NSW Budget might come at a cost to Eurobodalla Tourism flowing in from the West
One of the NSW budget announcements that will go unnoticed by many in the Eurobodalla is the $70 million for a roads package for Queanbeyan Palerang LGA.
$38 million will allow works to begin this year with $32 million to follow next year. John Barilaro announced today "For locals, that means that we will finally be sealing Nerriga Road over the next two years. Thank you everyone for all your support and advocacy. I couldn't have done it without you. “The tourism and business benefits an upgrade of this road would bring to the region cannot be overstated. “The poor state of the road is currently dangerous for tourists, residents, the local school bus run and freight companies and I’m so pleased this crucial project will finally come to fruition
Why should this be of interest to Eurobodalla? Because more and more holiday makers from the ACT and the west are now discovering the Shoalhaven as access improves. In early December the Beagle reported the announcement by Ann Sudmalis that Federal funds from three sources had now completed the Turpentine Road which very effectively connected the ACT with the lower Shoalhaven via the newly upgraded Nerriga Road. Now additional State monies will finish the job. "Following on from the opening of Turpentine Road where $6.6 million was invested to completely seal the short cut to Jervis Bay, with all the local and tourism benefits, now we have another great road safety improvement" Ann Sudmalis announced a few weeks later The impact to Eurobodalla? More Canberrans and those to the South West of NSW are now looking to take their South Coast holidays in the Shoalhaven. With the developments from Nowra to Ulladulla and the improved highway in the Shoalhaven those who thought turning north at Batemans Bay was all too long a trip now have a direct route to the same Unspoilt offerings as the Eurobodalla. The Shoalhaven is well aware of this windfall and are marketing themselves very effectively to the ACT market. Add to this mix the dynamic Shoalhaven City Council which endorsed the ‘Beyond Nerriga Route Options Report’ in 2015 that recommended South East Australia Transport Strategy (SEATS) and the five adjoining council areas (that includes Eurobodalla) lobby federal and state governments for funding to upgrade the Nerriga to Tarago route to B-double standard. That project is estimated to cost $250 million and is very well supported. In opening the Turpentine Road Ann Sudmalis said “Our whole region benefits when we are able to make it easier for tourists to visit and trucks carrying freight to reach our towns and villages.” No doubt this will be discussed at the Eurobodalla Tourism Networking function at the Bodalla Dairy tomorrow, Wednesday 21st June, along with all the other major concerns that are coming to the surface such as the fact that while the country may not have had a recession last year the Eurobodalla certainly did and that while other metropolitan unemployment rates dropped they didn't in the Eurobodalla. Of importance also that might be discussed over canapes and chardonnays are the figures for rising underemployment amoungst our residents in what is a predominantly a tourism dependent area and the very real fact that there are tourism bed closures throughout the Shire rather than increases.