SA-BEST TO REV UP SEALING THE ICONIC STRZELECKI TRACK

21 January 2018

SA-BEST Upper House candidate and Port Augusta Mayor, Sam Johnson, says SA-BEST will make the sealing of the iconic Strzelecki Track in the state’s far north a key election issue.

“If elected to the Upper House, this will be one of my key priorities to push for and make happen,” Sam said.

“The Strzelecki Track is a vital part of national infrastructure, linking the oil and gas fields in the Cooper Basin, and an essential corridor for outback communities, pastoralists and tourists. It is a no-brainer that sealing it would bring enormous economic potential for South Australia.

“Yet despite two state government reports in 2012 and 2015 that recommended sealing and upgrading the track be made a key priority, here we are still waiting for a decision from the Commonwealth while our own government sits idle, twiddling its thumbs, passively waiting for an answer after submitting a business case four years ago.

“Giving it the green-light will provide a much-needed investment and jobs boost in regional SA. The Civil Contractors Federation estimates up to 400 jobs would be created by the construction phase of the project, and thousands more could be created by the flow-on effects of the track being sealed.”

Reports in 2012 and 2015 found sealing the Strzelecki would improve transport reliability, reduce freight and supply chain costs, lower the potential for road accidents, and boost outback tourism.

The $450 million project’s plans consist of a two-lane road, bridges being built over sections prone to flooding, and sealing a 26 kilometre stretch of the Adventure Way road link from Innamincka to the Queensland border. At present, the track has only a few short sections of sealed road and, while it is passable with caution for conventional vehicles during the dry season, it is closed for about 45 days each year because of flooding.

“If we are truly committed to growing the SA economy, we need to make investments in infrastructure that is going to provide our state with an economic return - The Strzelecki Track is a prime example,” Sam said.

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