Trailer Magazine

Strzelecki Track upgrades reinforces vital supply chains

  • Posted on Wednesday 24th, June 2020.

After many years of pastoralists along with the trucking and mining industries advocating for the Strzelecki Track in South Australia’s far north east to be sealed, the project is now underway.

The SA government has committed $10 million to sealing the first 50 kilometres north of Lyndhurst, with that section due to be completed by the last quarter of 2021, weather permitting.

The 472-kilometre Strzelecki Track from Lyndhurst to Innamincka, near the SA-QLD border, is a vital supply link for the state’s major oil and gas suppliers in the Cooper Basin and also a critical freight route for beef pastoralists.

The Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government, Stephan Knoll, said the project will improve the livestock supply chain, increase regional tourism, reduce environmental impacts and slash freight costs for the resources sector.

“The nature of the unsealed road makes it inaccessible during wet weather and flood events, negatively impacting on the efficient and safe operation of road users, especially freight,” said Knoll.

“In the three-month period from February to April this year, there were four inclement weather events which resulted in the road being closed for 13 days, which stifled business.”

Knoll said the State Government will continue to work with the Federal Government to secure funding to seal the remainder of the Strzelecki Track.

“Like the former State Labor administration, we are also open to considering private sector contributions towards upgrading the remainder of the track, which has been an agenda item for a number of years,” he said.

Meanwhile, South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy (SACOME) Chief Executive, Rebecca Knol, has welcomed the announcement, saying it represents a timely investment in one of SA’s economically important transport routes.

“It will result in productivity and safety benefits for multiple industry sectors as well as provide a ‘shovel ready’ project to assist SA's post Covid-19 economic recovery, said Knol.

“It is encouraging to see regional projects that can make a significant economic contribution to the state appropriately valued and prioritised," she said.

According to Knol, SACOME has been calling on the Government to increase its road maintenance funding to $300 million per year over the next five years to address a $750 million backlog.

“The next stage of sealing on the Strzelecki Track is a welcome contribution to addressing this backlog,” she said.

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