Do we want the Tanami sealed?

Submitted: Tuesday, May 28, 2013 at 20:02
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Hi all.

Picked up on an interesting discussion on Radio National this morning.

There's a new action group spruiking the sealing of the Tanami.

Seal the Tanami Proposal

Cheers.


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Reply By: Motherhen - Tuesday, May 28, 2013 at 20:34

Tuesday, May 28, 2013 at 20:34
Hi JB

It is a fact in this country that with more and more people and more and more road users, road upgrades are something the general public wants and expects. This is not something that will be completed in the short term, and perhaps it will help reduce freight costs to outback areas and communities. Defence may in the end be a driving issue. It will happen eventually.

Extract from article:

"The Tanami Road will serve as a major arterial road connecting freight,
services, defence and tourists in South Eastern Australia with the Kimberley.
Realistically the upgrade to the Tanami Road may not be completed in the
next decade, but if we are to have sustainable growth in the Kimberley we
need to plan now for the key infrastructure required in ten years’ time."

Motherhen
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Tuesday, May 28, 2013 at 20:57

Tuesday, May 28, 2013 at 20:57
Very true my friend that "It will happen eventually".

On a purely selfish nature a simple no vote from me. But in the scheme of things and for the good of all I would reluctantly agree.

Phil

Still rolling along here MH.
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Follow Up By: Bruce-n-Bundi - Tuesday, May 28, 2013 at 21:46

Tuesday, May 28, 2013 at 21:46
The cattlemen of the north west surely would have appreciated it this year when they were forced to move their cattle south instead of shipping them out for export thanks to the idiots in Canberra!!!

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Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Tuesday, May 28, 2013 at 20:35

Tuesday, May 28, 2013 at 20:35
The Chamber of Commerce can hardly wait to see the Winnebago's roll into Hall's Creek.
They are probably eagerly scanning commercial coffee machine catalogues right now.
The Rabbit Flat Roadhouse may even reopen as the "Phoenix Resort & Tavern". LOL
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Pushy - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 08:26

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 08:26
Allan,

Get with the times these days it would be "Phoenix Resort Tavern and Day Spa"

On a more serious note it would be more expensive but why couldn't they put in the bitumen parallel to the dirt to give people the option.
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Follow Up By: bruce b2 - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 10:02

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 10:02
Phoenix Resort Tavern and Day Spa.....and pokies, of course
bb
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Reply By: Member - J&R - Tuesday, May 28, 2013 at 21:31

Tuesday, May 28, 2013 at 21:31
Yes definitely seal it.
But stop all vehicles towing a camper, a caravan etc.
They have to go the other way.......
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Reply By: rocco2010 - Tuesday, May 28, 2013 at 22:07

Tuesday, May 28, 2013 at 22:07
Gidday

There have been people talking for years about sealing the Great Central Road too ... it'll never happen.

cheers

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Reply By: pistol - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 06:56

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 06:56
yes I think it would be good for the people who do not have a 4wd to see our great outback
rgds Peter
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Follow Up By: member - mazcan - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 13:00

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 13:00
hi pistol
yes but you would still only be able to look at whats on the edge of the rd so would still be missing the best features of the outback??
the equivalent of a dysentery tour of bali lol
cheers
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Reply By: Rockape - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 07:13

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 07:13
John,
I guess we can just look at it another at it another way.

Lets rip up the bitumen on the street where we live. I know I wouldn't like that.

So I guess the locals would like their road sealed. Especially as it is seeing more and more traffic with the consequence being the road falling to bits.

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Follow Up By: Inland Sailor - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 08:31

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 08:31
I think the sealing of the Great Central Rd will occur sooner than the Tanami. The Great central Rd gives East West access across the country and connects Qld and Brisbane directly with W.A. and Perth. There would be more of an economic argument for this route being sealed than the Tanami.
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Follow Up By: Echucan Bob - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 08:54

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 08:54
It doesn't make any sense to tar the GCR or Tanami. I can see that the drivers of communities like Yuendumu would benefit from bitumen all the way to Alice, but whether or not that is a real benefit to the whole community would depend on many other factors. It might just make it easier for grog runners. Opening up road access flies in the face of the existing policies of restricted access, permits, and keeping communities isolated.

