IT'S never had a clear delivery timeframe, but Dunns Creek Road's future is now more uncertain after news this week that the Village Building Company will no longer be able to fund 50 per cent of the road.
A recent NSW Department of Planning decision to protect the Canberra Airport's 24-hour curfew-free status has reduced the size of Village's South Tralee development by half, from roughly 6000 dwellings to 3000.
Managing Director Bob Winnel told The Queanbeyan Age that would effectively double his infrastructure costs per block, and would prevent the company funding the road- which would connect Googong to the Monaro Highway- unless the additional 3000 blocks came back online at some point in the future.
"We have rescheduled the commitment on Dunns Creek Road," Mr Winnel said.
"If at some time in the future we retrieve the other three thousand sites, than our 50 per cent of Dunns Ck Road will be paid for by those sites.
"Whether they're gone for all time or not, no one knows. And we've got about 10 years' work now just in South Tralee and the adjacent lands. So it's not a matter that's gripping our attention today. It's a matter that might grip our attention in 10 years' time," he said.
The move prompted Queanbeyan City Council to curb its planned expenditure of $1.2 million for preliminary planning and environmental studies along the road corridor down to just $300,000 for the detailed concept plans without the environmental studies at its meeting on Wednesday night. Environment studies and species impact statements expire after five years.
Mayor Tim Overall said it was the "fiscally responsible" thing to do considering the road hadn't been identified as a major priority before 2031 in the Googong and Tralee Traffic Study, carried out in 2008.
"The Council listened to the community and decided planning work needed to be done on Dunns Creek Road even though it was not included in the traffic study as a high priority in the period up until 2013," he said.
Cr Overall moved the motion allocating $300,000 for preliminary planning, with a future Council report to investigate how to spend the remaining $900,000. The original $1.2 million stemmed from a NSW Government grant for Dunns Creek Road planning.
Jerrabomberra Councillor Jamie Cregan backed Cr Overall's amendment, and told The Queanbeyan Age on Thursday that it struck a balance between proceeding with the road while waiting for major funding to arrive.
"The planning will still go ahead. But with no funding for it for anywhere in sight, there's no point wasting the full $1.2-million (in environment studies) on it now," he said.
Representatives from the Jerrabomberra Residents Association (JRA) made presentations to the meeting calling on Council to prioritise the road and conduct a comprehensive transport strategy for the region (see separate story).
As for the ultimate future of the road, Mayor Overall said it was uncertain.
"Dunns Creek Road has never had a timing horizon. The offer from the Village Building Company to provide 50 per cent was subject to other levels of Government providing the balance.
"This a road that's been indicated to cost between $60 and $90 million and there are significant environmental issues associated with it. As an when it may be built into the future is unclear," he said.
However Mr Winnel was more optimistic.
"It will depend on the rate of development at Googong and the traffic build up along Cooma Street ... I suspect it's more about timing issues rather than 'will it or wont it'," he said.