SA abandons prisons PPP, announces record works spend

Treasurer Kevin Foley said his eighth budget was the toughest he’d had to frame given the collapse in revenues as a direct result of the global financial crisis.2008-09 is forecast to record an operating deficit of $265 million. A deficit is also forecast in 2009-10 ($304 million) before the budget returns to surplus in 2010-11 ($78 million), 2011-12 ($96 million) and 2012-13 ($304 million).Foley said it had been a difficult decision to cancel the New Prisons and Secure Facilities PPP project, which will reduce future debt by more than $500 million. “We had to take a very close look at the cases for the range of infrastructure projects the state is investing in, and, on balance, the government believes it is right to put water security, schools, hospitals and public transport ahead of building new prisons and secure facilities,” he said.Three consortiums had been shortlisted for the PPP and the contract announcement was expected in August.Infrastructure Partnerships Australia executive director Brendan Lyon said the PPP cancellation was a disappointing, backward step.“The cancellation of this project while it is being actively rebid by the private sector sends the wrong signal to the national infrastructure sector and potential investors inSouth Australia,” Lyon said.The SA government will spend more than $830 million on the $1.82 billion Adelaide Desalination plant in 2009-10. Another $205 million will pay for continued work on the Northern Expressway to link the Gawler Bypass with Port Wakefield Road.More than $460 million will be spent next year building new facilities at primary and secondary schools with money from the federal nation-building stimulus package.Other major project spends in 2009-10 are:$122 million for the Rail Revitalisation program, including work on upgrades to the Gawler, Belair and Noarlunga lines.$69 million towards the $862 million South Road upgrade, due for completion in 2014.$107 million on the $164 million Light Rail Extension, due for completion in 2011.$16.5 million on a $100 million joint state and federal government-funded program to upgrade the Dukes Highway.$26 million to complete the Glenelg Tram Crossing Overpass.$79 million towards relocating the Adelaide rail yards to facilitate construction of the new Royal Adelaide Hospital.$83 million to complete the new state aquatic centre.$51 million to complete the duplication of Sturt Highway from Argent Road to Greenock-Nuriootpa Road.

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