Friday, February 10, 2023


Brown Mt fix petition heard


A COMMUNITY-LED petition to have the Brown Mountain highway "fixed" is gaining traction in the lead-up to the March state election.

Both the NSW Liberals and the current Labor Member for Bega have verbally committed to raising the prospect of the stretch of highway being recognised as a "road of strategic importance".

Such recognition would subsequently attract the potential of federal funding for more significant repairs, or indeed a replacement.

The Snowy Mountains Hwy at Brown Mountain has long been a bane of motorists and a lynchpin for the Far South Coast retail and tourism economy.

Every storm event invariably leads to anxiety over its condition - anxiety well deserved given the multiple landslips and rockslides that have occurred on the mountain pass over the years.

Looking to get the "unsafe, unstable, unreliable and unsustainable" road recognised at a federal level, Jon Gaul of Tura Beach took to Change org. The online petition and community advocacy was flagged during a visit to the Bega Valley last week by NSW Minister for Regional Roads, Sam Farraway.

Mr Farraway said petitioning the Commonwealth Government to have the road included as a road of strategic importance "certainly has my support as NSW regional roads minister".

"I will be following a process with Transport for NSW who will be engaging with the federal transport agency to start the process of lobbying Canberra to get Brown Mountain on to the ROSI list.

"We will put in the formal request over the coming months and let's hope it's added to the list and funding opportunities become available into the future."

Meanwhile, sitting Bega MP Michael Holland said Labor was also supportive of the push, saying he would "support any advocacy to the federal government".

"The importance of east-west connectivity is self-evident in the Bega electorate with our essential highways of the Snowy Mountains Hwy and Kings Hwy," Dr Holland said.

"This importance extends to passenger, freight and emergency services. It needs to be a safe and secure connection to the ACT and southern NSW."

Mayor Russell Fitzpatrick said it was great to hear there was support for the long-spoken about move.

"It will be pleasing news for the community to hear there is some action being taken and their voices are being heard."

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