Freight bypass and more aged care funding key budget priorities

4 May 2021
Aged care ian 2021

A heavy vehicle bypass to ease congestion on the freeway and an additional $9 billion for the aged care system are among the Federal Budget priorities for the Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie.

The requests were outlined in a recent letter to the Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the Treasurer Josh Frydenberg ahead of the 2021/2022 budget next week.

“As a community we have successfully advocated for many projects in Mayo since I have been the Member for Mayo, but after many decades of infrastructure neglect, we are still playing catch-up,” Rebekha said.

“Last year the Government committed $200 million for the Hahndorf Township Improvements and Access Upgrade, including $15 million I advocated for to address the issues with the one-way freeway interchange at Verdun.

“However, freight and commuter traffic continue to increase on the South Eastern Freeway and recent heavy vehicle breakdowns have caused significant and prolonged traffic delays prompting public safety concerns in this high-risk bushfire region.

“So I have called on the Government to work constructively with the South Australian Government to develop and fund an infrastructure plan to improve safety and reduce congestion by diverting freight traffic movements from the South Eastern Freeway.

“Another key priority is aged care. Mayo is the oldest electorate by median age in South Australia and one of the oldest in the nation.

“The Government needs to heed the key recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety and contribute, at a minimum, an additional $9 billion to the recurrent $27 billion in annual funding to fund extra aged care packages and meet the cost of improving training and hands-on care.

“Any new funding needs to be subject to increased transparency and accountability in the sector and take into account the special circumstances in regional communities where providers do not have the economies of scale of larger urban-based providers.

“The Government also needs to set clear and measurable caps on administration fees for home care packages and I also called on the Government to consider the introduction of a voucher system for dental care for pensioners.”

Rekekha’s Federal Budget wish list also included a request to continue Supplementary Road Funding for South Australian councils; funding to upgrade high risk roads in the Adelaide Hills and funding for the extension of the Amy Gillett Bikeway as part of the Adelaide Wine Capital Cycle Trail project.

The Budget letter also requested more funding for mobile black spots; the automation of the barrages on the Murray River; support for the electric vehicle industry; tax relief for the craft distilling industry; investment in the seed potato industry on Kangaroo Island; funding for a food irradiation plant in the Adelaide Hills to control insects and invasive pests and support for a national fruit fly eradication strategy.

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