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A TRAM link to Adelaide Airport the former Weatherill government hoped would gain federal funding this year has failed to win essential backing from independent umpire Infrastructure Australia.
Inclusion on Infrastructure Australia’s priority list is usually essential for projects seeking federal Government funding.
The former South Australian Labor government included improved road access and a tram link to the airport on a “wishlist” of projects it wanted to gain Infrastructure Australia backing for in time for the May federal Budget.
The airport project failed to make it on to a list of priority projects to be released by Infrastructure Australia chief executive Philip Davies on Tuesday.
The airport plan was also left off a list of projects to be formally assessed by Infrastructure Australia.
Construction of a tram stop on North Terrace. Picture: Tom Huntley“We continue to work with the South Australian Government to provide advice and feedback on their submissions,’’ Mr Davies said.
New state Transport and Infrastructure Minister Stephan Knoll plans to establish an SA version of Infrastructure Australia to prioritise major projects based on merit.
“The Marshall Liberal Government will establish Infrastructure South Australia to deliver much better outcomes in developing productive infrastructure for our state,’’ Mr Knoll said.
“Infrastructure South Australia will deliver a continual pipeline of infrastructure work to grow more jobs in a growing economy.’’
Infrastructure Australia backed an upgrade of the Gawler rail line between Salisbury and Gawler as a “High Priority Initiative”, but said a business case must be further developed before it proceeded. It warned that rising passenger numbers could push the Gawler line to capacity within five to 10 years.
The upgrade of the Gawler rail line has been backed by Infrastructure Australia.The agency also classified the completion of the North-South Corridor upgrade as a priority initiative to reduce congestion on the road network.
Projects to support the development of new mines considered essential to SA’s future prosperity were given “Priority Initiative” status by Infrastructure Australia.
These included the development of a regional mineral port and rail access to the Gawler Craton minerals region northwest of the Eyre Peninsula. The region, which extends into the Woomera Prohibited Area, contains copper, gold, silver and iron ore deposit.
Infrastructure Australia backed a long-term upgrade of rail links to Victoria to ensure freight could be moved quickly. A failure to improve interstate rail access could compromise future mining projects.
An upgrade of the Strzelecki Track so that it could carry triple road trains was also a priority initiative, as was enhancing the Sturt Highway to meet freight demands.
PRIORITY INFRASTRUCTUREPriority Project
■ Eyre Peninsula deep water port and railway for mining project
High Priority or Priority initiatives that need full business cases
■ Gawler line: Salisbury to Gawler upgrade
■ North-South corridor upgrades
■ Strz elecki Track improvement and mobile coverage upgrade
■ Regional mineral port
■ Sturt Highway upgrade, including Truro bypass
■ Gawler Craton rail access for mining
■ Melbourne-Adelaide-Perth railway upgrade
■ South Rd Regency to Pym St upgrade
■ Gawler line electrification
This article first appeared on www.adelaidenow.com.au
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