Boggbari is missing out on tourism because Grain Valley Road isn't completely sealed, the town's progress association says.
The road is a major thoroughfare, which connects Mullaley and Boggabri, with 17.4km still unsealed after more than a decade of lobbying. The project is estimated at $8.2 million and is waiting on state funding.
The gravel section has been labelled “dangerous and vehicle-destroying”, with many avoiding the route altogether and instead going through Gunnedah.
“Boggabri is missing out on tourism because the tar’s just not there,” Boggabri Business and Community Progress Association member Donna Turner said.
“A lot of people that come down from Coonabarabran to Boggabri and have caravans won’t use the road because it’s not tarred. They go through Gunnedah instead and bypass Boggabri.”
Association president John Shaw said if the remainder of the road was tarred, Boggabri would “pick up quite bit of traffic through here and it would certainly benefit the town”.
“The big problem for Boggabri, and we’ve identified this as the business community, people don’t use it a tourist route simply because it’s always too rough, so therefore we miss out on the tourist traffic here,” he said.
“Boggabri Drovers’ Campfire is a big event for us, and people aren’t going to tow a caravan across there.”
Boggabri is missing out on tourism because the tar’s just not there.Donna Turner, Boggabri Business and Community Progress Association
Mr Shaw said he drove to Canowindra on the weekend on “beautiful roads” but when he hit Mullaley “all of a sudden in an a ordinary car, you can only go 80 kilometres”.
“I personally think it’s a disgrace that you can travel the whole of the Grain Valley Way from Gilgandra and get to Mullaley and [the tar] stops,” he said.
Mr Shaw said people had been talking about tarring the final stretch of road for 18-20 years.
“Narrabri council tarred all of their section of the Grain Valley Way and have had that done for a couple of years. And people have been talking about tarring the last stretch of road for the last 18-20 years,” he said.
“It seems to be the Gunnedah end that’s dragging its feet.”
I personally think it’s a disgrace that you can travel the whole of the Grain Valley Way from Gilgandra and get to Mullaley and [the tar] stops.John Shaw, Boggabri Business and Community Progress Association
If the Inland Rail goes ahead, the road will become a thoroughfare for transporting produce to port.
“When Narrabri becomes a freight loop on the Inland Rail system, it would make sense that it be tarred and it would then attract all that transport from Gilgrandra through to that freight centre,” Mr Shaw said.
“The main thing also is as a business community here in Boggabri, we would hope that eventually the Manilla Road is tarred and then if the Grain Valley Way is tarred that then opens up a whole new tourism potential of this area of the north west.”
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