The 2021 State Budget has locked in funding for important local infrastructure projects in Narungga and, importantly, has delivered significant investment into the State’s health system, including mental health services.
“It is extremely pleasing to see in black and white the funding for road works underway in our electorate in the 2021 State Budget,” Member for Narungga Fraser Ellis MP said.
“I recently distributed a flyer highlighting the almost $200 million worth of road works that have been funded over the past three years and the most recent tranche of that can be found in this budget.
“Important road corridors like Arthurton to Maitland, Minlaton to Urania, and Minlaton to Stansbury are all funded in this budget.”
Local Government Infrastructure projects also feature heavily in this budget.
“Bay Road Moonta has long been considered unsuitable for the level of tourism traffic that visits the Copper Coast and there’s $2.2 million allocated to assist Copper Coast Council deliver the major upgrade of this road.
“In addition to that there are a series of other local government priorities that receive significant State Government assistance to support the valuable work of local councils.”
There is continued investment in nation-building projects that will make a significant difference in traffic flow from east to west.
“Highway One will now be duplicated all the way from Port Wakefield, where the road previously reverted to single lanes, to Lochiel.
“In addition to that, the funding to finish the Port Wakefield road duplication and overpass is locked in.
“A safer, faster trip to Adelaide for people from the Yorke Peninsula, and for tourists visiting our wonderful communities is now just around the corner, or perhaps just over the overpass.”
Health outcomes were a key priority in this State Budget with Wallaroo Hospital in particular a key beneficiary.
“The budget includes a key target of implementing a sustainable rural generalist model for Wallaroo Hospital.
“This will mean we have full-time salaried doctors at Wallaroo Hospital, greater continuity of care, better standard of care and improved reliability of care.
“It also lists as a target to complete service planning at other hospitals – our valued local health services become the focus going forward.
“The emphasis on mental health services is pleasing, with $163.5 million committed toward strengthening the state’s mental health system.
“This will be delivered in the form of new mental health beds and increased community support services.
“This vital investment also includes $5 million over two years to address mental health workforce vacancies and training, and $2.2 million over the next 3 years committed to the continuation of rural financial counselling and support programs.
“Our Narungga farmers will have greater access to support during tough times.
“It is pleasing to see that our farming communities are being bolstered, particularly during drought years when more support may be required,” Mr Ellis said.
Investment in regional infrastructure including hospitals, schools and roads, on projects underway or commencing in 2021-22, totals over $4.1 billion.
Other highlights include investment into the SA Ambulance Service including 24 new staff for regional stations, and funding to continue the rollout of the Automatic Vehicle Location system for the emergency services sector which was a recommendation in response to last year’s bushfires.
Mr Ellis said ultimately, whilst there are always more allocations wished for, projects funded across the Narungga electorate in this latest budget will make a real difference to people in the region.
“I will continue to advocate for more projects in the lead up to the State Election in March 2022, which first up will include next sitting week lodging into Parliament a petition on behalf of the electorate that rightly seeks an upgrade of the Kadina to Wallaroo entrance road.”