HEAT CLOSES PUBLIC ACCESS ROUTES IN OUTBACK

In line with recent announcements regarding the Simpson Desert parks closure over summer, three Public Access Routes (PARs) located in the State’s outback are also closed over the hottest months of the year to ensure the safety of visitors and emergency personnel.

Halligan Bay (PAR No. 13),
K1 Warburton Crossing (PAR No. 15), and
Walkers Crossing (PAR No. 16) will be closed until Saturday 15 March 2014.

Whilst this is not a peak time for people to be travelling in the outback, Geoff Mills, Presiding Member of the Pastoral Board, said it was a logical decision to close the routes and further support safety in the region.

“With some daytime temperatures reaching 50 degrees Celsius in summer, restricting access to these often remote and isolated tracks prevents the opportunity for ill-prepared visitors to get into trouble and at worst, find themselves in a fatal situation.

Further to this, emergency personnel are also exposed to great risk if these types of routes remain open and people travel on them,” he said.

The start of the Halligan Bay route (PAR No. 13) is approximately seven kilometres south- west of William Creek on the Oodnadatta Track and offers access to Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre National Park.

The 80 kilometre K1 Warburton Crossing (PAR No. 15) provides access to the Simpson Desert Regional Reserve from the Birdsville Track which is also closed for the summer.

The Walkers Crossing route (PAR No. 16) is accessed via Innamincka or the Birdsville Track and its 226 kilometre length is a remote 4WD track.

All three Public Access Routes, (PARs) have the access gates closed and locked and information circulated to regional communities and Visitor Information Centres.

Public Access Routes are station tracks that provide public access to points of interest in pastoral South Australia that would not otherwise be accessible without the landholder’s permission.

The Pastoral Board is responsible for the public access to pastoral lands and is delivered by Natural Resources SA Arid Lands’ Pastoral Unit. There are currently 24 public access routes established on pastoral leases in South Australia.