With thousands of people tipped to converge on the village of Murrumbateman this weekend for the annual Field Days, one of the main access roads to the site has been closed because of recent weather damage.
After inspecting the site earlier this week, Yass Valley Council staff said the condition of a damaged culvert on Murrumbateman Road at Dam Break Creek had worsened to the point where it undermined the safety of the road.
With further rain expected tomorrow, Friday 14 October, the council planned to close the road from 4 pm today (13 October).
It said keeping the road open would pose a safety risk to drivers, especially visitors to the area coming to the field days who were unaware of the current road conditions.
A council spokesperson said all traffic coming from the east towards the village would be advised to use the Federal Highway or Hume Highway to access Murrumbateman via the Barton Highway. Although it would add time to the journey, the spokesperson said it would be by far the safest option for everyone.
Signs would be placed at both ends of Murrumbateman Road to alert drivers to the closure.
“We understand that this road closure is incredibly frustrating and inconvenient, but the safety of commuters is our highest priority,” the spokesperson said.
Yass Valley Council has engaged contractors to repair the culvert, with work planned to start on Monday 24 October, weather permitting.
The Murrumbateman Field Days are held at the village recreation grounds, just off the Barton Highway, in the centre of the village.
As the leading annual agricultural event in the Yass Valley, the field days are also the main fundraiser for the local community. With the past two events cancelled because of the pandemic, the 2022 event has been keenly awaited by the community and the services it supports including the Rural Fire Service, Lions Club, school and charitable groups.
Not only does it exhibit the latest in rural technology, farm machinery and livestock, it is also a prime opportunity for local producers to showcase their wares, along with others from all over the state and ACT.
It also provides a plethora of information for small-acre farmers who have set up in the Yass Valley and adjacent areas, providing assistance on how to make the best of their land.
Highlights this year include an information stall about the $20 million Murrumbateman Primary School which is scheduled to open early next year and a visit by the International Cricket Council’s Men’s T20 World Cup Regional Roadshow, including a virtual reality experience of hitting a six at the SCG.
Murrumbateman Field Days run from 8 am to 5 pm this Saturday and 8 am to 4 pm on Sunday. There will be no cash ticket sales at the gate. Tickets can be booked online via the website at website.