Early green light for Strzelecki Track sealing


Upgrade could create a valuable new freight route between Adelaide and Brisbane

Early green light for Strzelecki Track sealing
SA resources minister Tom Koutsantonis

 

Infrastructure Australia has given a SA-led project to seal the Strzelecki Track an official rating, advancing the proposal to discussions on potential funding.

Mineral resources and energy minister Tom Koutsantonis says the $450 million project would involve sealing 426km of the track between Lyndhurst and Innamincka. With some other minor upgrades, this would create a fully sealed freight route between Adelaide and Brisbane.

"We first submitted this project to Infrastructure Australia in February 2014 because we recognised the incredible potential of unlocking a new freight route between South Australia and Queensland," Koutsantonis says.

The existing road is often corrugated and rough and takes a heavy toll on the vehicles which use it, and its susceptibility to the weather results in closures and delays

"The upgrade would also improve safety by dramatically reducing travel times and cutting the risk of crashes as a result of poor road conditions."

Koutsantonis says a sealed freight route would help to unlock the wider unconvential oil and gas industry in the north of the state, potentially creating thousands of jobs and attracting millions of investment dollars to the region.

"Sealing the Strzelecki Track will dramatically reduce transport costs for the expanding Cooper Basin oil and gas industry by millions of dollars each year," he says.

"[It] would also deliver enormous benefits to the north east pastoral industry as well as to people in remote communities and the tourism sector."

The Infrastructure Australia assessment creates a platform for state, commonwealth and private interests of to begin discussions on potential funding arrangements.

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