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NORTHERN mayors are calling for an election commitment from both major parties to fast track the electrification of the entire Gawler rail line.
Playford, Salisbury and Gawler leaders say the project, which has been costed at more than $300 million, is needed to support the north's population growth.
Playford Mayor Glenn Docherty said the state and federal governments had "dropped the ball" on the rail line.
"If they are fair dinkum about getting more people on to trains, helping our environment, having quicker, better public transport, then it can't stop at Dry Creek," Mr Docherty said.
"It's not just about building better communities, it's about providing economic opportunity for our community as well to get to and from jobs."
Salisbury Acting Mayor Chad Buchanan said the electrification would have enormous benefits for the region.
"It's important for us as a council to see the Gawler railway line electrification be completed in full so our community can receive the benefits, similar to what's happened down south," he said.
The start of the $318 million project to electrify the Gawler line was delayed in the 2012 State Budget because of a lack of state funds.
The State Government this year announced the line would be electrified between the city and Dry Creek at a cost of $152 million over three years.
A spokesman for Federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said $76 million in federal funding had been committed to the line beyond the Dry Creek extension.
However, how and when that money will be spent is still being negotiated.
A spokesman for State Transport Minister Tom Koutsantonis said funding for the extension to Gawler was not in the current forward estimates, but would be revisited when funds become available.
Gawler Acting Mayor David Hughes said commuters needed to have confidence in the public transport system.
"Having that reliability is the most important thing," Cr Hughes said.
"I understand funding is tight, but we need the best possible infrastructure."
Mr Docherty said improved road networks in and around the Adelaide Plains food bowl to better cater for trucks were also needed.
He suggested road infrastructure worth about $60 million to $70 million was needed around the greater Edinburgh Park area.
Salisbury Council chief executive John Harry said Mawson Lakes was still in contention to secure a multi-million dollar manufacturing hub under a Labor plan announced earlier this year.
Cr Hughes said Gawler was also hoping for investment in stormwater harvesting.
"All those sorts of schemes save money at the end of the day," Cr Hughes said.
Messenger is mapping priority community projects which need federal funding.
This article first appeared on www.adelaidenow.com.au
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