24 MAY 2016

 

OPENING OF YARARA GAP ROADWORKS

I have a bit of history with this place, as a driver and in my role as local Member.

At the end of 2013, I recall receiving a letter from a woman driving this road with her two teenage children and towing a horse in a float.

“In the last kilometre of road prior to the Gap climb,” she wrote, “I noticed in my rear vision mirror that a semi-trailer was approaching quickly, and allowed the transport room to overtake me. The truck disappeared ahead. I then began my ascent up the Gap … when, rounding a tight curve on one of the steepest sections, I found the truck had stopped in the middle of the narrow road (there is no road shoulder for a truck to pull off on, and the road is narrow). This was extremely dangerous as I had to brake strongly to pull up in time … and even more so for the young horse travelling in the float. This was a very frightening experience to say the least.”

Here we are, at what I once called the most dangerous piece of road in the Albury electorate.

No one could say that now.

 

DSC_0016

 

What is remarkable is that roadworks of this high quality are now being carried out in places where country roads have so often held little priority.

But what might be of small relevance to people who live in cities is actually of high impact, literally on a day-to-day basis, to all those country people who rely on these connecting roads.

“Peter and I would like to thank you and the NSW Government,” starts a recent note, “for supporting and funding the construction and upgrade of the road through Yarara Gap. We appreciate having a much safer and accessible road and the views are amazing. Please pass on our thanks to those involved. We look forward to celebrating the opening. Kind regards, [Peter and Mary Hoodless].”

Speaking personally, I am glad the NSW Government was able to assist with funding of $750,000 for this project. It is money well spent.

When residents contacted me to express their concerns about this dangerous stretch of road, I began to chase funding. I wrote to the New South Wales Treasurer, the Roads Minister and sent a submission to Infrastructure NSW.

I believe these road works can save lives. And, every day, those who use this road will feel a little more relaxed as they travel along here.

This substantial upgrade will improve use of this corridor by the softwood supply industry, the livestock industry, and by general freight.

Barack Obama once said:

“If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help… Somebody helped to create this unbelievable … system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

The fact that we can start or run a business in regional New South Wales, or simply lead a normal, modern Australian home life here, is made so much more achievable when governments provide the necessary infrastructure.

Dreams more readily become reality when they are facilitated.

Whether it’s a faster, safer road, or ditto for internet and phone services or modernised hospital facilities – as the NSW Government is now doing at Holbrook MPS, for example – we are doing here what we all hope governments will do: providing improved services.

I would like to thank Greater Hume Shire Council, the Commonwealth Government and New South Wales Government Transport Roads and Maritime Services, for their roles in making this happen out here at Yarara Gap on the Jingellic-Holbrook Road.

The views from Yarara Gap are, in every sense now, amazing.

 

DSC_0088 DSC_0059 edited