MIKE Kelly has stepped up his re-election campaign this week with a pledge of $40 million in federal funding towards the Dunns Creek Road and duplication of Pialligo Road.
The funding would cover roughly half the predicted $75 million cost of the road, which would link the new township of Googong directly to Canberra.
"This will ensure that the Googong traffic doesn't clog up Jerrabomberra and the rest of Queanbeyan, or doesn't create massive log jams if there was to be an Ellerton Drive Extension at the bottom of Yass Road, funnelling in to a single carriageway at Pialligo," Dr Kelly said.
However the announcement has been met with a chorus of disapproval from Queanbeyan City Council and supporters, who are calling for funding for the Ellerton Drive Extension (EDE) as a priority. And Liberal candidate for Eden-Monaro Peter Hendy has labelled the move as fiscally irresponsible and "an empty promise."
"Mr Kelly's non-solution ignores the massive traffic congestion problem that is growing in Queanbeyan.
"If the Ellerton Drive extension does not occur then residents in Jerrabomberra and around Cooma Street will feel the brunt of traffic as the Googong residential development is rolled out," Mr Hendy said.
Queanbeyan Mayor Tim Overall also expressed his concern that the EDE was being neglected.
"Dunns Creek Road is not a priority of Queanbeyan City Council or the Queanbeyan community, and constructing this road before Ellerton Drive would be an extravagant waste of public funds,'' he said.
And alternative funding for the remaining cost of the road is yet to be found after the Village Building Company recently stepped back from its initial pledge to fund half the road.
However the Jerrabomberra Residents Association has backed the move, and president Michael Ziebell said it would help keep Googong traffic from clogging up local roads.
"Dunns Creek Road is vital to the Jerrabomberra community. As it stands, if you look at the traffic study that's been done, there will be in excess of 4,000 vehicles travelling on the Edwin Land Parkway, through Jerrabomberra without the Dunns Creek Road.
"So that equates to effectively one car every three seconds during peak hour. Without any stoppages it would be pretty slow, but you add traffic lights and stops and you're going to get traffic jams (in Jerrabomberra)," he said.
Dr Kelly announced the funding on Tuesday morning alongside Labor colleagues Gai Brodtmann and Queanbeyan councillor Brian Brown, as well as Mr Ziebell.
He said that a reduced defence housing presence in the new development areas of Queanbeyan meant Dunns Creek Road was a higher priority to him than the EDE.
"When we looked at the strategic road study that was done a while ago that I provided funding for, there was an assumption made that a lot of the traffic from Queanbeyan would be going out to Headquarters Joint Operation Command (HQ JOC) and the Defence Housing Authority would be purchasing a lot of properties here (in Googong).
"I met with Defence Housing Authority people who indicated to me that wouldn't be the case- there will be no DHA properties here at Googong, so that assumption doesn't hold up," he said.
"In addition to that, most of the people living here will be commuting to the ACT, so it's important that they get the most direct, fastest road possible to the EDE without clogging up the rest of Queanbeyan."
Meanwhile, local councillor, Business Council president and Jerra resident Jamie Cregan said the EDE would also benefit residents of Jerrabomberra.
"There's a lot of people who live in Jerrabomberra who also understand how important Ellerton Drive is to relieve congestion on the Edwin Land Parkway from Googong traffic wanting to head north of the lake," he said.
While he said he supported the EDE as the main priority road, Mr Cregan said Dr Kelly's $2 million pledge for the duplication of Pialligo Road was welcome.
"Pialligo Road impacts on industrial businesses and their delivery. The businesses that I've spoken to don't like to send their trucks after 7.30am in the morning ... because Pialligo Road is very slow.
"It does need attention, but it should be combined with the EDE. Ellerton Drive should be done first and Pialligo should follow," he said.
Related story: Dunns Creek Road funding a 'stunt': Overall