The Malinauskas government has committed $59 million in water and sewer infrastructure upgrades in Adelaide’s northern suburbs.

Resident Peter Dunn, who has been living in Angle Vale for nine years, says the upgrades are much needed.

But his property is not set to benefit from the upgrade, with the money only to be used for upgrades servicing new developments.

Mr Dunn’s property is not connected to sewerage, instead relying on a septic tank.

The road outside his home regularly “just floods” as there is no stormwater drainage. 

“It’s plainly disgusting, the water just lays out the front,” Mr Dunn said.

“It was so deep out the front we were bottoming out our cars going through the water to get out on the road.”

He said the amenities in the area have not been well planned for its growing population.

“There’s not even a library out here – there’s nothing. They’ve just started putting some shops in otherwise it’s 14 kilometres to a shop,” Mr Dunn said.

“They just haven’t thought about things in advance, they just put stuff there, yes build all the news houses, get people a house, but don’t put anything there – and that’s what’s happened.

“It’s extremely frustrating, and you can see it all going on around you and nothing happens, and you’re paying rates and taxes and it’s not fair.”

Nick Champion says the investment into infrastructure upgrades will ensure new homes are delivered as quickly as possible.(ABC News: Trent Murphy)

More homes on the way

Minister for Housing Nick Champion said it was hoped the investment would see the successful completion of more new homes in Angle Vale.

“We know that we have a national housing crisis, we know that affects so many segments in our community,” Mr Champion said.

Many new home owners in the area are currently relying on vacuum trucks to empty sewage tanks and transport the waste to Bolivar wastewater treatment centre five days a week.

“We’ve got 500 houses here at the moment that are relying on tankering of sewage,” he said.

“This is a catastrophic failure – and a prime example of what happens when governments prioritise short term politics over long term, strategic decision making.”

Clint Marsh, Deputy Mayor for Playford Council says he welcomes the announcement.(ABC News: Trent Murphy)

Playford Council Deputy Mayor Clint Marsh said he had been calling out for investment into water infrastructure since beginning in the role in 2018.

“Developments were being established, were being sold and were being lived in before trunk lines were able to be connected,” Cr Marsh said.

“I wanted to be that voice that said ‘enough – we’ve got a broken system’.

“Residents were smelling sewage multiple times a day and that’s because the trucking was coming through the estate.

“I hope we can move forward now.”

Mr Champion said there were concerns that without the funding, developers would have abandoned housing projects in the area due to the inability to connect housing to water mains and sewerage infrastructure.

“I cannot believe we are in a situation where developers are seriously considering abandoning projects because our pipes can’t cope with more houses,” he said.

The government has blamed the former Liberal Government for the shortfall in infrastructure, saying the then Water Minister David Speirs failed to adequately cater for population and housing growth in the area.

Industry leaders say sustained funding and detailed planning are required to adequately support growth in the region.(ABC News: Trent Murphy)

‘Tip of the iceberg’

Liam Golding, the Urban Development Institute of Australia’s South Australian chief executive, said the organisation had been actively highlighting the need for infrastructure to support housing supply growth.

“You don’t arrive at a housing crisis overnight. Where we are now is the result of a sustained period of underinvestment and a lack of strategic planning for infrastructure,” Mr Golding said.

“While we welcome this investment, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Significant immediate needs remain, and sustained funding with a detailed plan are required just to start us on a path back to a normal housing market.”

Master Builders SA chief executive Will Frogley said removing barriers to development was essential and urged the government to continue to adequately fund SA Water and infrastructure projects.

“Homebuyers, developers and builders must have certainty regarding water supply, sewer infrastructure and other utility services,” Mr Frogley said.

About 1,400 new homes are yet to be built in Angle Vale over five developments.(ABC News: Trent Murphy)

Further investment needed

The government said about 1,400 houses across five development sites are yet to be built in Angle Vale, an increase in demand which it said would not be able to cope with the current infrastructure.

SA Water wants to spend more than $360 million on capital works to handle growth across Adelaide’s north.

If approved, the plan could see household water bills increase.

“If there’s some consolation to paying a water bill, it’s knowing that we are making the investments to lower the price of housing,” Mr Champion said.

The government is expected to announce more water infrastructure projects next month.

Existing residents like Peter Dunn hope it will mean improvements for them, too.