The sealing of the first 50 kilometres of the Strzelecki Track has commenced in South Australia.
A vital supply link historically used by outback roadtrains supplying major oil and gas facilities located near Moomba, the Strzelecki Track is also an essential transport corridor for outback communities, tourism and pastoralists.
Stage 1 of the project, immediately north of Lyndhurst, has been allocated $10 million by the Marshall Liberal Government with another $125 million already allocated by the Federal Government for Stage 2.
An additional $64 million for sealing of the Strzelecki Track was announced by the Australian Government in the 2020-21 Federal Budget towards completely sealing the full length of the track.
All 472 kilometres of the track will eventually be sealed following joint funding announced by the Federal Government and State Government of South Australia.
As the Strzelecki Track remains an essential transport corridor for outback communities, tourism and pastoralists, the project is expected to help increase outback prosperity, productivity and road safety.
Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Corey Wingard, said unsealed roads contribute to higher direct freight costs, increased supply chain costs and the likelihood of accidents.
“It is great that local small and medium companies have been able to partner with us to fix this crucial route,” he said.
Pavement rehabilitation works on the first 50 kilometre section have been completed by South Australian company T&J Constructions, with sealing works completed by Downer EDI.
Additional pavement widening and shoulder sealing of the previously-sealed 24 kilometre section now means a total of 74 kilometres of sealed road is open to traffic to improve travel reliability and efficiency.
Santos Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Kevin Gallagher said the funding commitments from the Australian and South Australian governments will grow jobs and encourage more development in regional South Australia.
“Each year hundreds of trucks with equipment and supplies for the Santos operated Moomba Gas Plant and surrounding gas fields are sent via the Strzelecki Track,” he said.
“The conditions of the track can vary widely causing delays and costly maintenance for the operators of the vehicles and damage to the equipment they carry,” said Gallagher.
“The sealing of the track will ensure one of Australia’s great inland roadways is safer to travel for freight and logistics, tourists and pastoralists. This will increase productivity and trade and bring benefits to all users and communities in the region.”
Pre-construction activities for the next two packages of works, a 10 kilometre section south of Innamincka and a 93 kilometre section south of Moomba to the Strzelecki Creek crossing are now underway.