The Strzelecki Track will start to be sealed in one of South Australia's biggest regional road projects that will unlock massive investment, drive exports and create more jobs.
The Marshall Government is investing $10 million to seal the first 50-kilometres of the 472-kilometre Strzelecki Track, beginning immediately north of Lyndhurst.
The project is expected to create 31 jobs over the life of the project, and commence in the third quarter of this year, with expected completion in the last quarter of 2021, weather permitting.
"Sealing the Strzelecki Track has been talked about for decades and will unlock massive economic potential and growth in regional South Australia," said Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government Stephan Knoll.
"The nature of the unsealed road makes it inaccessible during wet weather and flood events, negatively impacting on the efficient and safe operation of road users, especially freight.
"In the three-month period from February to April this year, there were four inclement weather events which results in the road being closed for 13 days which stifles business.
"Like so many regional projects, this was ignored by the former Labor government who refused to properly invest in our regional roads and infrastructure for almost two decades.
"We are prioritising this project because it will improve the livestock supply chain, increase regional tourism, reduce environmental impacts and slash freight costs for the resources sector.
"We will continue to work with the Federal Government to secure funding for the remainder of the Strzelecki Track but it's important we get the ball rolling on getting this track sealed.
"Like the former State Labor administration, we are also open to considering private sector contribution for upgrading the remainder of the track and which has been an agenda item for a number of years."
Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan said the resources industry would greatly benefit from the sealing of the Strzelecki Track.
"This is a project that the resources sector, one of South Australia's biggest employers, has been crying out for over the last few decades," said Minister van Holst Pellekaan.
"The Strzelecki Track will help open up supply chains between South Australian and Queensland for the resources and cattle industries, create outstanding new tourism opportunities and benefit local people.
"Sealing the Strzelecki Track will be the last piece of sealed road between Cape York and Bunbury making this a significant national project."