Legislative Council: Wednesday, November 15, 2023


Road Funding

The Hon. F. PANGALLO (15:14): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, representing the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, about road funding.

Leave granted.

The Hon. F. PANGALLO: The jungle drums are starting to beat, with fears circulating the state government will have to start shouldering the majority of the cost of future major transport infrastructure projects as the federal government pushes responsibility for such projects back onto the states. Fully funded or 80:20 splits between both federal and state governments will no longer be the default for infrastructure deals related to nationally significant road and rail projects or where the commonwealth contribution is at least $250 million.

That is because an audit commissioned by the Albanese government earlier this year found about $33 billion blowout in about 700 unstarted federally funded projects which are now in limbo. According to media reports, the federal government has already renegotiated terms and time frames and even scrapped some projects with state and territory governments. The Auditor-General in South Australia recently found that there is almost $1.9 billion of road maintenance works still to be carried out and that is likely to grow. My questions to the minister are:

1. Has the South Australian government been forced to renegotiate terms and time frames for specific projects and, if so, what are they?

2. Have any future projects been scrapped?

3. How do federal Labor's new priorities impact major projects like the $15.4 billion twin tunnel Torrens to Darlington upgrade of South Road, and also the outstanding road maintenance works? What impact will that have on the backlog?

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (15:17): I thank the honourable member for his question. As I did respond in an earlier answer, we are awaiting the outcome of the federal government's review, at which time we will be able to respond accordingly as a government. I am aware, of course, also of some of the media commentary, but I don't have any additional information at this time. I will refer the question to the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport and bring back a response.