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Critical stormwater infrastructure still 20 years away

The State Labor Government’s announcement today that it will allocate the majority of the Stormwater Management Authority’s annual budget to the Brownhill Keswick Creek Stormwater Management Plan is the latest chapter in a saga which has dragged on for a generation and is set to extend much further into the future.

Minister Hunter today outlined that a partnership between the state government and local councils would allocate $3.5 of the $5 million annual Stormwater Management Authority budget to much-needed flood mitigation works in the Brownhill and Keswick creeks catchments.

However, this approach will ensure that the infrastructure required to protect communities from flooding will not be complete for another 20 years.

Shadow Minister for the Environment David Speirs lamented that the 20-year timeframe was a symptom of a government with confused priorities when it comes to the provision of strategic infrastructure.

“The strategy behind any project which aims to provide critical infrastructure but takes 20 years to deliver has to be questioned,” Mr Speirs said.

“The State Labor Government’s approach to the Brownhill and Keswick creeks has been to do nothing for its 15 years in office and hope that someone else comes up with a solution.

“They have now been dragged kicking and screaming to the table but their solution leaves a lot to be desire.

“In the 20 years that this project will take to complete, there will no doubt be a number of extreme weather events which could put tens of thousands of homes at risk of flooding.”

“The Weatherill Government has been talking about the impacts of climate change for years, but has failed miserably in its responsibility to ensure that South Australia has the infrastructure to protect our citizens and property from extreme weather.”

Mr Speirs also questioned what projects around the state will now be delayed or shelved altogether as a result of an approach which consumes the majority of the Stormwater Management Authority’s budget.