The recent 12-day closure of the Eyre Highway due to the ongoing countrywide bushfires has highlighted the need for upgrades to outback roads across the country.
As the only sealed transport route between Western Australia and the rest of the country, the closure of the highway left tourists and truckdrivers stranded. Pastoralists in the region are now renewing their push to get the Trans Access Road upgraded.
The Trans Access Road runs from Kalgoorlie to the South Australian border, parallel with the Trans Australia Railway Line. A link road between this road and the Eyre Highway has also been suggested.
The City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder is applying for these road upgrades to be funded under the Commonwealth’s $4.5 billion Roads of Strategic Importance program. According to City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder CEO John Walker, the Trans Access Road is essential to 12 pastoral stations, mining operations, an indigenous community, and railway operations.
There are a number of outback roads already slated for upgrades and numerous calls for a number of other outback roads to be upgraded and sealed.