greater prosperity for future generations to come.