SA election: the Joy Baluch Bridge

On March 17, 1.2 million South Australians will have their say on who will control the balance of power in this year’s election.

Will the Australian Labor Party (SA), currently led by Premier Jay Weatherill, continue a record 16 year incumbent run?

Will Opposition leader Steven Marshall lead the Liberal Party to victory?

Or will Nick Xenophon’s new SA-Best win a four-year term and emerge as a third major party?

This week we take a look at the most important issues facing Port Augusta and how each candidate would best represent the interests of the Stuart electorate. 

How will your party address the issue of the Joy Baluch AM Bridge?

Dan van Holst Pellekaan for Liberal:

All three Parties have committed the same funds to this necessary upgrade which is good, but the difference is the Liberals are developing an overall solution that addresses the main bridge, the old wooden bridge, Yorkey’s Crossing and, importantly, the railway overpass between Stratco and the old Hungry Jacks.

We must have safe and efficient transport for pedestrians, cyclists, passenger vehicles and trucks over the Gulf. And, while I do not support a bypass of Port Augusta, we must upgrade Yorkey’s to an all-weather road to get the heavy and wide loads out of town.

Khatija Thomas for Labor:

The State Labor government has already committed to its share of funding to duplicate the Joy Baluch AM bridge. 

If re-elected we will continue to lobby and put pressure on the Federal Coalition and the Local Federal MP Rowan Ramsey to deliver their share of the funding for this important project.

Brendan Fitzgerald for The Greens:

As much as we would love to form government, it is more realistic to think of our role as holding the elected government of the day to account and also sharing the balance of power in the upper house. 

In relation to the bridge, I am aware of the problems and the Greens will push the government to develop options to upgrade the bridge to address pedestrian, transport and heavy vehicle use. 

We know there has been some argy-bargy between Federal and State Governments over funding, however the Greens would urge all parties to put the interests of the Port Augusta community (and the nation) ahead of political point scoring.  This is a vital piece of national infrastructure that needs to be fixed.