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Braidwood – Speed Hump or Worth a Stop? Your Views!

By Im a country member 1 February 2010 139

As the owner of a small business in Braidwood, it has become very apparent just how much commerce in our town depends on Canberra residents who pass through en route to or from the coast.

Now that we’re on the “other side” of summer and the holiday traffic has subsided, business operators have to meet the challenge of maintaining trade from Canberra residents who might not be passing through to and from the coast quite so often. The Riot ACT is a very effective way of reaching Canberrans and it’s a good idea to get some feedback in regards to how you view our town. Is it just a speed hump on the way to the coast or do you value it as a place to visit for lunch, a spot of shopping or a destination from whence to explore nearby wilderness areas?

We’d love your opinions!

What makes you stop in Braidwood?

What Makes you drive straight through?

What are the attractions that make you stop?

Which businesses stand out in your opinion?

Do you think that as such a unique and aesthetically pleasing town, anything lets it down? Service, opening hours, lack of choice, parking etc!

How could Braidwood be improved to make it a destination as opposed to just a stopover?

What’s Your opinion?

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139 Responses to
Braidwood – Speed Hump or Worth a Stop? Your Views!
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Larrikan 9:45 pm 18 Apr 10

A meeting has occurred in Braidwood
– thankyou firstly to ICM.
Without this “blog” no discusion would have occurred publicly so to speak.
Now would anything have occurred but for many actions – both positive and negative – in terms of Braidwood and tourism and the TOWN.

Hannafyre – Thank You
Tracey – Thank You
Scott – Thankyou
Thankyou to the SpeakersAll.
Thankyou to the people that attended.

From an Acorn doth a Mighty Oak grow
……with perseverence that is.

Hannahfyre 2:12 pm 16 Apr 10

Just to let people know, the fact that it was a general meeting open to the public meant we did not take formal minutes. However, we had printed notes for Tracey’s welcome comments, the Bungendore Business Directory that David MacLean talked about, and a paper from Scott Watkins- Sully which were provided as handouts along side the feedback forms and membership forms for Braidwood and Villages Tourism Inc (B&VT).

It should be possible to post the documents as a link on I will post a note here as soon as it is done.

But don’t forget to download a Feedback Form and give us your feedback directly. I will be collating all the comments coillected and posting them at the end of the month. B&VT will also be formatting the feedback as a submission to Palerang Council, and as information to all businesses in Braidwood.

Spinney Woods 1:07 pm 16 Apr 10

I agree Scott. There are lots of things we can do ourselves that don’t require committees or council input. I’ve posted the following on our electronic bulletin board at work (the formatting on there was prettier than below). I also offered a 10% discount to staff at my workplace.
BRAIDWOOD – It’s more than just The Bakery.

When was the last time you went to Braidwood for a day trip instead of just whizzing past on your way to the coast?

Are you still a slave to a certain pie shop and missing out on all the other fabulous cafes like Park & Wallace, The Criterion or The Albion?

Have you seen Hoola Hoop the amazing 50’s retro clothing boutique or visited one of our fabulous galleries like FyreGallery or Altenburgs?

Did you know there is a diverse range of antique and collectables shops like Spinney Woods, Bernadoffs, Born Vintage and Longbarn?

Why not come and see what else Braidwood has to offer.

Visit for more information on all of these places and much, much more

Im a country member 12:11 pm 16 Apr 10

Point Taken – I really didn’t mean it to sound like that though Scotty! If I’d have meant it that way I’d have used the term “hollow symbollic gesture!”

I did come over the wrong way. I think the progress sound excellent!

Hoola Hoop 9:36 am 16 Apr 10

I think you’re being a little unfair IACM – unless I’m missreading your tone!

I think that a genuine fight for reform will evolve out of this. The “Dog Friendly” thing is an excellent step in the right direction. It’s something that can be started immediately as it requires no major action from the council and can have very positive results.

It’s the first time I’ve ever walked away from a meeting of this type in Braidwood, feeling that at least one good idea could be put into practice, so don’t be too harsh.

I do share your frustration based on past experience, but let’s move forward!


