A pit stop on the outskirts of Gundagai has emerged as a crucial piece of the ACT government's plan to get stranded Canberrans back to the capital after a six-day standoff at the NSW-Victorian border.
The ACT government has detailed its plan to the NSW government, which includes a toilet stop and rest stop four kilometres north of the Dog on the Tuckerbox.
The Mingay rest area has toilets and picnic tables, which would break up the four-hour trip from Wodonga to Canberra.
About 100 ACT residents are stuck in travel limbo as NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklan refuses to apologise for a late change to travel permits.
Her concern is that ACT residents travelling through NSW after leaving Victoria will put her state at risk of coronavirus infection.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said there had been contention with the NSW government over a safe resting point for the several carloads of people who needed to return to the ACT.
The Canberrans were advised by NSW Health to return to Melbourne and fly to Sydney where they would be required to quarantine for two weeks.
The ACT government proposed last week, ACT Policing could escort the drivers home, a plan NSW has not yet approved. Mr Barr hoped a resolution would be imminent.
"It's a relatively short journey by car, from the Albury/Wodonga border to the NSW/ACT border, but it would be slightly longer than your average driver would drive without taking one rest stop," Mr Barr told ABC RN Breakfast.
"The fine detail has been around finding a point at which drivers could stop for a short break to the satisfaction of the NSW government that short stop would not put any NSW rural residents at risk.
"We believe there is such a spot. It's about 4 kilometres north of the Dog on the Tuckerbox, near Gundagai."
Mr Barr said the residents could comfortably make the three and a half hour journey from Albury-Wodonga to Canberra without coming into contact with other people, or refueling.
"I'm working hard to satisfy legitimate concerns of NSW about how this can be managed safely," he said.
"We believe we have put forward a very clear and commonsense way this would be managed.
"Cars would be fueled up in Wodonga, they would not need to stop anywhere near where they would come near people."
All 100 residents would check-in with ACT authorities upon arriving back to Canberra and enter 14-days self-isolation, Mr Barr said.
Wodonga Mayor Anna Speedie called on a national approach to border closures which caused havoc for her community.
"We've got people who can't get to work, who can't get to their own businesses," she told ABC Radio Canberra.
"We tried for a common sense approach ... Common sense seems to be very short."
"Politics needs to get out of the road and we need the national approach rather than state by state and a power grab."
Cr Speedie said all the residents she knew of waiting to get home were isolating in hotel rooms.
"To keep penalising people and making it so difficult when there is absolutely common sense approaches out there is frustrating."
Mr Barr said the NSW government had not explained why those exemptions were provided but so many residents remained trapped.