Thursday, 16 August 2007
Adelaide used to pride itself on being the 20-minute city—it was possible to travel anywhere within Adelaide in 20 minutes. One of the issues that constituents in the electorate of Boothby now contact me about is the fact that infrastructure has not kept pace with the growth in population with newer housing subdivisions. We still have very much the same infrastructure that was laid out in the 1960s. There was a plan, a MATS scheme, which was developed by the Hall government in the 1960s. It proposed a number of arterial roads, including a north-south arterial road. One of the missed opportunities is that much of the land that was set aside for this scheme was sold off by the Bannon government in the 1980s. But the RAA have come up with a proposal for a north-south expressway, 22 kilometres of non-stop traffic from Wingfield to Darlington along South Road.
The state government are already doing some grade separations. They have announced a grade separation—an underpass at Anzac Highway. They have also announced a number of other projects at Port Road, Grange Road and Sturt Road. For such a project to occur in my electorate would require grade separations at Daws Road and at Ayliffes Road. One of the things I am very keen to see is an additional part of Cross Road and South Road put on the AusLink network.
This project is vital for the future economic prosperity of South Australia. It has the support of a number of key groups, including the RAA, the South Australian Freight Council, Business SA and the South Australian Road Transport Association. The benefits of such a project are that it will help the economy of the region and it will help to reduce traffic flows. One of the problems is congestion, so to have a smooth, flowing expressway going along South Road will be of great benefit to people who are creating jobs and opportunity in southern Adelaide. Cross Road was upgraded for freight traffic about 10 years ago by the state government. My understanding is that it does not require additional work for that purpose. It does make a lot of sense to add Cross Road and South Road to the AusLink network.
One of the frustrations I have as I travel around Australia is seeing the quality of the infrastructure in other states, and it is very clear as you go to Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland that the infrastructure is far better than the infrastructure we have in South Australia. This is a very important priority for me. It is an important project and it is one that I will be continuing to push for to see that Cross Road and South Road are put on the AusLink network. It will enable federal funding for what is estimated to be a $1.5 billion to $2 billion project. It does involve tunnels, underpasses and overpasses. It is an important project and one that there is enormous support for in southern Adelaide. It has been identified as a key priority for the southern economic development council, and it is something that I am very keen to see happen.