Hughes critical of budget

SPORTS: Member for Giles Eddie Hughes has criticised the state government for including no funding for a new local sports hub in their 2018 State Budget. Mr Hughes is pictured with Labor MP Kyam Maher.
SPORTS: Member for Giles Eddie Hughes has criticised the state government for including no funding for a new local sports hub in their 2018 State Budget. Mr Hughes is pictured with Labor MP Kyam Maher.

Member for Giles Eddie Hughes has criticised the state government for failing to provide funding for a new sports hub in Whyalla in their 2018 State Budget.

Labor pledged $5 million towards a $15 million state-of-the-art sports facility before the state election, with the offer being contingent on the federal government and Whyalla City Council coming to the party.

“The community has been snubbed by the Liberal Government which has not allocated any funding for the sports hub in the Budget,” Mr Hughes said.

The budget, while committing $3.1 million for shoulder sealing on the Lincoln Highway between Whyalla and Cowell, also represents a $26 million cut to regional roads funding as a whole.

Mr Hughes said while the flow-on effect in Whyalla remains to be seen, the cut is in ‘stark contrast ‘to the former Labor Government which spent almost two thirds of South Australia’s road maintenance budget in regional areas.

“To add insult to injury, a variety of sporting and recreational clubs in Whyalla have missed out on crucial funding from the State Liberal Government,” he said.

Mr Hughes welcomed the state government’s investment in a $200 million 7-12 high school in Whyalla, but criticised the Liberals for jacking up Housing Trust rents.

“With Housing Trust rent hikes, the Liberal Government is targeting the most vulnerable members in our community,” he said.

Mr Hughes slammed the state government for clawing back $10 million of the $24 million invested in the Female Facilities Program to fund the development of new and upgraded change rooms for girls and women.

“In their first budget, the Liberals have plunged the budget into deficit and unleashed cruel cuts, closures and privatisations,” he said.

By contrast Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey praised the state government’s Budget for committing $1.45 million towards the widening of the road seal of 20 curves on the Tod Highway and 12 curves on the Birdseye Highway.

“These improvements will improve safety and reduce the risk of head-on and lost-control crashes on curves,” he said.

Mr Ramsey said the government had also committed $1.43 million to construct a new rest area and upgrade an existing rest area on the Lincoln Highway, about 100 kilometres south of Whyalla.

“The highway will soon be more efficient, more reliable and safer thanks to upgrades being funded under round six of the government’s Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program,” he said.

The state government have been contacted for a response to Mr Hughes’ comments.