This nonsense with Dunns Road is getting beyond a joke. For years we’ve heard complaints about the state of the road and the dramas with keeping it maintained. And while the old arguments about it being a rat run may have been valid, the upgrade of Kapooka Bridge means it’s now just another piece of infrastructure the city is waiting for.
There are probably some people out there who love the “romantic” notions of dirt tracks and rural lifestyles. These are the same people who reminisce about the “good old days” when people worked themselves into early graves and children died of tuberculosis.
In 2017, Wagga is a city, as our leaders are so fond of pointing out, the largest inland city in NSW. So why on earth do we tolerate these dinky little goat tracks just a stone’s throw from some of the city’s most expensive real estate? It’d be like a dirt track leading into Coogee from Bondi.
According to council’s operations director, the road doesn’t meet standards and would cost more than $5 million to upgrade. Alright, so fix it then. If Sydney can get a multi-billion dollar motorway ploughed through the middle of people’s homes, then Wagga can work out how to get Dunns Road lined up and paved. If it costs a little more, work out how to fund it.
If this city is to go forward, if it is to attract the professionals and businesses and families that our local, state and federal masters are always talking about, then we need to have sealed roads at the very least. But instead they’re throwing good money after bad by continuing to grade and repair a road that will deteriorate at the next hint of rain.
An old Greek myth about a bloke named Sisyphus comes to mind. According to Homer (the Greek writer, not the animated fat man), Sisyphus so angered the gods that he was consigned to endlessly push a boulder up a hill. When he got near the top, it would roll down again and he would thus repeat his futile effort for all eternity.
Sound a bit like pushing a load of the old proverbial up hill?
Before we complete our headlong rush into the future and forget all the wisdom of the past – Homer and his tales included – maybe think back to your Nanna’s old saying: A stitch, in time, saves nine. If we bother to do it properly the first time, it will last a lot longer.
Instead, we’ll probably burn through the $5 million “maintaining” something fundamentally broken.