Im a country member 10:26 pm 15 Apr 10

By the way – Dog Friendly – That’s a great idea, AND it has evolved from this post!!! It’s brilliant to have a tokenistic cause to carry on with in the absence of a genuine fight for real reform! Cool!

At least there’s progress!

Im a country member 10:22 pm 15 Apr 10

As I was actually unable to attend the recent meeting due to a long standing overseas committment, is there any chance that the minutes (or at least a link to them) could be published here?

Hannahfyre 3:10 pm 15 Apr 10

Couple of things to add:

* Meeting on Monday night drew about 40 people who listened to David Maclaren from Bungendore talk about their experiences with tourism, particularly the need to coordinate business resources for the very busy times so that visitors and locals alike don’t get too pissed off with the increase of people (and cars). Colin Maclean from Regional Development Australia (Southern Inland) revved us up to think about how to make the experiences of people in our regional towns more memorable. He exhorted us to work across levels of govt and across businesses to make tourism a better industry (not just a bunch of marketing ideas). Cr Paul Cockram reminded us that just because palerang Council is broke doesn’t mean we should give up generating good ideas for how to improve our town. What makes it better for locals makes it better for tourists as well.

* Discussion ranged from the patchwork of speed zones in parts of Braidwood to the need for Braidwood to become explicitly ”dog friendly” – something we all agreed we could work on.

* Feedback forms were distributed, everyone was thankkjed for coming and we finished right on time at 8pm.

Im a country member 3:21 pm 12 Apr 10

Great comment Spinney!

“more than just a town full of rednecks!”

My sick sense of humour has an image of someone reading that comment after making their one and only visit to Braidwood last Saturday(Rodeo Day)! They’d never belive you! Yeeehaaaaah!

Despite my sick sense of humour, I agree with everything you write. Welcome to this discusssion!

Spinney Woods 10:56 am 12 Apr 10

As an owner of a small business in Braidwood it’s interesting and enlightening to read all the comments. We certainly need to educate Canberrans to the fact that Braidwood is more than just the Bakery or a town full of rednecks.

We have some fabulous little boutique shops and there are certainly more cafes offering better quality food and coffee.

Braidwood is also a vibrant little community full of artists, musicians, writers etc yet we don’t seem to utilise all this talent. We have some ideas for music festivals and we certainly need more fairs and the like to draw the crowds but in order to do this we also need somewhere for people to stay. There is a disctinct lack of accommodation in Braidwood.

Shop opening hours are a problem and it would be more beneficial to keep them open longer but it’s a case of chasing our tails because it’s hard to justify staying open when the the place turns into a ghost town and we only have a few tumbleweeds flying past.

We could learn a lot from places like Berrima etc.

Keep the comments coming folks – it’s all helpful 🙂

Hannahfyre 4:08 pm 09 Apr 10

Thanks guys…the Feedback Form for the meeting on Monday night can now be downloaded directly from front page. Membership forms for Braidwood & Villages Tourism Inc. can also be downloaded from the same page. We really want to take the issues and comments raised on this blog to the meeting, so if you have any more to say I will continue to check here until around 12 noon on Monday. I am compiling a summary of suggestions and criticisms that we will distibute to attendees on Monday night, and also in an attachment in our feedback to Palerang Council.

As I have told a few people in the last few days, I am not going anywhere. I am staying right here in Braidwood and I am determined that the businesses of Braidwood who want to do a better job for their clients and customers should have a voice about what needs to change.

Hoola Hoop 8:46 am 09 Apr 10

Despite how jaded we all may be; let’s all look at this as our last chance! If nothing comes out of this, we really are in the shit, because no one will take this up again.

Let’s forget the wasted efforts of the past and give it one very big last shot!

We have the product, we just have to make it more desirable and more accessible!

I feel it poignant to quote a man who had the gift of shaping the most unlikely object into an object of desire! A true alchemist!

“It’s better to be a flamboyant failure than any kind of benign success.”
Malcom McLaren, who died yesterday in New York aged 64.

Hannahfyre 9:40 am 08 Apr 10

Sorry about the typos…how I wish there was a spell checker on this blog….

