5AA Breakfast, Interview with David Penberthy and Will Goodings

David Penberthy: But for right now we turn our attention to the federal Budget tomorrow and the announcement regarding the North-South corridor. The Minister for Cities Alan Tudge is on the line now.

Minister, good morning.

Alan Tudge: Good morning, thanks for having me on your program.

Will Goodings: So Minister, this money’s been sort of promised, albeit in a smaller quantity before. This is signed, sealed, delivered this 1.5 billion?

Alan Tudge: No, this hasn’t been promised before. So last year we put $1.2 billion in towards the last section of the North-South corridor. Tomorrow night in the Budget, there will be a further $1.5 billion locked into the budget, so its $2.7 billion overall for the final section of the North-South corridor and that means…

David Penberthy: [Talks over] So what will the budget line read, Minister, will it read 1.5 or 2.7?

Alan Tudge: So it’ll read 1.5, but that’s on top of the 1.2 that’s already locked in from last year. So 2.7 all up, from the federal government to go towards the completion of the North-South corridor.

David Penberthy: So just on that point, SA Labour in this state are saying that there was zero dollars in the last federal Budget, 1.2 billion was announced but there was no budget line.

Alan Tudge: Well I mean they’re wrong, I mean we announced 1.2 at last year’s Budget and now we’re announcing a further 1.5 today so that’s the all-up commitment. Now we’ve already committed $3 billion to the first few stages of the North-South corridor as you know.

Now this is the final stage, the last 10.5 kilometres which needs to be done. That planning work can begin and construction can start in 2022 and we’re setting aside now in total $2.7 billion from the federal government, which the state will likely match so we’ll have $5.4 billion to be able to complete the last section of the road to finally complete the North-South corridor, which will basically future proof Adelaide for years to come.

Will Goodings: So Minister, in the past and this is before your time, but trying to get my Prime Ministers in order here, I think it was when Tony Abbott was Prime Minister and Jamie Briggs was the Minister for Infrastructure, the feds had tried to start a bit of a debate here in South Australia about how we can best fund projects like this.

And there were strong suggestions that we should look at it doing it – particularly if we’re talking about tunnels here as part of the infrastructure – the feds view back then was that we should look at using tolls and that the provision of federal money should be contingent on South Australia being prepared to consider that. Is that still the view or is that still sort of- did that disappear with the former administration?       

lan Tudge: No, that’s not part of our plan. So this is grant money of a further $1.5 billion which will be in the Budget papers tomorrow night.

David Penberthy: Is there going to be a hit to GST for South Australia in the Budget tomorrow?

Alan Tudge: Will there be a hit to GST?

David Penberthy: Yeah.

Alan Tudge: I mean, everybody’s been a winner out of the GST allocation, everybody’s funding has been going up and of course we’re putting more and more dollars into infrastructure as well into South Australia as your population grows and to address some of those real urban congestion hotspots as well, such as smaller projects which we’ve been announcing over the last few weeks.

David Penberthy: Alan Tudge, the Minister for Cities, thanks very much for your time this morning.

Alan Tudge: Yep, thanks very much Dave.