The South Australian opposition has slammed the decision to scrap plans for two mountain bike parks, but the government says it is prioritising health spending.
- The SA opposition has criticised Labor for scrapping mountain bike plans made by the former government
- The government says spending needs to be prioritised in health, education and infrastructure
- The government also announced a trial of electric vehicle charging stations today
The previous Liberal government had fully funded the $5.25 million development of the Fox Creek Bike Park at Cudlee Creek, in the Adelaide Hills, but works were yet to start.
Opposition leader David Speirs said mountain biking had seen a lot of growth during the COVID-19 pandemic and he was disappointed the projects had been axed.
“We were going to create something really special here at Fox Creek, and that is now completely gone,” he said.
“We were going to create a new mountain bike path just outside of Victor Harbor — that has been axed as well.”
Transport and Infrastructure Minister Tom Koutsantonis said while the Fox Creek development was a “good idea”, his government had to prioritise funding.
“Priorities for us are health, education, infrastructure and jobs so we’re focusing on those areas,” he said.
Mountain bike tour operator Ian Fehler said the decision was disappointing.
“It’s a huge disappointment for everybody, for all the local riders, but also it’s that lost opportunity for businesses,” he said.
EV drivers will be able to charge cars while shopping
Meanwhile, electric car owners will be able to charge their vehicles while doing their shopping under a state government trial.
Smart charging stations will be installed at the Pasadena Shopping Centre, Victor Harbor Beachfront Holiday Park and Flinders University as well as at locations around the city.
Pasadena Shopping Centre, in Adelaide’s southern suburbs, will be home to 14 Planet Ark stations, which can recharge an electric vehicle in 15 to 45 minutes.
Planet Ark’s Paul Ruddick said the stations will be charged during times of high renewable energy supply in the state, in turn helping to support the grid.
“We’re using the battery as a sponge to soak up that energy and use it later to charge cars at a much more rapid rate,” he said.
Transport and infrastructure minister Tom Koutsantonis said the stations were needed given about 170,000 electric cars were expected to be on South Australian roads by 2030.
“Range anxiety is something we need to overcome — if people can get used to charging their vehicles while they’re shopping, charging their vehicles while they’re travelling, the transition will work much, much faster,” he said.
The 12-month trial will start in February 2023.
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