Committee 4 Wagga’s ongoing advocacy to have government address the road infrastructure issues faced by the city have been ongoing for a number of years. To date, both the Wagga Wagga City Council and Committee 4 Wagga have found the State Government agencies lacking in transparency and momentum in addressing our concerns, with the only document in the public domain on the subject being Committee 4 Wagga’s 2015 Discussion Paper.
In the meantime, traffic congestion continues to build at either end of the Gobbagombalin Bridge, through Dobney Avenue and Glenfield Road and along Hammond Avenue/Edward Street. These issues will continue to escalate as the population grows and the city becomes increasingly busy.
Transport NSW, the State Government agency charged with the responsibility of developing future transport plans for NSW originally scheduled a meeting of government and community interest groups for November 2018 to commence the process of establishing a Future Transport Plan for Wagga Wagga. Due to weather conditions in Sydney on the day, that meeting had to be postponed. The reconvened workshop was held in Wagga Wagga on Thursday 7th February. In addition to attending the workshop, I was also invited to hold a pre-meeting with the convenor (Transport NSW) on 6th February at which I again presented our position on key concerns with the road network.
The format for the February workshop was that of two separate sessions. The first session in the morning involved Transport NSW, Roads & Maritime Services & Wagga Wagga City Council. The second session involved Transport NSW, Wagga Wagga City Council and invited interest groups, including Committee 4 Wagga, Chamber of Commerce, Health & other agencies and Department of Premier & Cabinet. The format for the second session was based around high level ‘place planning’ with little or no discussion on current status of those issues that Committee 4 Wagga has been advocating for and those announcements made in the lead up to the by election.
The intention is for Transport NSW to work with Wagga Wagga City Council to develop a “Wagga Wagga Future Transport Plan” to take a long-term integrated view of the future of transport in key regional places such as Wagga Wagga. These workshops and our submissions will inform that place plan, with next steps advised post-election in April and the detailed plan expected to be released around September 2019.
The funding package announced by the Government in the September 2018 by-election for rectification of the roundabout at the southern end of the Gobbagombalin bridge, realignment of the Olympic Highway & Old Narrandera Rd intersection and widening of the Marshall’s Creek bridge on Hammond Avenue is understood to be in place and indications given that design work is in progress on these commitments.
Our road infrastructure priority projects remain on the table and we will continue to advocate for the best solutions as the Future Transport Plan evolves in the coming months.