Regions benefit from budget

Treasurer Stephen Mullighan announced the 2024-25 State Budget on Thursday. PHOTO: EMMA HEIDENREICH 412167_01
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Nearly $700 million has been dedicated to the future of regional South Australia.

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The State Budget, announced on June 6, noted $686.4m has been pledged to the regions in 2024-25, with the government committed to investing in regional infrastructure.

The total cost of projects either underway or commencing in 2024-25 totals $6.7b.

The 2024-25 budget includes $743m for regional roads and transport projects, $165.1m for upgrades to regional health services, $99m for regional schools, $39.8m for the construction and upgrade of regional housing.

Key to the state government’s commitment to regions is the Thriving Regions Fund through which $15m has been invested for targeting regional development objectives that include the creation of regional jobs.

Some of the specific investments into regional South Australia include:

– $810.4m for the Fleurieu Connections Project

– $601.3m for the Princes Highway corridor

– $593m for the Hydrogen Jobs Plan

– $500m for the Freight Highway Upgrade program

– $330m for the Eyre Peninsula desalination augmentation

Other key investments made in the 2024-25 State Budget to benefit the state’s regions included $2.1m over four years for regional tourism, and a total of $12.7m to support Country Fire Service facilities.

Treasurer Stephen Mullighan said regional South Australia was critical to the prosperity of the state.

“They contribute $37.5 billion to the SA economy – approximately 26 per cent of Gross State Product,” he said.

“This budget invests in health, housing, roads, primary industries, police and cost of living relief to build better regions for today and tomorrow.”

Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister Clare Scriven said South Australia’s regional communities and agribusinesses were central to the economic growth of the state.

“Our regions keep our state moving, and I am delighted that this year’s budget will address key issues focussed on cost of living, housing, health, and education,” she said.

“This budget continues to build on the significant investments we’ve made since coming into government.”

The largest South Australian non-metropolitan region in 2022-23 in terms of Gross Regional Product was the Far North at $6.2b, while the smallest region was Fleurieu and Kangaroo Island at $2.8b.

The highest rates of economic growth in non-metropolitan regions during the year were in the regions of the Adelaide Hills and Barossa, Light and Lower North.

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