After being given only a few days notice of a major road disruption, NSW Southern Tablelands residents, south of Yass, are angry that their travel will be disrupted from this Saturday until next Friday.
On Monday and Tuesday, Wee Jasper Road will be effectively closed between 8.30am-4pm (except for emergencies). On other days there will be stop/go traffic control.
The closures will be to accommodate filming for the Seven Network television series "Home and Away" at Boambolo, just to the north of the Taemas Bridge.
Patrick Sullivan, who lives at Cavan and uses Wee Jasper Road to access Yass, said he had only found out about the closures yesterday through word of mouth.
"This road is a lifeline for residents south of the Murrumbidgee," Mr Sullivan said.
"Filming a soap opera is not a public benefit and Yass Valley Council and NSW Roads should never have approved the closure."
He said the closures themselves were made more upsetting due to the lack of information available to residents.
"It is made worse by the absence of any consultation with the residents, with very late notice only circulating on an informal grapevine," he said.
"People living outside the town limits are used to being ignored by Yass Valley Council, but this really rubs it in."
Home and Away's location manager Peter Harris said that details had only been finalised with Yass Valley Council and Transport for NSW on Friday, March 5, and that he was attempting to get the information out as quickly as he could via various community groups and organisations.
Three traffic variable message sign (VMS) boards have been installed at locations at either end of the affected area and another in Tumut to forewarn road users.
"Unfortunately Home and Away, as a serial television series operates on extremely short timelines," Mr Harris said in an email to Mr Sullivan.
"I had hoped for (the message board installation) to be done Friday, but there were no VMS boards available anywhere in the area and they had to be brought in from Sydney."
Mr Harris said that if there is a genuine emergency on Monday and Tuesday, residents could make themselves known to traffic controllers who would "endeavour to get you through as quickly as possible".
He added that the Monday and Tuesday closure times were decided after consultation with McGraths Buses, who run the school bus, Yass Valley Council and NSW Police Yass and Hume Districts, and that he'd also liaised with Yass Valley Council, Transport for NSW, Ambulance NSW, Fire and Rescue NSW and the NSW Rural Fire Service.
"In addition, our filming activities will bring a very healthy injection of funds into the local businesses given a crew and cast of about 60 people," said Mr Harris.
Our filming activities will bring a very healthy injection of funds into the local businesses given a crew and cast of about 60 people.- Peter Harris, location manager
"This will include accommodation, meals, equipment hire, location and council fees. Along with donations to a couple of community groups."
The road closure times are as follows:
Yass Valley Council has passed on a warning to anyone who wants to watch the filming: "The Seven Network would like caution anyone coming to the location in the hope of watching the filming, as it will not be possible, and they will be turned away."
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