Infrastructure South Australia (ISA) has released the state’s first independent 20-year infrastructure strategy, designed to enable informed and evidence-based decisions on infrastructure planning, investment and delivery.
Premier Steven Marshall said the state government had delivered on a key election commitment to establish ISA as an independent body to provide expert and evidence-based advice.
“ISA’s first 20-year infrastructure strategy provides a road map outlining the crucial long-term infrastructure issues we need to address to grow our economy, improve government service delivery, support population growth and create more jobs,” he said.
“We have already established a record $12.9 billion pipeline of infrastructure works over the next four years to improve economic productivity, make our roads safer, invest in education, health and other important services and underpin tens of thousands of jobs.”
Using ISA’s 20-year strategy as a guide, Mr. Marshall said the state government would continue to develop a long-term infrastructure pipeline.
“We will build on our massive investments in roads, schools and hospitals, as well as build better tourism and digital infrastructure to ensure we remain competitive against other smart cities,” he said.
According to the strategy, 74 per cent of state’s road network is rated at one or two stars out of five, significantly below the national target of 80 per cent above three stars.
“Improving the self-drive visitor experience and safety is required via: sealing specific routes and upgrading some unsealed roads to broaden regional appeal for new visitor markets, road widening, shoulder sealing, passing lanes and fixing bottlenecks on popular regional routes,” the strategy reads.
As a key priority, the strategy also stresses the need to improve road safety across the state.
“A significant proportion of the state’s road network is in poor condition that compromises safety and does not have appropriate treatments to improve safety,” it reads.
“Road maintenance programs need to be more fully funded and should incorporate safe-system principles to fund treatments that will improve road safety and contribute to lowering the road toll.”
Additionally, ISA highlights the need to develop a future mobility strategy.
“Transport is subject to ongoing technological change,” the strategy reads.
“Developing a future mobility strategy that captures opportunities presented by electric and autonomous vehicles and other innovations will position South Australia to best take advantage of the benefits of innovation and minimise any unintended consequences.”
Transport and Infrastructure Minister Stephan Knoll said the 20-year strategy identified great opportunities to grow South Australia’s economy.
“This report provides us with a blueprint to help us make smarter decisions about how we spend taxpayers’ money when it comes to building infrastructure,” he said.
“The strategy also says we need to look at upgrading and optimising our current infrastructure assets and clear the backlog of road maintenance.”
Mr. Knoll said the strategy also reaffirms the need to grow public transport patronage and invest in the network.
“We will continue our planning and business case development so we can present more projects for ISA’s consideration and advice as we continue building a strong South Australia,” he said.