Labor’s plan to expand Adelaide’s tram network would create much-needed jobs for the state, according to the South Australian Government.
Federal Opposition leader Mr Bill Shorten has promised the state a $500 million contribution to the project.
Announcing the funding, Mr Shorten said the investment "will create 2000 jobs in SA and give the local economy a much needed boost.”
The state’s Labor Government has welcomed the promise of federal funding for the $3 billion project.
South Australian Transport and Infrastructure Minister Mr Stephen Mullighan said: “The expansion of Adelaide’s tram network has the potential to transform our city, boosting economic growth and attracting investment.
“It will encourage urban renewal, create jobs and bring residents and visitors to the city centre, while contributing to market demand for residential development throughout metropolitan Adelaide.”
South Australian Premier Mr Jay Weatherill said: “The AdeLINK tram network is a key element in the transformation of our public transport system which we know will deliver enormous economic benefits, continue to improve Adelaide’s vibrancy and will also create jobs.
“This is an exciting announcement which addresses two of our federal election priorities – to grow our public transport network and to support our sovereign steel industry.
“Obviously it’s a very large project but (the federal pledge) will fund at least one of the links to one of the sectors in the metropolitan area that we’ve planned.”
The AdeLINK project would expand the tram network throughout the city and inner suburbs, with six new tram lines in areas currently serviced only by buses.
It is hoped that the expansion would help to ease traffic congestion and pressure on Adelaide’s inner-city roads.
The project has been generally well received by the public, with commuters hopeful it would ease traffic congestion
One commuter said: “I think the tram’s a great mode of transport; it gets cars off the road.”
Another said: “I think it’s a brilliant idea. I think at the moment the tram is one of those luxury options – there’s one in Adelaide – it’s like providing an ice cream shop in a desert, everybody uses it and it does get crowded.”
She said many university students would welcome tram services along more of North Terrace in the CBD, as it would allow easy access to the campuses of both the University of Adelaide and University of South Australia.
Prime Minister Mr Malcolm Turnbull has also announced that a Liberal government would provide $43 million in funding for the Tonsley rail line in Adelaide’s southern suburbs to link Adelaide to Flinders University and Flinders Medical Centre.
This would cut travelling time via public transport from the city to the campus to just over 20 minutes, compared with the current 50 minutes to one hour.
In his statement Mr Turnbull said it would “greatly improve access to Adelaide’s metropolitan rail network for those living in the southern suburbs of Adelaide and provide better travel options for more than 26,000 people who travel to the Flinders precinct each day.”