A fight is brewing between Queanbeyan Council and the ACT government over the need for upgrades to Pialligo Avenue.
Some Queanbeyan councillors are pushing for the road to get immediate attention and urgent action, but the ACT Chief Minister says while he is aware of the concerns, "the road isn't an immediate road priority for the ACT government".
The safety of the cross-border road has been the object of discussions between the two jurisdictions for years. However, some councillors felt the improvements were critical, and were needed more urgently than had previously been expressed by the Queanbeyan council to ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr.
Despite protests by Queanbeyan mayor Tim Overall, a motion put forward by councillor Kenrick Winchester was passed in the council meeting last Wednesday. A delegation of councillors will seek talks with Mr Barr on the matter.
Cr Winchester said the road upgrade needed to be an immediate priority for the ACT government. The motion was seconded by Cr Sue Whelan. She said the state of the road had impacted not just on Queanbeyan residents, but people who work in Canberra.
"If we don't get some satisfaction from this meeting [with Chief Minister Andrew Barr] ... I think there are other bodies we should look at getting involved as well," Cr Whelan said.
Cr Overall said the ACT and Queanbeyan had a cross-border agreement on infrastructure including roads. He said previous discussions with the Chief Minister had identified the issues with the road, however funding needed to be sourced.
"We need to take this forward in a sensible, measured way," Cr Overall said.
He said he wanted to let the Chief Minister settle in to his new role before approaching him on the issue.
"We have formal agendas for leaders meetings and it has been high on the agenda," Cr Overall said.
"It is recognised by ACT government and [the council] that the road will need to be duplicated and the funding source of that will need to be further determined with grant funding."
Cr Brown said he would like more councillors to attend the leaders meetings with Mr Barr.
"I don't find it impertinent at all," he said, in response to Cr Overall's request for careful consideration.
"I think he'd be impressed we're serious about some of the issues we want to raise."
A spokesman for the Chief Minister said he was yet to receive a formal request for a meeting specifically about Pialligo Avenue.
"The ACT government has previously met with Queanbeyan Council representatives and we are aware of the concerns in regards to Pialligo Avenue," he said.
"At this stage, a duplication of the road isn't an immediate road priority for the ACT government."