The Joy Baluch Bridge is a critical transport link not just for the people of Port Augusta, but for the nation – the social and economic costs if the bridge were to be knocked out of action for any length of time would be immeasurable.
Duplication of the bridge will be a major infrastructure spend and will need significant support from all levels of government if it is to become a reality.
This Labor government has identified duplication of the bridge in our recently released transport plan and if elected on Saturday I will work hard to ensure the duplication of the bridge becomes a major priority for this region.
Only a state Labor government has major infrastructure spending as part of its election platform. The Libs have openly identified that they will be withdrawing from public works and leaving major infrastructure development to the mercy of the markets.
The people of Port Augusta and all users of the bridge deserve a better deal and if elected on Saturday that’s exactly what I will be fighting for.
Yes, this is what we will need and it’s important to also remember that duplicating this bridge will really only be useful if we also widen the bridge between Stratco and Hungry Jacks (two lanes both directions all the way through town).
However, this will cost hundreds of millions of dollars and we can’t wait until that is possible before we take some positive action.
I don’t support a major bypass around Port Augusta, but we do need to upgrade and re-align the SE end of Yorkeys Crossing so it can take all wide loads and dangerous goods around the city rather than across the gulf.
More importantly, there are no emergency services like Ambulance, MFS, CFS, SES, Police based on the westside.
Therefore, we need Yorkeys upgraded to an all weather road so that when the bridge is closed, as does happen sometimes, then all these services can quickly and safely access the westside when people need them.
This will cost tens of millions of dollars and, while still very difficult to fund, could be done much sooner and make a big difference to our city’s safety.
Duplicating the bridge is the end goal, but we can’t wait until that is possible before we do anything at all.
Greens candidate for Stuart Brendan Fitzgerald failed to respond by the Transcontinental's deadline.
Family First believes that duplicating the Joy Baluch AM Bridge is a priority for the electorate.
However, without a Royalties for Regions policy enshrined at law, important infrastructure projects like this will be hard to deliver with the major parties’ Adelaide spending focus.
Royalties for Regions will force a government of either persuasion to spend a percentage of mining royalties in regional areas on infrastructure.
Western Australia gets billions a year through Royalties for Regions and, in time we could too if the Labor and Liberal parties stopped voting down Family First’s moves for Royalties for Regions – as they have done twice in recent years.
If elected as member for Stuart, I commit that by 2018 (the time of the next state election) there will be funding allocated, a definite completion date and work underway to duplicate the Joy Baluch AM Bridge.
As I have said to the city council, the old Great Western Bridge used by pedestrians needs to be factored into the situation.
Perhaps a pedestrian and cyclist pathway (separated from the road traffic) needs to be planned for on a duplicated bridge, to reduce the need to upgrade the old Great Western Bridge.