Ongoing Road Upgrades and Maintenance
SACOME calls on the State Government to continue to prioritise maintenance funding for regional and remote roads which are critical to the operation and development of the South Australian resources sector.
The road is used for transport of chemical reagents and uranium and is inaccessible in wet weather. Safety is a paramount concern given the type of commodities being transported.
South Australia has a road network comprising some 10,000km of road. Maintenance of these roads, and particularly regional roads with economic significance to the State, must be undertaken in a strategic manner that reflects their economic importance, rather than a formula that quantifies vehicle traffic.
While regional and remote roads are primarily a safety and efficiency issue for the resource sector, they also impact a wide range of sectors and communities including freight operators, pastoralists, and tourists.
SACOME acknowledges increases to road maintenance funding in recent budgets due to COVID-19 stimulus, in addition to its inclusion as a high priority initiative on the Infrastructure Australia Priority List.
The Infrastructure South Australia 20-year Strategy, released in May 2020, stated the estimated road maintenance backlog in South Australia was $780 million and growing by $100 million per year. The report also found that SA currently spends proportionately less on road maintenance compared with NSW and WA.
It is vital that the momentum of road maintenance funding is maintained to ensure the improved safety and reliability of supply chain routes for all industries.
SACOME continues to support a 4-year road maintenance fund of $600 million to improve road safety and address the backlog of road maintenance across South Australia’s road network.
Specific Regional Road Upgrades:
Upgrade of the Lincoln / Eyre Highway between Port Augusta & Whyalla
SACOME calls for funding of a business case to upgrade the Lincoln/Eyre Highway between Port Augusta and Whyalla. This is a key route for transport of commodities to and from Whyalla, making upgrade of the road a priority for resources operators in the region, the State Government’s planned Hydrogen Hub and for the wider Upper Spencer Gulf community.
SACOME calls on the State Government to upgrade the Yunta Road following a successful pilot project to seal a single lane. This 220 km road is a vital supply line for the expanding Four Mile uranium mine, operated by Heathgate Resources who are the second largest producer and exporter of uranium in Australia. This road is also used by explorers, livestock transport and tourists, but has long been in poor condition.
SACOME calls on the State Government to upgrade Mulyungarie Road near the State border with New South Wales. This is a shared road for both pastoralists and multiple resource companies, including Boss Energy, Consolidated Mining & Civil, and Havilah Resources.