The South Australian Government has announced $276.3 million in spending on the state's regions, with particular aim to support economic, social and environment sustainability of  communities.


The 2011-12 Budget also provides a large range of infrastructure improvements to regional roads, government schools, hospitals and flood-affected areas.


State Treasurer Jack Snelling said the State Government would invest $54.8 million over four years to improve regional road networks by investing in shoulder sealing, rehabilitation and resurfacing on high priority regional roads and the continuation of the Rural Freight Improvement Program.


“From this funding the Government will be providing an additional $8 million over the next four years for a program of road resurfacing and rehabilitation of regional road networks with Kangaroo Island to be the first beneficiary of this measure, funded by a one per cent increase in motor registration charges,” Mr Snelling said.


For regional communities hardest hit by flooding during 2010-11, the State Government will provide $13.5 million in 2010-11 and 2011-12 including;

  • $9.6 million (including $5.5 million in 2010-11) for repairs to flood damaged roads and bridges;
  • $3 million to assist the Clare and Gilbert Valley Council with urgent infrastructure repairs and
  • $125,000 in grant funding to the Clare and Gilbert Valley cash appeal and Stockport community;
  • $510,000 for the purchase of six rapid flood response units to be stationed at SES facilities across South Australia; and
  • $250,000 for communications on flood hazards associated with the increasing flow levels of the River Murray.


Mr Snelling said significant funding would also be provided to improve regional emergency services and bushfire management.


“This includes $23.1 million in additional funding over four years to increase prescribed burning with a high focus on the Lower Eyre Peninsula, Southern Flinders Ranges, the South East and Kangaroo Island,” he said.


Mr Snelling said regional schools would also be boosted in the State Budget, including:

  • $7.8 million over four years to construct new learning areas at Eastern Fleurieu R-12 School;
  • $4.3 million over four years to replace learning areas at Cleve Area School; and
  • $3.8 million over three years to replace learning areas at Keith Area School.


Mr Snelling said the 2011-12 State Budget would also include a strong focus on rural health with new initiatives of $62.7 million in partnership with the Commonwealth including;

  • The redevelopment of the Mount Gambier and Port Lincoln Hospitals to provide increased
  • capacity for primary health care and dental services;
  • A new dental clinic at the Wallaroo Hospital; and
  • The construction of a new purpose built ambulance station at Mount Gambier.


Other regional investments include:

  • $22.5 million over four years for the operation and maintenance of the Upper and Lower South East drainage system;
  • $10.9 million over the next four years to provide essential service infrastructure upgrades, extra maintenance and implement retailing reform for water and electricity services in remote Aboriginal communities;
  • $1.6 million over the next four years had been approved for the operation of the Sierra Program and the Prisoner Re-integration Employment Opportunity Program (PREOP);
  • $1.1 million over three years for the State Government contribution to the extension of the Exceptional Circumstances Drought Relief for the River Murray and Lower Lakes EC areas;
  • $1 million to invest in upgrading court facilities at Murray Bridge;
  • $400,000 for the National Regional Arts Conference to be held in Goolwa in 2012; and
  • $300,000 for an upgrade of the Mt Gambier BMX track.