A REPORT on the ‘Economic and Community Benefits of Sealing the Strzelecki Track’ has been launched in a bid to move forward with the proposal to seal the track between Lyndhurst and Innamincka.
The report was released by Regional Development Australia Far North (RDAFN), the Outback Communities Authority (OCA) and the Flinders Ranges Council (FRC), while Premier Jay Weatherill and federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey participated in the report’s launch.
RDAFN Chair Jen Cleary said a fully-sealed Strzelecki Track would enable the growth and development of economic activity in the outback and beyond.
“The Strzelecki Track is a vital supply link for major oil and gas facilities in the Cooper Basin and is an essential transport corridor for outback communities, tourism and livestock movements,” Dr Cleary said.
“The economic benefits focused on various sectors including resources, beef cattle, road freight and tourism and the results showed that implications of these wider benefits have the potential to deliver a ‘value add’ to the economy in the order of $87 million in year 10 after the project completion.”
The 472-kilometre track is unsealed – apart from 45kms of sealed overtaking lanes – and can take up to 12 hours for heavy vehicles to travel.
OCA Chair Cecilia Woolford said sealing the entire track would provide improved access for emergency services.
“The Strzelecki Track is often closed due to rain events, sometimes for days, isolating those who use it most, the people who live, work and travel along the track,” she said.
Mr Ramsey commended the report for presenting the data needed in the push for state and federal funding.
“It clearly identifies the increase in tourism that would result from the project,” he said. “I have been backing this project for some time.”
SA Best Upper House candidate and Port Augusta Mayor Sam Johnson said sealing the track would be one of his key priorities if elected.