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  • Ellis Gelios

South Australian MP questions SA budget with targeted spends in Mount Barker raising eyebrows

Member for Hammond, Adrian Pederick, has called recent budget decisions in South Australia into question.

Appearing on the Flow FM Country Viewpoint, Mr Pederick emphasised his opposition to the decision to skew a large volume of spends meant for regional road repairs in one city, Mount Barker, which is only 32.3km from Adelaide’s CBD.

The funds from the recent state budget which have been secured for Mount Barker will improve infrastructure, such as a problematic roundabout, though Mr Pederick said he was unaware of any traffic incidents occurring due to the roundabout.

“We've got Mount Barker, which I hardly class as regional anymore, I mean it's got a population of about 16,000 people and heading to 60,000 which will be a problem and look, this roundabout I would have gone around it hundreds of times - I can't see what problem we're fixing,” Mr Pederick said.

“I don't know that there's been any serious crashes there at all, and I'm happy to be corrected, but there's a $98 million budget for road safety package and $40 million of it is going into this one roundabout.

“I mean, we've got a whole range of projects across the state that should be getting accelerated, whether it's the Truro freight bypass, whether it's the Princess Highway upgrade, whether it's the Hahndorf bypass project…I mean, we've also got to look at things like the Swanport Bridge duplication, the South East Links, which is duplication of the Dukes Highway out from Kale and Bend towards the Mallee Highway, and the Greater Adelaide Freight Bypass.

“These are big projects that will all need in the end billions of dollars and here we are tinkering around with a very measly amount of money being assigned to the so-called regions with most of this road safety money being assigned to Mount Barker."

Mr Pederick went on to assert that 'vote harvesting' was potentially at play in how the state's most recent budget has been formulated.

"Absolutely, I think it is [vote harvesting]…I mean they're working favorably with the independent members both state and federally and you look at the hospital money and good on the community for getting these upgrades but you know....I can't get my emergency department open in Strathalbyn," Pederick said.

"So, I look at that and it's a terrible outcome for my citizens of Strathalbyn and surrounding districts - but certainly it does look like it's very favorable."


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