The recent flooding of Australia’s main northern freight routes has reignited proposals for a cross-country rail connection.

Port Augusta and Tarcoola are one of the major freight routes affected earlier this year.

Communities along important supply routes connecting South Australia, Western Australia, and the Northern Territory were shut off by devastating floods this summer.

Major floods in January ripped down some of Australia’s busiest freight routes, reigniting calls for a cross-country northern rail connection.

Trucks and trains delivering goods from South Australia to the Northern Territory were stuck by flood-damaged roads, leaving grocery stores empty.

Katherine was one of the hardest impacted localities, with residents taking extraordinary measures to unload a single truck that had become stuck while transporting desperately needed supplies to the area.

Trucks have been picking up the slack for the past month, obliged to carry the strain or face additional food shortages in the region.

Worse, the primary motorway connecting Adelaide and Darwin remains partially impassable, requiring motorists to go through Queensland.

Communities on the verge of becoming even more isolated deserve assistance.

Colin Abbott, the manager of Katherine’s Chamber of Commerce, said the flooding highlighted how fragile outback Australia’s supply systems were.

“It appears to be a big issue,” he observed, “because if one railway or road is inundated, the entire Territory is effectively isolated.”

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