The state of South Australia has officially opened its borders while one of the state’s major industry lobby group shines light on much needed state infrastructure resources.
The Civil Contractors Federation (South Australia) (CCF (SA) announced it had decided to approach the key Infrastructure Australia (IA) body to get SA projects on the “highest priority” list.
CCF SA says after a decade of failures by local bureaucrats the move may prove crucial to how quickly SA can reboot its COVID-starved economy and protect and create new jobs.
CCF SA is the peak industry and business association representing companies and other organisations with business interests in civil construction.
Among the key drivers of the CCF (SA)’s project list are some of SA’s most heavily trafficked but dangerous roads and highways – one of which recently saw yet another fatal accident.
Infrastructure Australia is the nation’s independent infrastructure advisor that recommends funding requirements to the Federal Government for transport and other infrastructure projects around the nation.
“We have been advised that Infrastructure South Australia is working on a submission, but from the Federation’s point of view, we just can’t take any more chances and yet again see South Australian projects not make any of Infrastructure Australia's lists,” Chief Executive Phillip Sutherland said.
"While we will be thrilled to see the State Government make a submission to Infrastructure Australia, the failure to do so in the past has resulted in South Australia missing out on billions of dollars of Federal funding for much needed transport infrastructure," he said.
“To ensure South Australian projects are well and truly on the radar of Infrastructure Australia, the Federation in our submission has identified 10 projects, an extensive program of State-wide road maintenance and a supplementary list of worthy projects,” Mr Sutherland added.
"Identifying projects for funding isn't difficult. The State's road network is 50 years out of date and in many places in poor condition. Nearly every road in the State has a hole or crack in it.”
"South Australia was established in 1836 and we still don't have a decent, modern, safe, uncongested motorway across our capital city, Adelaide.”
"SA’s major strategic regional freight corridors are two lane roads in less than optimal condition when these routes should have been duplicated years ago into a minimum four lanes,” Mr Sutherland said.
CCF SA said it is proven the job creating power and economic stimulus possible from public and private investment in transport and other infrastructure.
So that it is now well recognised that infrastructure investment will be critical to Australia and SA’s post-COVID economic recovery.
CCF SA said they had been calling on the Federal and State Government to invest in transport and other infrastructure, and importantly, to accelerate this spending.
"Credible sources say that the current pipeline of projects is insufficient.”
Reserve Bank of Australia Governor, Mr Philip Lowe, has implored the States to commit an additional $40 billion to infrastructure over the next two years, effectively doubling their existing spending.
Mr Sutherland said they’ve recommended to IA for the Federal Government to allocate sufficient money in concert with the SA Government to bring as many infrastructure projects as possible to fruition, sooner than later.
Among their specific priority proposals include the Strzelecki Track Upgrade, Augusta Highway Duplication, SE Drainage Scheme and Aldinga rail extension.