There are far better ways to travel and move freight from Perth to Brisbane, and from SE Australia to the Kimberley. For tourists who choose to drive, part of the allure is that it is remote and difficult to access.

I can't imagine anything worse than some of the most beautiful remote places on Earth being criss-crossed by highways like the Newell Highway, clogged with B doubles and road trains.

"Sandy Blight Junction Track Exit 1 km on Left".

Might as well tar the SBJT while they're at it.

At least we have been there and experienced it before they buggered it up.
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Follow Up By: Tjukayirla Roadhouse - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 10:24

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 10:24
So, Echucan Bob, do you not think it fair that the Truckies, locals, Station workers, and service companys, and govt depts that use the road on a regular basis (same as GCR) deserve a bit of bitumen, rather than the relentless corros time and again? and the constant damage to trucks and vehicles? All those people listed use the road a lot more than tourists do.
You would be surprised how many people use these roads in their line of work.

Cheers
Al
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Follow Up By: Tjukayirla Roadhouse - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 10:28

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 10:28
oh, and of course i'm forgetting community workers, teachers, store workers, police, nurses, etc etc etc.. :-)
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Follow Up By: Echucan Bob - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 11:37

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 11:37
Al

Don't they also deserve a hospital

An international airport

Town water

Restaurants?

If so, at what cost?

You choose to work there knowing that none of these things are there. It isn't suburbia. Working there isn't compulsory.

So I think it is fair, that if you choose to work in the country or the outback, you don't have the same access to services and facilities as people who live in the cities. Frankly, it wouldn't be fair to expect these people to pay to convert the outback into suburbia.

Bob



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Follow Up By: goddosglory - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 12:13

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 12:13
forgive me if i am reading this wrong...but what i,m seeing is that people who live in remote communities don,t deserve decent roads for access..may the fresh produce stay fresh while the trucks negotiate the corrugations and the floods....
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Follow Up By: Tjukayirla Roadhouse - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 12:24

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 12:24
haha I must have missed all the big hospitals, international airports, cafe strips and resteraunts along the length of roads like the Nullarbor and Stuart Hwy.. :-)
Nobodys expecting a metropolis to pop out of a section of bitumen.
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Follow Up By: member - mazcan - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 13:24

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 13:24
hi echucan bob
don't like your common re
a sealed rd would make it easier for grog runners to communities
so it seems you think white men don't have any drinking problems
I see plenty of evidence on a daily basis
why single them out which is what you have clearly done
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Follow Up By: Echucan Bob - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 14:22

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 14:22
Mazcan

we were talking about communities along the Tanami where it is illegal to take alcohol. Like it or not there are grog runners. You seem to infer a lot from a my comments; I work in an alcohol and drug clinic so I also see the odd whitefella with a drinking problem.

Bob
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Follow Up By: Echucan Bob - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 14:29

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 14:29
Goddosglory

Bitumen doesn't equal fresh produce. But lets throw a few more billion at the problem without having a clue what the underlying issues are. At least it'll look like we're doing something.

Bob
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Follow Up By: Sandman - Monday, Jun 24, 2013 at 22:30

Monday, Jun 24, 2013 at 22:30
If the Sandy Blight gets tared then its game over !!Yuendumu, well its govt cars that bang up and down that road so let them continue, it doesnt need blacktop out there...The buggers should behave out there before we throw more money out there anyway !!

I'm with you Bob, I live out here too and appreciate the remoteness and sometimes difficulty in getting to places, that's what its all about.

I know Tilmouth Well would LOVE to have the road tared, he'd be sitting on a fortune :-) We had lunch out there 3 weeks ago, its so nice not having the place overun by folks..

