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$104.9 million for South Australian Roads

Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Transport and Regional Services
Leader of the National Party

13th May 2003

The Federal Government will spend $104.9 million on South Australian roads in 2003-04 to improve their reliability, safety and efficiency, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport and Regional Services, John Anderson, said today.

"The funding will continue the widening of Portrush Road and the construction of the Port River Expressway. We are also pushing on with building overtaking lanes on the Sturt Highway," Mr Anderson said.

Port River Expressway

"Construction has begun on the new and much anticipated Port River Expressway. The Federal Government will provide $7.5 million for the expressway in 2003-04, as part of our $26.7 million commitment to stage 1 of the project.

"Heavy vehicles currently have to pass through the historic Port Adelaide shopping and commercial precinct to access the Outer Harbor container terminal and the other industry on Le Fevre Peninsula. The expressway will overcome this transport bottleneck.

"Stage 1 of the expressway comprises a new four-lane road between Eastern Parade and the Salisbury Highway-South Road Connector, and includes a road overpass at Eastern Parade. Work is expected to be completed by September 2004.

Widening Portrush Road

"The Government has committed $42.0 million to widening Portrush Road to four lanes between Magill and Greenhill Roads. The final instalment -- $6.9 million -- will be provided in 2003-04.

"Construction between Magill Road and The Parade is currently underway and will take six months to complete. The relocation of services between The Parade and Kensington Road has also commenced. When it is finished, the project will feature wide outer lanes to cater for cyclists, landscaped median strips and traffic lights at the intersections.

"The project will significantly reduce traffic congestion and improve pedestrian safety on this section of the National Highway.

Overtaking lanes

"The Government has brought forward $2.0 million of funding from 2005-06, which will enable us to provide $4.0 million in 2003-04 to build overtaking lanes on the Sturt Highway between Gawler and the Victorian border.

"The funding will enable work to be carried out on seven overtaking lanes, which are located as follows:

Eastbound Westbound
2km east of Truro
5km east of Blanchetown
25km east of Blanchetown
10km west of Blanchetown1
14km east of Blanchetown
2km east of Daveyston
6km west of Blanchetown1
1. Commenced in 2002-03 and due for completion in 2003-04

"We have made a commitment to fund 17 overtaking lanes on the Sturt Highway, and they are due to be completed by mid-2006.

"The Government will also spend $3 million in 2003-04 on overtaking lanes on the Adelaide-Port Augusta Road between Port Wakefield and Port Augusta.

Shoulder Sealing

"The Dukes Highway will receive $1.2 million in 2003-04 for shoulder sealing.

"Sealed shoulders make passing and overtaking large freight vehicles safer, and reduces crashes, driver frustration and delays. Sealing also gives drivers who unintentionally stray onto the shoulder a better chance of recovering control, especially when combined with the raised audible edgelines that are also being installed. The reduction in crashes at some locations is estimated to be as high as 34 percent.

"The Government has allocated a total of $5.1 million for shoulder sealing in South Australia in 2003-04. As well as the Dukes Highway funding, the Port Wakefield to Port Augusta Road will receive $1.0 million and the Eyre Highway will receive $2.9 million.

Planning a new gateway for Adelaide

"We will contribute $200,000 in 2003-04 towards a planning study to determine a new alignment for the Sturt Highway into Adelaide.

"The study, which will build on earlier work by the South Australian Government, will identify a new two-lane alignment including a bypass to Angle Vale and a new connection to the Gawler Bypass. The new alignment will eventually replace Main North Road as the main access road to the Barossa, the Riverland and beyond.

Saving Lives with the Black Spot Programme

"South Australia will receive $3.5 million in 2003-04 under the National Black Spot Programme, which provides funding to improve dangerous accident locations on Australia's roads. The programme is estimated to prevent around 500 serious crashes a year nationally.

Maintaining local roads

"In 2003-04, the Government will invest $50.4 million in South Australia's local roads, comprising $25.4 million in untied Local Road Grants and $25.0 million under the Roads to Recovery Programme.

"The $1.2 billion Roads to Recovery Programme is the largest funding injection into local roads by any Federal Government. So far, councils have listed about 10,000 projects for funding, with a strong emphasis on improving road safety.

"In 2002-03, we had to defer $100 million of spending under the programme nationally to meet our overall budgetary requirements. Local authorities will receive their full Roads to Recovery allocation in 2003-04, and will receive an extra $100 million nationally in 2004-05 to make up for the deferral.

"The Government has initiated a House of Representatives inquiry into cost shifting by the states and the financial position of local government. The level of funding received by local government falls within the committee's terms of reference, and we will consider its recommendations very carefully," Mr Anderson said.

Media contact: Paul Chamberlin 02 62777680 / 0419 233989