Hannahfyre 9:38 am 08 Apr 10

Expressions of Interest for membership of the Palerang Cultural Tourism s.355 Committee were called for in late February. I understand they are to be called for again following the vote to ‘defer’ the decision on aborting the committee due to ‘lack of interest’. The Committee was to have six community representatives (at least one each from Bungendore, Braidwood and Captains Flat). The contact person at the Council is listed as Debbie Ferguson on 1300 735 025 during business hours. Applications are to be addressed to Peter Bascomb, Counciul CEO and marked Expression of Interest – palerang Cultural Tourism s.355 Committee.

If youo are eligible and interested to join, I suggest you don’t wait for the re-advertising but hop straight in and send an application to Bascomb today. I was one of the two who applied back before 19 March, the previous closing adte. I have applied again. I am determined that this Council is made to understand the value of Tourism to the region.

Im a country member 8:23 am 08 Apr 10

I just read the Braidwood Times report on the s.355 committee on tourism!

Has anyone ever watched the Dukes of Hazard? It was a really bad American sit-com from the 70’s and early 80’s!

I’d like to know if anyone who is familiar with the programme sees any similarities between Walter Raynolds and Boss Hog!!!!

“You dipstick Walter!”

Im a country member 10:44 pm 07 Apr 10

Wow – I said I’d given up on this thread! I crept back in for a look and to my delight, it seems that there has been some “movement at the station!!!”


In reference to Hanafyre’s fine comments:

What else can we expect from our local council other than opposition to an s.355 committee on tourism. Yet another example grass chewing, banjo strumming millionaires, serving their own interests!

The first point in the ICAC’s definition of corruption is:

“A public official improperly uses, or tries to improperly use, the knowledge, power or resources of their position for personal gain or the advantage of others.”


Two questions! 1. Has anyone contacted the appropriate “watchdog” in regards to this council’s conduct! 2. Who votes for these illiterate halfwits!

Oh yeah and 3. (That’s 3 questions) Where does one apply to join the s.355 committee?

Hannahfyre 1:47 pm 07 Apr 10

We lobbied hard to have the vote in Council last week on the Tourism and Culture Committee deferred as they were about to abolish the committee due to a lack of interest. We are talking to several people about applying to join the committee who may not have thought that they would be considered.

Today’s Braidwood Times has a front page article of the whole issue of the new s.355 Committee and we realise what we are up against when even our own Mayor is opposed to a committee for fear it ‘lobbies’ council. Our Mayor needs to revisit the meaning of citizen rights and democracy if he fears rate payers wishing to have their views heard and their experience respected.

It is of paramount importance that people who want Tourism and Cultural Tourism to flourish in the region make their voices heard, Braidwood & Villages Tourism Inc is only one vehicle for that effort, but under its current management it will be making a LOT more noise about what is needed to improve Braidwood as a tourist destination.

PS: If you want the feedback form before it is loaded to the visitbraidwood website email me directly ( and I will send it to you.

Hannahfyre 1:17 pm 07 Apr 10

My apologies. I cannot get the form to load. If you would like to see it go to

Hannahfyre 12:41 pm 07 Apr 10

Here is the feedback form we will be handing out on Monday night.

Braidwood & Villages Tourism Inc
Special General Meeting 12 April 2010
Everyone interested in learning more about how we grow Braidwood & Villages as a tourism destination is invited to a Special General Meeting of the B&VT to hear Mr Colin McLean, Regional Development Australia, lead a discussion on what we can do as a community to increase tourist visits to our towns. Cr Paul Cockram and Cr Richard Graham will update the meeting on recent developments with the proposed s.355 Tourism and Culture Committee of Palerang Council. Our special guests for the evening will be Mr David Maclaren, and a number of his fellow Bungendore Chamber of Commerce members who have an interest in regional tourism. They will be available to share their ideas and experiences with us, particularly how we increase the levels of cooperative tourism promotion across the region.

All members of B&VT, and any local business owners looking to attract more tourist visits to their doors, are cordially invited to join us at 6:30 pm on Monday 12 April 2010 in the Braidwood National Theatre for what promises to be a most interesting evening. Come and hear how Braidwood can be more than a “speed bump” on the way to the coast and share your views too. For a preview check out to see what our visitors really think about us!

Light refreshments will be served.

Tracey Lamont
Chair Braidwood & Villages Tourism Inc


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