An ACT Australian of the Year Awards recipient has slammed the territory government for being "completely unwilling to discuss legitimate road-safety issues with community groups", saying users of a key rural road linking the ACT with the Snowy Mountains have had their concerns ignored since early 2021.
Damian De Marco, who is also a spokesperson for the Boboyan Road User Group, says that despite recent safety works and additional federal funding for upgrades, more can be done and urge the government to discuss with them about its concerns.
"The entire goat track-like sections of the road need to be widened enough for two cars to pass each other," Mr De Marco said.
"Our group find it concerning that the government is completely unwilling to discuss legitimate road safety issues with community groups."
The Boboyan Road is an arterial road linking the ACT, from Tennet, to Adaminaby in NSW and goes through Namadgi National Park.
Mr De Marco, the 2015 ACT Local Hero recipient, said grading was temporary and with the higher usage and rain, it did not last as long as previously.
"There are so many two-wheel-drives that come up here, trying to navigate, especially around Christmas and Easter," he said.
"When the Monaro Highway closes because of a bad crash, as it did recently, all the traffic goes elsewhere.
"Boboyan Road suddenly has semi trailers, buses and all sorts of other vehicles."
Mr De Marco said the minimum expected of a government was to discuss with those who use the road frequently.
"We've had countless number of requests to just discuss the dangerous problems with the road," he said.
"When we've spoken with the engineer, he said they can't fix the problem because it's a political problem and for us to go to the politicians.
"[Roads Minister Chris Steel] says in the Aassembly he's willing to meet with community groups and then he's not willing to meet with our group.
"That's not the way it should operate."
In an email to Mr Steele, Mr De Marco wrote that within two weeks of being graded in August, the road "had again deteriorated to a state not safe for two-wheel-drive vehicles".
"It is currently in such a poor condition, there is a high risk of vehicle becoming stuck or damaged by deep washaways, extensive bogs and potholes more than 50 centimetres deep," he said.
Mr Steele last wrote to Mr De Marco in mid-December, confirming an inspection and works.
In May 2021, long-time residents warned that the deteriorating road conditions could severely hamper emergency services, tourism and businesses if safety upgrades were not prioritised.
Since then, the ACT government has rehabilitated four kilomtres of the road and completed upgrade works at various sections.
The latter include sealing at Rendezvous Creek, about halfway, and reconstruction at Mount Clear, just before the ACT-NSW border, completed three months after schedule in November.
In June, the entire 40 kilometres of the road, which now has about 15 kilometres unsealed, was also graded as part of routine maintenance works.
Further grading started in late 2021 and is scheduled to be finished by January's end.
Resealing work was also completed in December 2021 for an 11-kilometre section from the intersection of Top Naas Road.
A government spokesperson on Sunday said the rehabilitated sections "would improve traffic safety by reconstructing the existing gravel road surface ... as well as undertaking associated drainage improvements".
Mr Steele has yet to respond to questions about discussing the issue with the group.
Last December, the federal government announced $5 million for Boboyan Road as part of a $75 million commitment to fast tracking safety upgrades across a number of southern ACT roads.
ACT Liberal senator Zed Seselja said the Boboyan Road upgrade would help improve access in and out of Namadgi National Park during bushfire seasons.
Mr Seselja said the funding would "deliver road re-surfacing and widening, soil stabilisation and drainage works, providing improved access through Namadgi National Park during bushfire seasons".
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