Ellerslie Roads Complaints

27 September 1949 The Tumut and Adelong Times

At Monday's meeting of the Tumut Shire Council a letter was received from J. D. Robertson, secretary of the Ellerslie Soldier Settlers' Progress Association, stating that he had been instructed by the members of the organisation to lodge a protest with the Council against the antiquated road construction being used on the Ellerslie Estate.

The letter went on to say: It is our opinion that if these methods are continued the whole of the money allocated by the Lands Department will be spent before the main roads are completed.

During the last fortnight the progress has been extremely slow, due to no shortcomings on the part of the workmen but to the lack of equipment.

A number of examples of time wasting methods can be given, of which the following are typical: - 

(1) Two men engaged in pulling a tree from the line of road with a manually-operated stump-puller. This operation took over an hour, whereas if a truck or tractor had been used a couple of minutes would have sufficed.

(2) Men forming a section of road using shovels when a scoop could have done the job in a fraction of the time.

(3) Drains dug by hand with picks and shovels when a plough was working in the immediate vicinity.

(4) On Monday morning the workmen did not arrive at Ellerslie from Tumut until 11 o'clock.

'We also to protest against the proposed use of second-hand timber in bridges.

At present there is stacked at bridge sites decking which has been removed from an old bridge.

We have been informed that the Engineer has instructed the foreman to stop work and pack up gear when Roche's Crossing on the Yaven Creek is reached.

We contend that the road from Ellerslie shed to the Billapalap Boad on the western side of the Yaven Creek is absolutely essential as a fall of rain renders Turner's Creek Crossing impassable due to steep grades becoming slippery.

We feel that if the work is suspended now it may the months before it is recommended.

The letter concluded by saying that the Association would be very grateful if a meeting could be arranged between the Enginer and some of their members on the property in the near future in order to discuss the situation.

The Engineer:- The work being done on the Ellerslie Road at the present time is mainly earth formation and the equipment being used is the only equipment available at the present time.

There is no heavy duty grader available, but a horse-drawn grader and plough has been in use on the road and if the work took its proper order of priority even they would not be there as they would be used on more important road works.

Nineteen miles of road in the Shire have to be prepared for sealing this year and all men and equipment are busy on this work. 

It amazes me to hear them talking about second-hand timber being used in the bridge.

The decking is certainly from another bridge; but it is solid, seasoned ironbark timber and will outlast by a long time any other new timber that is available at the present time.

Re the remark that the men did not start until 11 a.m. one Monday morning, that was because they had to go to another job first to take some equipment and plant before going on to Ellerslie. 

I am quite satisfied with the work being done by the men on the roads and, secondly, the equipment being used is the only equipment that is available at the present time.

The only work being done by pick and shovel is trimming work after the grader has been over the road and 90 per cent, of the work is being done with the horse grader and tractor. 

Cr. Hassett:- The men on the job are camped on the site and from re- ports I have received from other people they are well pleased with the work being done. It is not right to make complaints when they are not justified. 

The Chairman:- There have been no complaints from men in Adelong like Mr. Boston or the Progress Association.

If we engaged a bull-dozer for the work it would cost 4 or 5 per hour, and it is cheaper to do the work by manual labor

Cr. Murphy:- These settlers came along here a few meetings back and asked us to reduce their rates, and now they come along and make complaints about the work that we are doing for them.

There are a lot of other roads in the Shire that have a higher priority than the Ellerslie Road. 

Cr. Nicholas:-What time the men start work is no business of theirs and they should have found out the rue facts before writing the letter. 

The Engineer:- As the men were going out from Tumut on time Monday morning they had to take fuel and equipment to another job on the Mt. Adrah Road before they proceeded to the work at Eliersiien the motion of Crs. Murphy and Nicholas it was decided to take no action with regard to the letter.