NRMA terminates contracts in Ariah Park, Coolamon as part of restructure

ROADSIDE assistance resources could be strained in Wagga after the NRMA made the controversial decision to terminate its contracts in Ariah Park and Coolamon.

Motorists who experience car break-downs and mechanical faults could face stretched waiting times with the service provider announcing it will withdraw operators from the two Riverina towns next September. 

Speculation has mounted that the servicemen, who will instead be dispatched from Wagga, will be slow to tend to local incidents when forced to make hour-long trips to the Temora Shire.

Loretta Mesanovic, who regularly makes trips from Coolamon to Wagga, expressed her frustrations that she would be receiving “a watered down service” despite paying top dollar for her membership. 

Wagga NRMA Road Service Patrolman Jeff Lange.

Wagga NRMA Road Service Patrolman Jeff Lange.

“We pay our membership and just because we live in a smaller town with less population doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be entitled to decent service,” she said. 

“It is only common sense that they’ll spend more time travelling and less time undertaking maintenance.”

Coolamon Shire Mayor John Seymour said the decision could leave Riverina residents “waiting on the side of the road all day”.

He said the restructure will likely make people think twice about paying for their memberships. 

But a spokesperson for the NRMA vehemently denied the restructure would affect response times and leave customers worse off. 

“To protect and enhance the long-term sustainability of our services, we have announced the consolidation of a small number of roadside service operations into larger, neighbouring centres,” the spokesperson said. 

“These larger centres have the resources to continue to provide 24/7 roadside assistance to these local communities.

 “These changes will mean the quality and reliability of our service will be maintained over the short-term and increased over time.”

Coolamon Shire Council will discuss the matter at its upcoming open council meeting.

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