I meant to say military rather than just army in my original post A multipurpose facility e.g. airfield to defend southern gap e.g. anti sub or anti surface, etc.Yes, woomera is nearby. Emergency landing for commercial jets, flying doctors forward base etc
Maritime patrol aircraft based at RAAF Edinburgh (or staging out of RAAF Pearce) and subs out of Fleet Base West have more than enough range to patrol the ocean south of the Great Australian Bight. Add in A330 MRRT refuelling support and a P-8A can go all the way to Antarctica if needed. There is no gap.
As for the airlines and RFDS, I'm sure they will be happy to know there's no need to employ expensive aviation experts when any old foamer can tell them how to run their organisation for free.
The point I have been trying to make is that we have one of the longest continuous rail tracks that could be used in the event of war and in time of peace. If the infrastructure had remained, there could have been some continued use of the facilities. It would take a lot of money, foresight, and political will to use it again.
The TAR would be a liability for military use in time of war, not an asset. A single cruise missile launched from well outside territorial waters would take just minutes to convert it into a pair of useless branch lines terminating at a hole in the ground.
In peacetime, the ADF and its contractors already make use of the TAR in the same way that private companies do - getting rail operators to drag stuff to/from WA for them. If the military needed any extra 'facilities' along the way not applicable to civilian rail traffic, they would already have built them!