South Australian opposition calls on government to release a review into North-South Corridor project

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The South Australian opposition is urging the release of a review into Adelaide’s North-South Corridor project but the state’s infrastructure minister has hit back at the former government’s four years of inaction.

The state’s largest infrastructure project, for which planning is now underway for the section between Torrens and Darlington, has suffered delays and cost blow outs with the completion date pushed backed to 2031.

The Labor government ordered a project review after it came into power in March.

Opposition leader David Speirs said the project has been “a shambles”, fearing the costs would escalate to $15 billion.

“Tom Koutsantonis has got in his hands on a project that was ready to go,” he said.

“It was $9.9 billion prior to the election, we’re now talking $15 billion.

“Labor are spinning that this is something to do with inflation and rising construction prices, and of course that is one small element of this, but we know the biggest way to mess up the costings of a project is to delay it and to alter it.

“The South Australian community deserve to see what the largest infrastructure project in this state’s history will look like.”

A man in dark vest and another man wearing red standing behind him.
David Speirs and Vincent Tarzia said the North-South Corridor project was estimated to cost $9.9 billion when Liberals were in power.

Opposition infrastructure spokesperson Vincent Tarzia said the speculation and uncertainty have caused anxiety to local businesses and residents along South Road.

SA Infrastructure Minister Tom Koutsantonis could not provide a deadline for the project review but says it would be completed this year and released to the public.

“I can’t give you a time frame because there’s not a political deadline here, it’s an engineering deadline,” he said.

A man in a business suit speaking next to a busy road
Tom Koutsantonis says the project review will be revealed later this year.

Mr Koutsantonis said the former government “wasted” four years on the plan.

“We did not inherit a North-South Corridor plan that was fit-for-purpose or ready to go out to tender,” he said.

“It was an appalling reference design, it had very little consideration for local residents, it would not have been fit-for-purpose and we could have wasted $9.9 billion and quite frankly, the costs weren’t accurate either.”

Mr Koutsantonis previously refused to confirm reports that the project cost would blow out to $15 billion but a cost increase was already foreshadowed in this year’s state budget

He took aim at the previous government’s $9.9 billion estimate, previously saying designs were deliberately excluded to minimise costs before the election.



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