22 Jun, 2017

Mixed outcomes for City in 2017-18 State Budget

Lord Mayor Martin Haese says initiatives in today’s 2017-18 State Government budget will help drive renewed economic, population and employment growth in the City of Adelaide.

However, he says the State Government has “missed the bus” by failing to fund key transport projects.

The Lord Mayor says commitments to support city apartment construction are a “sound investment in our City’s future.”

“Council welcomes the State Government’s assistance package, including a new $10,000 pre-construction grant for off-the-plan apartments in buildings yet to be built, and the further extension of the stamp duty concession of up to $15,500.

“This package complements Council’s approach that was announced in May to offer a five-year rate-free period for owner-occupiers who purchase ‘off the plan’ dwellings, and for owner-occupiers of residential dwellings which have been transformed from C and D Grade office buildings.

“Together, these initiatives will stimulate residential population growth and improve housing affordability in the City of Adelaide.”

The Lord Mayor however expressed disappointment that the State Government has failed to recognise the urgent need to invest in two key inner city transport projects - the redevelopment of Grenfell Street and further expansion of the City’s AdeLINK tram network.

“Grenfell Street is the City’s main bus corridor but is in an incredibly poor state, with the road surface buckling under the weight of existing traffic flows. Urgent investment by the State Government is needed to cater for rapidly increasing bus movements (from 2,400 movements to 2,800 movements per day) following the completion of the new OBahn tunnel extension.

“It is also a missed opportunity not to further fund an expanded and integrated tram network across Adelaide. The evidence is clear that tram networks attract investment, boost economic growth, encourage urban renewal and jobs, and bring residents and visitors to the city centre.

“Myself and my fellow ‘Mayors 4 AdeLINK’ will continue to advocate for the full AdeLINK network to be built as early as possible to unlock the many economic and social benefits this project would create.”

There is better news in relation to sustainability, with the Lord Mayor stating that businesses and residents in the City of Adelaide will directly benefit from a range of initiatives announced in today’s Budget.

“We welcome the State Government’s investment of $500,000 to support the installation of battery storage systems to businesses in our burgeoning laneways, thereby helping them to reduce their energy costs.

“Eligible businesses will be able to access a rebate to offset the cost of installing a storage system, noting that they will need bigger batteries than homeowners, because they generally have higher energy usage and purchase more peak load power.”

The Lord Mayor says this funding will help to boost the overall effectiveness of Council’s successful Sustainability Incentives Scheme, which provides additional rebates of up to $5000 for residents and businesses to install solar panels, battery storage, electric vehicle charging stations and energy efficiency upgrades.

“I also welcome the State Government’s investment of $275,000 in electric vehicle charging facilities that Council is planning to build across the city at up to nine on-street locations and in several U Park facilities.

“And the announcement of six hydrogen-powered public buses is a very exciting development.

“Council has already strongly recommended to the State Government that this fleet of zero-emission buses should operate exclusively on the City Connector network as a visible demonstration of our joint commitment to deliver a Carbon Neutral Adelaide.”

For more information

Simon Latimer