Looking for Action on the Joy Baluch Bridge
Posted on Monday, 30 October, 2017
Federal Member for
Grey Rowan Ramsey said he is pleased to have Federal Infrastructure and
Transport Minister Darren Chester join him in on the Joy Baluch Bridge today to
better understand the safety issue with the narrow walkway brought about by the
closure of the Great Western Bridge.
“Not only do I want
him to understand the issue and the urgency for a solution,” Mr Ramsey said.
“I want him to help
us put pressure on the State Transport Minister to deliver the engineering
report on the bridge that both of us asked him for in April.
“It seems the State
Government is simply too transfixed with inner-city transport with projects
like tram and O-Bahn extensions to concern themselves with a walkway safety
issue in Port Augusta.
walk and cycle across this narrow unprotected walkway, as do our seniors on
their gophers. Two gophers are unable to pass on the walkway and even though
traffic speed has been reduced, it is just a matter of time before a horrific
avoidable accident happens. We need urgent action.
“I have spoken to
Minister Chester about this problem numerous times and he has indicated he is
prepared to consider funding to provide a safe walkway, but we can’t help from
the Federal level unless the state is prepared to work with us, after all, it
is their bridge.
“This is once again
another project on which we are waiting for a State Government action.
It mirrors their
lack of action in starting work on the passing lanes between Whyalla and Port
Augusta which the Federal Government has largely funded,
“Today the Minister and I have spent a couple
of hours on the Strzelecki Track so I can highlight to him the desperate need
to seal the road which is a vital freight route connecting Adelaide to the Moomba
Gas fields in the state’s far north-east.
“With the sealing
of the road from the SA border to Brisbane we are losing the economic benefit
of the supply line to one of our greatest natural assets, the Cooper Basin. We
simply must find a way to progress the project.
“It is also an increasingly
important tourist route through to Queensland. Just imagine driving from
Queensland directly into the Coongee Lakes, The Cooper, Lake Eyre and the
Flinders Ranges. It would be a tourist dream.
“It is a state road
and so the State Government must take lead responsibility. I have met with
Premier Weatherill and he expressed interest but has not put any proposals for
assistance through to the Federal Government. We need them to act and my motive
in taking Minister Chester on the track is to make sure he is across the issue
should that call come from the State Government and the rest of us need to pressure
them to engage.
“I look forward to
continuing to work with Minister Chester and other Cabinet colleagues to ensure
regional South Australia sees the full benefit of the Government’s record
$75 billion infrastructure investment nationwide.”