Feds boost freight roads in South Australia

The Liberals and Nationals have committed $220 million to upgrade three critical South Australian freight corridors through the Roads of Strategic Importance Initiative.

Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals’ Leader Michael McCormack said the ROSI initiative funding will make roads safer and boost productivity.

“This investment is yet another part of the Liberal and Nationals’ vision to get people home sooner and safer, no matter where they live,” Mr McCormack said.

“It will increase efficiency, productivity and improve the supply chain.

“By making the freight system more efficient, local businesses will also have more money to invest in their operations, creating more jobs and providing a vital shot in the arm for the agriculture and mining sectors, which are so important to South Australian jobs and communities.”

The investment will improve safety, driving down business costs and better connecting regional communities. The initiative is a rolling program which will be delivered over the next ten years, providing opportunities for local industries and boosting employment for small and mid-tier companies.

It will target the economically critical corridors between Cockburn and Burra, Renmark and Gawler and the South Australian section of the Perth to Port Augusta corridor along the Eyre Highway.

South Australian Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government Stephan Knoll welcomed the Australian Government’s funding commitment.

“This funding will target priority regional freight corridors and will benefit local communities and boost local economies and jobs by improving the links between regional areas and access to ports and export markets,” Mr Knoll said.

“I look forward to working with our federal partners to progress these crucial investments.”

Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey said the funding was an exceptional investment in safer and more reliable roads, will lower business costs and provide greater efficiencies for regional industries.

“One hundred million dollars has been committed to the network between Port Augusta and Perth with further detail on the specifics of this programme to be released over the coming days,” Mr Ramsey said.

“These road upgrades are a long-standing priority for the region and will facilitate increasing volumes of road freight and provide a seamless and more efficient freight network through the region.

“A further $50 million will upgrade the corridor between Burra and Cockburn, tackling pinch points between Burra and east of Peterborough through targeted upgrades to widen, strengthen and realign various sections, increasing freight efficiency and competitiveness for the state’s agriculture and mining sectors.”

Federal Member for Barker Tony Pasin said the Liberal and Nationals’ Government would also invest $70 million in the corridor between Renmark and Gawler.

“This is a very important transport route and this $70 million investment will see improvements to increase safety and productivity along the corridor,” Mr Pasin said.

“This investment will include targeted upgrades to widen, strengthen and realign various sections along the corridor to improve the flow of vehicles and increase access for higher efficiency heavy vehicles.

“The result will be better access to the South Australian and New South Wales freight networks, boosting the competitiveness of South Australia’s agricultural and mining sectors.”

The Liberal and Nationals’ Government is investing $3.5 billion nationwide through its Roads of Strategic Importance initiative to improve productivity and efficiency on key freight roads, including feeder roads.

These investments will better connect regions to ports, airports and other transport hubs.