When it comes to proximity to the national capital, Wagga is blessed.
Less than two-and-a-half hours will see most travellers completing the journey by road, which provides distinct advantages for tourism, business and, increasingly, commercial operations that are reliant on easy access to the Canberra airport.
Yet, despite traffic levels that grow on almost a daily basis, and campaigns dating back decades, we are still waiting for the duplication of the Barton Highway.
Late in 2018, the federal government announced $100 million for the next stage of duplication of the Barton Highway, heading towards Murrumbateman from the ACT, and the NSW government has committed a further $50 million to get the process started.
We know these projects take time and, when it comes to committing hundreds of millions of dollars for roadworks, there has to be a business case developed and the spending justified. But if you want to justify the project, just drive up and down the Barton Highway a few times and it will quickly become abundantly clear how badly an upgrade is needed.
The Barton is the main southern entrance into our national capital. It links the ACT with not only this part of NSW, but to traffic from Victoria and beyond.
The Federal Highway linking Canberra with Sydney is dual carriageway and the trip between the national and state capitals is usually quick and smooth.
That kind of improvement is now needed for the main southern route.
With Wagga's population slated by the federal government to grow to 100,000 in the next 30 years and the ACT's figures likewise on the increase, it is only going to become more critical, not less, that business and commercial operators, as well as tourists, can take advantage of growth in both centres.
If governments at all levels are serious about trying to move Australian populations out of the overcrowded eastern seaboard and into the regions, these kinds of improvements are not only essential, but already long overdue.