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Safety to be improved on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands Main Access Road

CONNECT - Message from the Chief Executive

14 November 2019

Safety for motorists will soon be improved between Pukatja (Ernabella) and Umuwa in South Australia’s APY Lands, with sealing works currently underway, as part of the APY Main Access Road Upgrade Project.

The works will include sealing the full 28 kilometre section of road between the communities of Pukatja (Ernabella) and Umuwa, which will provide a more consistent road environment and maintain surface integrity through this higher trafficked portion of road.

There are approximately 120 vehicle movements on an average weekday between Pukatja (Ernabella) and Umuwa. This section of road is utilised by an estimated 60 per cent of the total population of the APY Lands and requires the greatest ongoing maintenance.

This additional sealing will provide a continuous sealed surface between Pukatja (Ernabella) and Umuwa, and responds to stakeholder/community concerns, including the APY Executive Board.

The works are part of the upgrade of 210 kilometres of the Main Access Road and  21 kilometres of community access roads between the Stuart Highway and Pukatja (Ernabella) in the APY Lands.

The project aims to improve living standards of the local Anangu by providing better access to essential services and facilities, along with reduced travel times and vehicle operating costs.

The local community will further benefit from the work with a commitment by the Government in consultation with the APY Executive Board to ensure a minimum of 30 per cent of the total on-site labour hours are undertaken by local Anangu.

The Australian Government is contributing $113.42 million towards the $141.78 million project with the remaining $28.36 million being provided by the South Australian Government.

To date, a total of 54 kilometres has been upgraded, including the Pukatja (Ernabella) Airstrip Access Road, a 7-kilometre section from the Stuart Highway to Iwantja (Indulkana) and the 43-kilometre section between Pukatja (Ernabella) to Umuwa (Double Tank).

Further information on the APY Lands Main Access Road Upgrade Project can be found at