Short route to Hume Highway sought

By Ross Andrews, City Reporter

31 October 1979 The Canberra Times

Three shire councils have called on the Government to upgrade roads between Tumut and the ACT to boost regional tourism and save Melbourne-Canberra travellers between 25 and 32 kilometres.

Yarrowlumla, Tumut and Goodradigbee Shire Councils said in a joint submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the ACT's inquiry into ACT tourism that the sealing of one of the potential routes (along the Brindabella Road or the Wee Jasper Road) would also provide important benefits for the regional economy.

They told the committee, which met in Tumut, that benefits of a Hume Highway-to Canberra link through Tumut would include closer ties between the Riverina and Monaro regions for trade, commerce and inter-regional recreational and sporting activities, an easing of traffic pressure on the Hume Highway, open the Burrinjuck, Blowering and Talbingo Dams to Canberra residents for water sports, and give access to the Brindabella Range, where some areas have a snow cover for more than three months a year.

The road would provide tourists to the ACT an incentive to stay in the area more than the couple of days they normally spend, through the creation of a one or two-day "round trip" via Cooma and Tumut.

Without the upgrading, existing Canberra regional roads would become congested.

"By 1980 it is estimated that one million overseas visitors will come to Australia for a short-term holiday", the submission said. A visit to the national capital is high on the priority list of these tourists....

"Provision of a Canberra Tumut road would open up areas of scenic beauty that international tourists would generally not see".