Infrastructure-focused budget welcomed by SA’s rural sector

Posted on Jun 18, 2019


Primary Producers SA has welcomed the strong focus on infrastructure in the 2019-20 State Budget which will help deliver safer regional roads and better productivity for South Australian farmers.

PPSA Chair Rob Kerin said the previously announced record spending of $1.115 billion on South Australia’s regional and rural road infrastructure will mean greater efficiency across the rural transport network, enabling future industry growth.

He said there were a handful of projects earmarked for the 2019-20 financial year which will deliver almost immediate benefits to SA producers. These include:

  • $14 million to upgrade the Naracoorte and Kroemers Crossing roundabouts
  • $11m for improved access to the Dublin Saleyards
  • $1m for road train access on Bratten Bridge on the Lower Eyre Peninsula

“These three projects in particular will see greater returns to farmers through improved efficiency in the supply chain,” Mr Kerin said.

“Efficient transport infrastructure and freight corridors are integral to operating productive and profitable farming businesses.

“Having a road network to support continued growth in the agricultural sector will help SA to become more competitive on an international stage with regard to supply chain efficiencies.”

Mr Kerin said he was hopeful efficiency measures for Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA) announced in the budget would not have flow-on effects to the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) and Biosecurity SA.

“Research, development and biosecurity are vital to the growth of the food, wine and fibre sectors, which are continued performers when it comes to exports from SA,” he said.

Mr Kerin said he also welcomed a commitment from the government towards modernising legislation, which included creating a consolidated Biosecurity Act for SA by the end of 2021.

Grain Producers SA Chair Wade Dabinett said the state’s growers would be pleased with the record investment in regional roads.

“The previously announced $25.6 million for upgrading roads on the Lower Eyre Peninsula following the closure of the rail line will help to accommodate increased grain truck movements,” he said.

“It is also pleasing to see funding announced for upgrades to other major grain freight routes including the Horrocks Highway and the Sturt Highway, as well as $143m in safety upgrades for roads across the state.

“However, we are keen to see the specific detail regarding this investment to ensure it will deliver productivity gains for the grain supply chain.”

Livestock SA President Joe Keynes said the budget showed a strong commitment from the State Government to SA’s livestock industry.

This included $10m towards the SA Dog Fence, $7.5m over three years to implement a red meat and wool industry growth program and $24.3m towards road and utilities infrastructure at the new Thomas Foods International abattoir at Murray Bridge.

“Over 11 million sheep, 950,000 head of cattle and 57 million kilograms of wool are produced annually in this state with a total production and processing revenue of $2.4 billion,” Mr Keynes said.

“This funding, coupled with what is allocated for the Dublin Saleyards and the Naracoorte and Kroemers Crossing roundabouts, shows the government recognises the value of the livestock industry to the state’s economy.”