Crumbling regional roads will cost billions of dollars and take two decades to fix, according to the Australian Conservatives candidate for MacKillop Richard Bateman.
The Penola Penant reports the Furner farmer told the audience at last week’s candidates forum the State Government’s neglect of regional roads had led to a cost blowout in the billions of dollars.
According to documents obtained under Freedom of Information, time frames for fixing roads have blown out with some problems not being addressed for up to 20 years.
Mr Bateman said the party’s plan to annex 35 per cent of mining royalties for the regions would help to address the State Government’s regional infrastructure backlog.
“In 2001 the backlog in road maintenance in South Australia was $160 million, which sounds like a lot of money, but now it’s in excess of a billion dollars and growing,” he said.
“That just shows you how much the government has not spent in the regional areas. It’s become a major hazard and we are going to have to wear that for another couple of years until we can actually start rebuilding roads.”
“The royalties program will hopefully go a long way to start rebuilding what we need.”
Mr Bateman welcomed the other parties’ adoption of royalty for regions schemes following a decade long battle by Australian Conservatives MLC Robert Brokenshire.