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SA crossbench party looks to road savings

A South Australian crossbench party wants to try to cut $1 billion from the cost of Adelaide’s north-south road corridor to direct the funds to the state’s health system.

SA-BEST says it seems a “no-brainer” to try to slash the $10 billion cost of the final section of the South Road upgrade.

“There is an appealing, achievable option that has been developed which has the potential to save South Australian taxpayers up to $1 billion, vital funds that can be immediately directed into our public health system,” upper house MP Frank Pangallo said.

“The politics need to be removed from such a crucial state infrastructure project. It’s a no-brainer for us and should be to the government too.”

Mr Pangallo said the alternative option for the final 10.5-kilometre upgrades had been developed by former senior transport department bureaucrat Luigi Rossi.

His proposal includes a 6km tunnel from the River Torrens to just before the South Road overpass at Cross Road, connecting to a 4km elevated motorway.

Mr Rossi said the plan could save $1 billion, bring forward the completion date by a year and also require the acquisition of fewer properties along the corridor.

The idea was included in the SA-BEST transport and infrastructure policy released on Tuesday ahead of Saturday’s state election.

The party is seeking to hold the balance of power in the Legislative Council after the poll.

Its policy also offers support for expanded passenger rail services across SA, including a tourism wine train to the Barossa Valley.

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