It was all hands on deck at the Causeway to Granite Island on Monday, June 10, as the South Australian Premier Steven Marshall announced the delivery of $20 million in the 2019-20 state budget towards providing a permanent solution for the Granite Island Causeway.
Mr Marshall said this formed part of the state government's record $1.115 billion regional roads and infrastructure spend in the 2019-20 state budget - the largest investment in South Australia's history.
"The Granite Island Causeway is a South Australian icon and a tourism draw card for Victor Harbor and the Fleurieu Peninsula region," Mr Marshall said.
"The State Liberal Government is investing record levels in regional roads and infrastructure to help build our regions, grow our economy and support more jobs. The Granite Island Causeway has been in desperate need of repairs and an upgrade for many years.
"It's been a key piece of tourism infrastructure in our state for more than 150 years and along with the historic horse-drawn tram, it's the jewel in the Fleurieu Peninsula's tourism crown.
"The State Liberal Government will be investing $20 million towards providing a permanent solution to ensure the Granite Island Causeway remains a premier tourism attraction."
Mr Marshall said tourists from around the state, country and overseas flocked to Victor Harbor to visit Granite Island and experience the iconic horse drawn carriage.
Member for Finniss David Basham said the investment would help secure the long-term future of tourism in the Victor Harbor area and on Granite Island.
"The local community will welcome this funding injection which secures the future of the Granite Island Causeway with open arms," Mr Basham said.
"So many local businesses rely on tourism dollars to make their livelihoods, support their families and create local jobs. Securing the future of the Granite Island Causeway goes a long way to securing the future of the tourism industry in the region which is so important to our local economy."
A study is currently underway to determine the optimum solution to the Causeway through key stakeholder input.
Following the study, the construction of the permanent solution will commence in 2019-20 and will be undertaken across two years.
The Victor Harbor Horse Tram has been out of operation for six months due to the unsafe nature of the Causeway. During the peak season the suspension of the horse tram services was costing the City of Victor Harbor council approximately $6000 per day.
Temporary repairs are underway on the Victor Harbor landmark to enable the popular horse-drawn tram service to be reinstated following its closure earlier this year.
City of Victor Harbor Mayor Moira Jenkins said it was hoped the horse tram would resume operation in the next fortnight.
"We are waiting for engineering clearance form the state government before the horse tram can return," Dr Jenkins said.
"The $20 million for the Causeway is fabulous news for not just Victor Harbor, but for the whole Fleurieu Peninsula and I thank our Member for Finniss David Basham and the Premier.
"This money will enable the Causeway to continue for another 150 years."
Mr Marshall said his team had worked constructively with local Member David Basham and City of Victor Harbor Mayor Moira Jenkins on solutions to preserve the history of the Causeway and the horse tram service.