20 May 2021

Murrumbateman residents oppose highway service station plan

| Hannah Sparks
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Murrumbateman BP and Friendly Grocer

Murrumbateman residents say their existing service station and convenience store sufficiently cater to locals and other motorists. Photo: Hannah Sparks.

Murrumbateman residents are rallying around their long-standing service station and convenience store following news a second service station could be built just five minutes up the road.

Catalyze Property Consulting said the new service station on Longrail Gully Road, north of Murrumbateman, will encourage growth for the village by providing jobs for locals and supporting tourism and freight transport along the Barton Highway.

However, residents say the BP branded petrol station and Friendly Grocer on East Street, Murrumbateman, fronting Barton Highway, sufficiently service locals and motorists between the nearby town of Yass and Canberra.

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“The service station in Murrumbateman could become obsolete and for what – calling it progress,” said one resident, who wished to remain anonymous.

“I don’t believe in cutting down a small or established business for the benefit of some.”

Wayne Alford said it didn’t make sense to have two service stations in Murrumbateman given motorists can also refuel 15 minutes away in Yass, or 20 minutes away in the Canberra suburb of Nicholls.

BP service station at Murrumbateman

The BP service station at Murrumbateman. Photo: Hannah Sparks.

“If someone wanted to stop, I’d rather they support the pub or IGA [Friendly Grocer] than a corporate monstrosity,” he said.

Murrumbateman BP and Friendly Grocer manager Avy Bajwa said it was “really good” to have the community’s support.

“I’ve been the manager since 2016 and we really love our locals,” he said. “I try to keep them happy by keeping our fuel prices low. It’s really good they have backed us.”

Mr Bajwa said his business was also thinking about expanding as the Barton Highway gets busier, with more people choosing to live in Yass and commute to Canberra.

He said Murrumbateman BP is in a difficult location for caravans to turn around and that they were considering building a high-flow diesel pump on the corner.

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“It will also be good for locals because there are a lot of four-by-four vehicles around here, and farmers get all their fuel here,” said Mr Bajwa.

However, Murrumbateman BP could be cut off from Barton Highway traffic altogether if the proposed bypass from Vallencia Drive to the Gounyan Curves realignment goes ahead.

In this case, Murrumbateman resident Amanda Halliday said the second service station outside Murrumbateman will be beneficial, especially as the Barton Highway will have been duplicated by that stage.

Yass Valley Council is currently assessing the planning proposal which seeks to amend the Yass Valley Local Environmental Plan 2013 to facilitate a highway service centre on land zoned RU1 Primary Production.

The site is located on the western side of Barton Highway and has been used for grazing until now. The highway service centre will have a footprint of about two hectares.

Cars on main road through Murrumbateman with BP service station in distance

The proposed new service station will be located just 3km outside of Murrumbateman, towards Yass. Photo: Hannah Sparks.

“The unique characteristics of the site are as a result of upgrades to the Barton Highway and land resumption,” said Catalyze Property Consulting. “The landowners have been left with an unusual lot in that it is of modest size and has direct frontage to the Barton Highway and indirect access from Longrail Gully Road.

“In addition, it is conveniently located between Murrumbateman and Yass to provide a rest point for motorists and truck drivers without causing any amenity impacts on neighbouring residential properties.”

Ecological, Aboriginal due diligence and traffic assessments have been completed and the planning proposal is on public exhibition until 5:00 pm on Monday, 7 June, 2021.

You can make a submission by completing the online form; or emailing [email protected]; or posting to PO Box 6, Yass, NSW 2582.

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cannedbeeria11:14 pm 24 Sep 22

Think ahead… Contact NRMA about installing an EV charger there. EV drivers can top up and have a rest before enering Canberra, or charge up before a trip to Melbourne.

The town of Murrumbateman already struggles in terms of Business and Economic Growth. This is why we still only have a limited number of stores in the town. The exisiting Petrol Station has not had an upgrade due to the traffic that already gets their car filled in Canberra or Yass at the multiple petrol stations that already exist there.
The duplicated highway is FOR Murrumbateman, why would we take away business FROM Murrumbateman?
It would be better to upgrade the exisiting petrol station so that it serves a larger customer base as the shop is poorly designed in terms of Entry and Exit, which is what puts me off using it. I use large petrol stations due to the traffic flow.

Sounds like someone knew exactly where to build a new servo.

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