Sharkie Talks Storm Damage with Transport Minister

Sharkie Talks Storm Damage with Transport Minister

Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie will be pushing to have the Yankalilla Council added to the disaster areas declared by the South Australian Government after raising the plight of her region’s storm damaged roads with Infrastructure and Transport Minister Darren Chester.

“I met with Minister Chester late yesterday, showed him photographs and outlined details of the millions of dollars in damage done to community roads and other infrastructure as a result of the severe storms that swept through South Australia a few weeks ago,” the Nick Xenophon Team MP said today.

“Councils are still assessing the damage but the bill is already about $10m and climbing.

“We understand from talking to the Minister that the Adelaide Hills, Alexandrina and Barossa councils have been declared disaster areas and are eligible for funding under the joint Australian Government-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA).

“We have a meeting scheduled with State Transport Minister Stephen Mullighan next week where I will be asking him to include Yankalilla Council as an area, and to make sure our region receives as much as it can to rebuild our roads and infrastructure.

“Like other councils, Yankalilla has suffered significant damage to local roads and the cost of repair will be a huge burden on ratepayers.

“With the fire danger season almost upon us and various crops approaching harvest, we need to have our road network open, safe and fully operational.”

State and territory governments determine which areas receive NDRRA assistance.

When an area is declared, the Federal Government funds up to 75% of the money provided for asset rebuilding and other measures such as community recovery and concessional loans.

Ms Sharkie also asked Minister Chester about the Coalition's election promise of $14million towards a $26million B-double route to Lobethal and the loss of Supplementary Local Road Funding grants to South Australian councils.

The axing of the Supplementary Local Road Funding in the 2014 Federal budget cut hundreds of thousands of dollars from the annual grants given to the councils in the electorate.

Ms Sharkie said she would continue to lobby for the restoration of equitable road funding for SA and would be raising the B-double route as a priority issue with Minister Mullighan.