It seems that when there’s only one marginal seat in your state it can be hard to attract significant government funding, even in an election year. This was the sad reality for South Australia on Budget night.
Despite inflated announcements of billions of dollars for SA roads over recent weeks, the Budget papers show that total new infrastructure spending in the state will actually be just $37.4 million next year. Over the next four years, collectively, that figure is little improved at just $229.3 million.
This small amount of funding will largely be focussed on upgrading two intersections that lie on the border of Adelaide’s only marginal electorate, Boothby. What a coincidence!
This is an ongoing issue in South Australia. Despite all the announcements, re-announcements and re-re-announcements of funding for projects like the North-South Corridor, the Federal Government’s investment spending in the state has remained largely flat since their election in 2013.
While those in the city and surrounding suburbs might feel a little hard done by in this Budget, the story is even worse for those who live in regional SA, where no marginal seats can be found.
A new $7.1 billion fund was announced on Tuesday that will pay for infrastructure in regional areas. If South Australia were to get a fair proportion of funding from that package, based on population, it would have received around $490 million.
Instead, South Australia got exactly $0.
If, as they say, Budgets reveal a government’s priorities, it’s safe to say South Australia is a fair way down the list this time round.