Letters regarding the treacherous state of Watertank Road, Tilba, have featured in local newspapers several times before, without any long term improvement in the road’s condition. The present state of Watertank Road is dire: pot-holes, corrugations and ruts stretching its length making it well-nigh impossible to negotiate safely. Consequently, locals and tourist alike are ceasing to use it. It is clear that those who are responsible for the maintenance of the road (Council? Forestry?) are intent on closing it by stealth.
Watertank Road provides access to the Tilba Winery, the Old Highway and Ridge Road. For those travelling from Narooma this route is 1.95kms shorter than travelling via the Princes Highway. Obviously this saves fuel, time and money and helps to encourage visitors to the winery. Most important, too and often overlooked, Watertank Road provides emergency access for the winery. While the cost/benefit of maintain Watertank Road may be open to debate its closure would no doubt be a huge inconvenience to many people and a threat to a successful local business and tourist attraction.
Furthermore, at some stage in the not-too-distant past Watertank Road was included in one of the Narooma Cycleways (Nar 4). So tourists and residents alike are being sent to their deaths along an unmaintained road totally unsuitable for cyclists. I do not exaggerate and I would take odds that, before too long, an unsuspecting cyclist will be involved in a major accident. Indeed, only this week a couple who had survived Nar4 had to seek refuge at the winery to recover from their experience. The gentlemen in question returned to his accommodation to collect his car so that he could return his wife to Narooma in safety. Need I say more?
I have invested many tens of thousands of dollars in reviving the Tilba Winery. I have created jobs, brought dollars to Eurobodalla and established an attraction that is an asset to the area. Is all the thanks I get the cutting off of one of our lifelines? The saddest aspect of all this is that no-one ‘in the know’ has had the courtesy to talk to me about the situation. Sad, but not surprising.
Tilba Valley Wines