Wednesday, 7 March 2018
Loxton News | Stephanie Thompson
The Brown’s Well Highway will be prioritised for maintenance if all Riverland-based Chaffey candidates uphold their current election promises.
Member for Chaffey Tim Whetstone said maintenance for the Brown’s Well Highway would come from the Liberal Party’s Royalties for Regions policy.
“Not only to have shoulder widening and surface upgrades, but we will also have better signage, better line marking,” he said.
“The Royalties for Regions is $750 million over 10 years and that is on top of the current road maintenance funding. “As much as it is about fixing the roads, it is about reinstating the speed limits on our highways. “Safety has to be the main concern.”
While a Labor State Government decreased the speed limit on the Brown’s Well Highway last year, Labor candidate Sim Singh-Mali vowed to do more for the local road.
“We need to upgrade the roads to make sure they are fit for 110km/h when you are driving,” he said.
“We do need more funding for that and I am going to push for more funding. “I am going to make sure that road is up to scratch.”
Australian Conservatives candidate Trevor Scott also said Brown’s Well Highway would be prioritised if elected.
“There are many bad roads in our region, but Brown’s Well is the worst road by far and is dangerous for road users,” he said.
“Robert Brokenshire and Nicolle Jachmann told me they were driving on this road very recently and witnessed a road train almost tip over due to the state of the road (and) it had to ride on the double line just to stay on the road which is extremely dangerous.”
Mr Scott said Australian Conservatives is committed to the Royalties for Regions fund. “(We) have called on this for nine years,” he said. “If elected we would have a mandate for this initiative that would return $88 million to the regions for important projects like fixing roads.”
Dignity Party candidate Richard Challis described the Brown’s Well Highway as a “disgrace”.
“I have driven on it and it looks like it hasn’t been maintained in 15 years,” he said. “Our position is that we have been in contact with the RAA to support their push to have regional roads maintained.
“We will support any proposal to improve the Brown’s Well Highway.” Mr Challis said he regards the speed limit reduction as “at very best an interim measure”.
“Saving money by not maintaining roads is not only unfair to regional South Australians, but. in the worst case, serious accidents cost society a lot more than road repairs,” he said.
“The Dignity Party supports any proposal to repair and upgrade Brown’s Well Highway.”
In line with the other parties, SA Best candidate Michelle Campbell said Brown’s Well Highway was at the top of her priority list.
“We’ve allocated a substantial amount of money to ongoing road maintenance,” she said.
“One of the things the SA Best party is focused on is not just patching up roads.
“We’re talking about get right back down to the base grade and doing it all again from the start.”
Mrs Campbell said reinstating the speed limit was also a priority. “We need to fix it first and make it safe and properly fix it so that it’s truck worthy,” she said.
The Loxton News did not receive a comment from Greens Party candidate Philip Pointer by the time of print.