The Boggabri Business and Community Progress Association is calling for Rangari Road to be sealed to increase tourism in the small town.
The 18km gravel section of the road between Boggabri and Manilla has been a bone of contention between Narrabri, Gunnedah and Tamworth councils for a number of years, with renewed calls for it to be sealed.
Boggabri Business and Community Progress Association president John Shaw believes the small town’s economy is suffering because it remains unsealed.
“[I want to see] the sealing of the Rangari Road and the Narrabri section of the road not as a freight route but as an essential tourist route,” Mr Shaw said.
“We could make it an alternative inland route … and Boggabri could probably start to tap into some tourism.”
However, a Narrabri Shire Council spokesperson said detailed reports found the $8.75 million cost of upgrading the road outweighed the projected benefits.
“The report also identified that a major upgrade would not generate additional economic benefits for the region,” the spokesperson said.
“It would provide some economic benefits for Tamworth local government area, with these benefits being realised through economic losses to both the Narrabri shire and Gunnedah shire local economies.”
The spokesperson said that in the current drought, “any major upgrade would lead to further strain on local businesses and the local economy”.