The Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council (QPRC) has leapt on the upcoming federal election as an opportunity to secure additional infrastructure funding from whatever government takes shape after 21 May.
The list, released last week, encourages candidates to go into bat for priority projects within the region. QPRC has called for $147.5 million worth of federal funding to assist with the top 10 projects, plus $85.2 million for an additional 10. Here’s the rundown:
1. Finish sealing Nerriga Road
Nerriga Road connects Braidwood and Nerriga and has been an all-too familiar goat track for Canberrans picking their way through potholes on the way to Jervis Bay. Several sections of the road have been sealed over recent years using $25 million of NSW Government grant funding, but now QPRC has asked for an additional $4 million to finish the last section near the village of Nerriga.
2. Repair Tarago Road
Tarago Road, between Bungendore and Goulburn, is another rural road that has received a pounding over the years, especially under the wheels of heavy vehicles. Early ‘rehabilitation’ works are already underway, but QPRC is asking for $3 million to help.
3. Construct a bridge at Briars Sharrow
A low-level causeway along Briars Sharrow Road becomes impassable during heavy rain events, cutting off several farms along the road and leaving cars stranded. QPRC wants $9 million to solve the problem once and for all with a proper bridge.
4. Construct a bridge at Reschs Creek
Similar to Briars Sharrow, another low-level causeway is frequently wreaking havoc along Hoskinstown Road, between Bungendore and Captains Flat. QPRC wants $4.5 million to build a bridge.
5. Finish Regional Sports Complex (Queanbeyan)
The sod is well and truly broken for the Queanbeyan Regional Sports Complex between Hume and Jerrabomberra. Two football pitches, two hockey pitches, three ‘warm-up’ pitches, club rooms, amenities, and car parking will draw a close to the $36-million first stage of construction. Future stages add flesh to the bones in the form of a four-court indoor facility and aquatic, hydrotherapy, and rehabilitation spaces. QPRC is asking for $14 million to complete Stage 2.
6. Build a new indoor pool (Bungendore)
The Bungendore Sports Hub is reaching a similar stage of construction. Largely funded by the NSW Government, the full complex will have six grass sports fields, six hard courts, floodlights, irrigation, amenities and sporting club facilities, car parking, shared pathways, and an aquatic centre when complete. QPRC wants $5 million to add a new eight-lane, 25-metre indoor heated pool to the design.
7. Relocate Braidwood Depot (Braidwood)
QPRC wants $10 million to go towards relocating Braidwood’s depot, unlocking space for a new public car park adjacent to the main street.
8. Construct a new car park (Braidwood)
Then, $3 million would go towards the actual construction of the car park.
9. Construct an innovation hub (South Jerrabomberra)
South Jerrabomberra will eventually accommodate 1500 households, but while development is ongoing, QPRC is committing to several large community facilities including an ‘innovation hub’. QPRC wants $20 million for the project.
10. Upgrade sewage treatment plant (Queanbeyan)
The Queanbeyan Sewage Treatment Plant was constructed in the mid-1930s to treat sewage from Queanbeyan prior to discharge into the Molonglo River. QPRC says the plant is no longer fit-for-purpose, and significant works are required to address issues including structural failure, equipment obsolescence, maintenance issues and work health and safety issues, plus bring the treatment process in line with modern practices. It wants $75 million in federal funding to match its own $75 million contribution.
Other projects of lower priority include further repairs to the Nerriga, Hoskinson and Captains Flat roads, a heritage-themed makeover of Braidwood’s main street, a 500-space multi-storey car park in the Queanbeyan CBD, and a green boulevard between Queanbeyan Central Park and Queanbeyan River.
Queanbeyan-Palerang sits within the Eden-Monaro electorate and has been held by Labor’s Kristy McBain since a July 2020 by-election.
Other candiates standing for the 21 May election include Jerry Nockles from the Liberal Party, Vivian Harris from The Greens, Darren Garnon from the United Australia Party, Toni McLennan from Informed Medical Options, Greg Butler from the Australian Democrats, Maxwell Holmes from the Liberal Democrats, and the independent Andrew Thaler.