Livestock SA has welcomed the South Australian Government’s announcement to begin the upgrade and sealing of the Strzelecki Track.
The Strzelecki Track is a 473-kilometre road linking Lyndhurst to Innamincka in the north-east of South Australia and is considered one of the worst roads in Australia.
The project will begin by sealing a 50-kilometre section of the track north of Lyndhurst.
Livestock SA Chief Executive Officer Andrew Curtis said the Strzelecki Track is essential to pastoralists, miners and many tourists and an upgrade is long overdue.
“The track is often not fit for purpose in its current condition and this has many impacts on our members,” he said.
“It extends the amount of time a driver and stock are in the truck because of the period it takes to travel along the rough surface, resulting in higher direct freight and supply chain costs.”
The Strzelecki Track also experiences regular road closures due to flooding, causing safety issues and hindering business operations and travel.
Sealing the track would ensure faster travel times, improved transport reliability, lower transport operating costs, improved accessibility to services for local communities and improved safety for travellers.
“Upgrading the track will also improve animal welfare during transportation,” Mr Curtis said.
“It would open up south-western Queensland, allowing more cattle to enter SA’s quality finishing systems and providing better access to agistment for SA pastoral cattle.”
While sealing the first 50 kilometres is a good start, Mr Curtis encouraged the State Government to work with the Federal Government to seal the entire track.
“There will be an increase in job opportunities both in the region and in other parts of South Australia when the entire road is upgraded,” he said.