“Dangerously poor” and “third world infrastructure” are terms bandied around when talking about Barber and Bringagee Roads.
Around 50 people rallied together on Barber Road on Wednesday to demonstrate their resolve not to back down in the over 20-year fight for funding.
Their message was clear: “It is not acceptable for a region such as Griffith to have such poor road infrastructure.”
This gathering included families, businesses, farmers and everyone whose life and lifeblood relies on Barber and Bringagee Roads.
Member for Murray Austin Evans came to hear what residents had to say, and said in the “bizarre” period of the up coming elections, “wildcards” were thrown into the mix making it important to get Barber, Bringagee and Boorga Roads on the “top of the priority list.”
The Braithwaite family have three generations using the road, and for grandmother Colleen, she has concerns over a serious accident.
“I’ve been here for 43 years, and it has been of huge worry the whole time,” Mrs Braithwaite said.
Despite drastically increasing the safety of road users – like school buses - the economic stability and future viability of the many agricultural ventures in the area would be assured if the roads were sealed.
This is the belief held by Rivcott CEO Sam Buster, Dean Salvestro representing Warrawidgee Station, Grain Link, freight Link, Freight Link, Terra Ag and Rivcott, Freight Link managing director Rod Miller, Grain Link managing director Paul Pearsall and NSW Farmers Griffith chairman Stephen Lanza.
With a cotton gin, and grain silo holding a third of all of Grain Corp’s tonnage for the year, Mr Pearsall says the Benerembah district is a “powerhouse of irrigated agriculture”, all achieved in the last 20 years.
There are fears important contracts for the region, like Arnott’s Biscuits and Allied Mills, will be lost, especially as Barber Road is impassable after rain which has almost shut down the Arnott’s Tim Tam biscuit supply.
A petition started by Grain Link and Freight Link has, in less than a week, already garnered over 100 signatures to seal the roads. Mr Pearsall hopes this along with Griffith City Council’s support is enough for the State Government to commit to funding.
Mayor John Dal Broi said it was “vital” to make the politicians aware of the huge importance of Barber, Bringagee and Boorga Roads.
While you're with us, did you know that you can now receive updates straight to your inbox every Monday at 6am from The Area News? To make sure you're up to date with all the Griffith and MIA news you can sign up here.