An advocacy group for upgrading the Brindabella Road has reponded to the views expressed by Brindabella resident Noelene Franklin in the September 18 edition of the Tumut and Adelong Times.
Brindabella Road The Economic Link (BRTEL) secretary Peter Smith said the group agrees on several points raised in the article.
“As frequent users of the route, all residents of Brindabella should have an input to design aspects for any upgrade of the Brindabella Road,” he said.
“This has been a missed opportunity for SVC but a community meeting in October will be able to take account of resident’s views.
“We also agree that there are superior routes to the current alignment but the hard facts are that they are financially unattainable. In particular, the route suggested by the ‘silent majority’ (in the article) is not feasible.”
BRTEL has members from Talbingo, Tumut, Brindabella, Adelong, Batlow, Tumbarumba, Khancoban, Gundagai, and Corryong.
“The focus of BRTEL is regional and not focussed on Brindabella,” Mr Smith said.
“All our cards have been on the table for years and our activities and ideas have been regularly published in the TAT.”
BRTEL say that they advocate a decent and safe tourist road from Canberra to the SVC region for the economic and social benefits to the whole region.
“The function of the road would be to carry tourist, domestic and light freight traffic safely; it would not be suitable for heavy freight which goes via Gocup Road and the Hume Highway. We envisage a road of standard similar to the existing sealed sections in the ACT and from Bondo to Micalong Creek.”
BRTEL says the benefits to the region would be massive – from opening the region to the large ACT economy to giving SVC residents access to medical, education, employment, travel, and national monuments of the ACT.
“We have spoken to hundreds of people across the region and have found strong support for the road which aligns with SVC’s assessment of it being a high infrastructure priority,” Mr Smith said. “We also heard from those who do not share that view, mainly to preserve the remoteness and charm of the current route.
“Snowy Valleys Council is faced with the hard reality that the preferred option depends on external funding. Without special State or Federal funding, SVC have found no option than to adopt a long-term staged approach to achieving their desired tourist link.” BRTEL supports their efforts to achieve the first stage to improve the safety of the worst section of the route up the Brindabella mountains and will continue to lobby State and Federal agencies to fund the link, particularly to assist the recovery from the disastrous fires earlier this year.