Budget win for Mayo roads

Budget win for Mayo roads

Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie has welcomed the Federal Budget announcement to bring back local road funding for South Australian Councils as a huge win for road safety in Mayo.

The announcement means more than $40 million over two years will be poured back into council-managed roads in SA, including more than $4.6 million for the Adelaide Hills, Mount Barker, Victor Harbor, Yankalilla, Kangaroo Island, Barossa and Onkaparinga Councils in Mayo.

The money was originally cut in the 2014 Abbott Budget, creating a huge gap in the funding allocated to South Australian roads compared to other states.

“I have advocated for the restoration of equitable road funding for South Australia since I won office,” Ms Sharkie said.

“It was completely unfair that South Australia, which has nearly 12 per cent of the nation’s local roads and more than seven per cent of the population, only received less than five per cent of Federal road funding.

“After the funding was cut three years ago, NSW received $1400 per kilometre; Tasmania received $2500 while SA received just $500.

“I’m so delighted that the campaigning of the Nick Xenophon Team has been heard by the Government, and that our constant pressure has produced results.

“This is a win for road safety, not only for my regional electorate, which has a disproportionate number of casualty crashes due to our challenging terrain, but for all South Australians.

“Well designed, properly maintained roads play such a key role in improving road safety.

“The Councils in my electorate maintain more than 5500km of local roads and lost $2 million a year when Supplementary Road Funding was slashed, putting enormous pressure on their budgets and their long-term plans to repair critical roads.”

Other wins for Mayo in the Federal Budget include:

  • Mentoring program which will support up to 45,000 apprentices. This measured was lobbied for by NXT and is expected to lift apprenticeship completion rates from 50 to 90 per cent.
  • $9 million for rural, regional and remote mental health services as part of a $115 million mental health package.
  • $600 million to upgrade existing mobile phone towers in regional areas across Australia.
  • Black Spot Road funding program to continue past 2021.
  • $7 million to help the ACCC monitor the roll-out of the NBN.
  • 1200 rural and regional scholarships of up to $20,000 to assist with education
  • $1.5 billion to assist the skill training for Australian workers.
  • A lifting of the freeze on the Medicare Rebate from July 2018, which should lead to lower out of pocket costs for visiting a GP.

PHOTOGRAPH:

Mt Barker Mayor Ann Ferguson, left, Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie and Adelaide Hills Deputy Mayor Jan-Claire Wisdom examine the eroded surface of Swamp Road at Balhannah near Oakwood Road near the border of the two councils.