Pete
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Reply By: Alloy c/t - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 10:14

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 10:14
Sooner or later it will be sealed,would not hold my breath though, politicians love to bring forth road infrastructure on a regular basis ,, just recently had all the bigwigs come out our way spruiking that the Torrens Creek rd would be upgraded as the inland route north for when the Bruce H/way is cut ,, yeah right , not $1.00 spent on the last 30klm of dirt at the northern end for the last 4.5 years ,,, 1 new bridge over the creek at the Bowen Downs Junction that instantly became impassable after a lousy 1 inch of rain ,,, Just because you put tar down does not mean the "road" is still not anything more than an outback track ........
AnswerID: 512078

Reply By: Mick O - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 10:25

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 10:25
Me, I say why not. Makes it easier to get to some fantastic areas but at a projected cost of $5.6 Billion ($500-750K per km) to seal, I think the cost far outweighs any economic benefit in the short, medium and long term. Given the current economic state of federal and state governments, I think there are greater cost pressures coming from education, health and law and order, places where that magnitude of spending could be better utilised.

Actually I reckon any Cost Benefit Analysis would better identify the Great Central Road as an alternative for sealing ahead of the Tanami.

Keep dreaming JB. Not in your or my lifetimes I reckon.

Cheers Mick
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
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Follow Up By: Tjukayirla Roadhouse - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 10:40

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 10:40
yeah Mick O, it will happen, but not in our lifetime.
On a positive note, we now have 7kms of bitumen outside the Roadhouse, and 30km's outside Warburton..
It's a start I suppose.. lol

Cheers
Al..
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 11:09

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 11:09
Al, do it properly and you could land 747's out there .... ;-)
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Follow Up By: Echucan Bob - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 11:44

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 11:44
Mick

It might make it easier to access some fantastic places, but for how long would they remain fantastic?

Bob
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Follow Up By: member - mazcan - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 13:14

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 13:14
hi all
i think it's wishfull thinking too
as the policitians will give themselves another at least 1000 pay-rises before either of those rds are sealed and by that time
most of us will be pushing up daisies/or spinifex
cheers
they say its healthy to dream
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Reply By: Member - Joe F (WA) - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 11:26

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 11:26
G'day John ~ good day folks.

Amazing how different we think in regards to something like the subject of your post, the sealing of the Tanami road.

Yes it is a heavily used route, possibly a vital one for all sorts of reasons, yes it would benefit many people and make trans continental road travel somewhat quicker.

The Pilbara region also has a unsealed highway that is used by tourists, pastoralists, local communities yet it has been unsealed since its construction many decades ago, this highway was also a vital link in the defence of our nation during the second world war.

The Corunna Downs airforce base ~ south of Marble Bar was most likely built and serviced using this "vital" link, this highway, up until the mid 1970's was the main link into the Kimberley region, yet it was not sealed.

Since the rise of the modern day mining industry the highway has seen a massive increase in traffic volume ~ mainly heavy haulage to the various mining operations along this road, it is now deemed imperative that the highway is sealed ~ not for defence ~ not for the locals ~ not for tourism ~ not for the pastoral industry, but for mining.

Some of you may well have driven this Highway ~ it's also called the Marble Bar road.

Safe travels :


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Follow Up By: Member - Broodie H3 - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 13:37

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 13:37
Hi Joe,
Great photos, it brings back memories of my first run up to Darwin in 1970 in a mk11 440l Cortina. If I had my way no roads would be sealed as bitumen takes the fun out of driving, but now days I have a wife who likes her creature comforts and dirt roads no longer fit into her comfort zone LOL. although they used to many years ago. But for all the communities out there I think they do deserve sealed roads, as it is those communities that provide us travellers with the means to keep on exploring, this great country of ours. and that is my opinion on the subject, for what it is worth.LOL
Broodie H3
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Follow Up By: rocco2010 - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 13:51

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 13:51
Likewise on the photos . gotta love the Pilbara.

