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Orange councillors slam Mount Canobolas Road as "unsafe" and "crap"

February 7, 2023

Mount Canobolas Road, at the corner of Pinnacle Road. Photo: Google Street View.

By Peter Holmes

The main access road up Gaanha-bula Mount Canobolas is “unsafe” and “crap” according to Orange City councillors who spoke at the first meeting for 2023 on Tuesday night.

Councillor Jack Evans moved a motion requesting that Orange City Council write to the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) asking it to get Mount Canobolas Road back into working order.

The motion requested that NPWS inspect the main access road from the Mountain Teahouse up to the summit and provide funding to the relevant body to carry out required repairs.

The motion was seconded by councillor Tammy Greenhalgh.

Speaking in favour of the motion, Evans said: “Having driven up - and I imagine most of us probably have over the summer holidays - a lot of the road up there, the best way to describe it is unsafe. Even taking a four-wheel drive, there are some potholes you could put the two front wheels [into].

“I’m well aware that the road isn’t under Orange’s jurisdiction, but it is well within our interests to see that road repaired; that’s why I believe - without pointing fingers - we need to say [to NPWS], ‘Hey, you need to cough up some cash to get on top of it’.”

Councillor Jeff Whitton then suggested that the letter be a dual effort involving neighbouring Cabonne Shire Council, the local government area in which the mountain is located.

CEO David Waddell said he would try and get a supporting letter from Cabonne Shire Council

Councillor Kevin Duffy asked for the motion to be read out again and - upon hearing it - said: “I’m quite happy with that, 100 percent.”

He went on: “I just want to go back to a number of years ago where I was on another council [Cabonne] and we cooperated with Orange to do the Nashdale Bridge, which was beneficial to both, and we received funding when we went down and knocked on a certain Labor minister’s door and, ‘Hey, we want this to fix’, and that's exactly what happened.

“This time I think we should be going to Cabonne and taking them with us. Our ratepayers are going to say, ‘Hang on, you can’t fix your own roads, what are you doing chasing up other people’s roads?’ That's the way I think about it.”

Duffy then added: “I can tell you now the reason why the road is crap, and it is crap, is because Cabonne won’t spend any money on the thing, because it only benefits Orange.”

Councillor Tony Mileto sought clarification about Duffy stating Cabonne should be involved: “Is that what we were [already] asking for?”

Evans: “I believe so.”

Evans, who was chairing this section of meeting, then said he had spoken to the general manager of Cabonne Shire Council today, “notifying my intent to move this motion … he's more than happy for us to - so to speak - start the fire under National Parks to get the ball rolling.

“I believe due to the good nature of our relationship with Cabonne we will certainly be taking them with us and working with them, as it’s in everybody’s best interest to see this repaired.”

The motion was carried unanimously.

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