Why no upgraded mountain road?
HE’S lived on the coast, on the plateau, and out west, but if there has been one constant in Jack Rogan’s life, it’s been the recurring damage to the Waterfall Way between Thora and Dorrigo and the lack of action on developing a proper alternative.
“When I was dairying near Dorrigo between 1950 and 1981 the road was frequently closed due to landslides, and nothing seems to have changed,” Mr Rogan said.
“Back then there was a strong push to upgrade the old Coramba Road (now called the Eastern Dorrigo Way), and I supposed I’m frustrated that there still hasn’t been any great improvement to it,” he said.
Now retired to Coffs Harbour, Mr Rogan said he could not understand why the Coffs Harbour and Bellingen councils and state and federal politicians had not worked together to secure stimulus funding to upgrade the road.
“The Coramba Road doesn’t get landslides because it is not as steep, but it needs to be upgraded and sealed as an all-weather transport route for when the Dorrigo Mountain Road is cut,” Mr Rogan said.
”It would also make a great one-way tourist drive, which would benefit all the places like Coramba, Ulong, Dorrigo, Bellingen and Coffs, as well as giving those people who live on the Eastern Dorrigo a choice about where they shop.”
Mr Rogan said the pioneers who built both roads with little more than bullock teams would be dismayed by the current lack of vision.
“It seems no-one can see over the horizon and into the future. It’s in the too-hard basket, but I know we will look back when it is too late and see how obvious the venture was.”