I drove to Newman in my HR Holden in 1973 when the bitumen ran out at meekatharra. I had no idea about corrugations in those days and looking back and considering the preparations we make today for an off-bitumen journey it is a wonder I survived! bloody tough those HRs, though not particularly dust proof as i recall.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Broodie H3 - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 15:06

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 15:06
the same with the mark 2, twenty three holes in the fuel tank and snapped the exhaust manifold twice before getting to Darwin. but what the heck I was young and had no money no wife but I did have a job. The last bitumen I saw was as I was leaving Hedland, the next bit was in Kununurra, and nothing in between. ah the good old days. LOL
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Follow Up By: Member - Joe F (WA) - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 19:01

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 19:01
G'day Broodie H3 ~ rocco2010

Yes in deed the so called old days of travelling huge distances on endless highways of gravel/dirt between main population centres is pretty much a thing of the past and our mode of transport has certainly changed as well.

I travelled vast tracts of the outback in my youth, in a Volkswagen Beetle then progressed up to a classic Austin 1800 Mark2 ~ this vehicle was a brilliant tourer, but the road(s) between Yunta and Arkaroola in the Flinders Ranges proved detrimental to the undercarriage and exhaust, but I still got to travel into a part of South Australia that is still a challenge today.

The photo journal of those days was strictly black and white Kodak prints.

None the less the Marble Bar road will be sealed once the total realignment through the Roy Hill section of the Chichester Ranges has been completed.

Safe travels :

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Follow Up By: Member - Paul B (WA) - Sunday, Jun 02, 2013 at 12:23

Sunday, Jun 02, 2013 at 12:23
Old Slim got this pretty right in "Walk a Country Mile" with the line

"...But I'll bet the road to Marble Bar's no better
"Than when I drove with trucks and caravans..."

Paul B Kalgoorlie

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Reply By: allein m - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 16:12

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 16:12
So who is going to pay for this taring of the outback and maintenance of the road each big wet will cause major road works the cost will be massive

I do remember some plan to make one central hwy Perth to Sydney for truck many years back sealed and for high speed transport of good


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Reply By: Candace S. - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 17:57

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 17:57
Maybe leaving it dirt but instituting an ongoing grading program would be an option?! Smoothing out the endless corrugations would be a major upgrade even if it wasn't sealed!
AnswerID: 512109

Reply By: MAVERICK(WA) - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 18:20

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 18:20
is there an election soon?????? must be as we seem to get all sorts of promises no matter how wild and wonderful and then everyone gets excited and then after the election..............nothing - we just wait for the same old promises in the run up to the next one and the one after that and..........rgds
Slow down and relax......

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Reply By: wombat100 - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 19:29

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 19:29
Hiya John,

In your question......who is 'we' ????

Cheers

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Follow Up By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 20:20

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 20:20
Hey Wombat.

The great 'we speak as one voice' ExplorOz community of course! :-)

Been a good discussion but... Thanks everyone.

Cheers.
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Follow Up By: Member - Paul B (WA) - Sunday, Jun 02, 2013 at 12:13

Sunday, Jun 02, 2013 at 12:13
Interesting views posted here that raise some eyebrows about the entitlements of Aussies in remote areas to services our city cousins take for granted. Nice to see who our friends are!

Without getting further into all that, I think there is a big difference between sealing the Tanami and sealing access into all the nice little spots along the way.

The Tanami is an important access highway from SE Australia to the Kimberley, which is becoming more and more economically significant, especially as its tourism, mineral and agricultural resources are increasingly developed.

With a massive increase of the Ord River irrigation area providing an additional source of Australian grown food, wouldn't it be nice to make it a day closer to Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, etc?

Not sure why a cost-benefit analysis is so necessary for the sealing of the Tanami when it wasn't for the NBN or countless other infrastructure projects in urban Australia.

My two penneth worth.
Paul B Kalgoorlie

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Reply By: Albany Nomads - Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 20:11

Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 20:11
My thoughts and opinion is YES to seal
But like others I feel this will be at least 10 or more years away when you look at the progress of the central desert road
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