Wee Jasper Road, north of the Taemas Bridge has been the scene of a dramatic but planned accident this week.
“We’re doing a major stunt; we have to launch an unmanned vehicle off the edge of the road.”
“The stunt is dangerous; there is infrastructure that has to launch the car,” advised Channel Seven’s Home and Away Location Manager, Peter Harris.
The quite literal cliff-hanger scene will be a major storyline in one of Australia’s longest-running television programs. It will be the focus of the program as it transitions between seasons.
“We’re filming this as a cliffhanger for the end of season before Channel 7 goes to the Olympics.”
“It’ll be the first episode back from the Olympics,” he said.
Harris stressed that in a case of emergency, the road could be opened.
“As per the requirements by Yass Valley Council and RMS (Roads and Maritime Services), we have to be able to get an emergency vehicle through.”
“We can clear the road in 5-10 minutes if there’s an absolute emergency,” he said.
General Manager of Yass Valley Council Chris Berry asserted that due to Wee Jasper Road being a state road, the final decision was left with NSW Road and Maritime Services.
“We got a request from Home and Away and their location manager where they make inquiries to us.”
“We then detailed our requirements, and it was up to them to get approval from NSW RMS to go ahead,” he said.
Travelling on Wee Jasper Road will involve delays of up to 5-10 minutes until Friday, with affected residents certainly eager to see them come to an end.
Home and Away comes to town, and the community of people who rely on Wee Jasper Road to travel to and from Yass are stranded, according to frustrated Cavan resident Patrick Sullivan.
“I couldn’t believe it.”
“I find it stunning that anyone could consider cutting off the only road that services those in Cavan, Mullion, Wee Jasper and Tumut!”
Patrick focused his frustration away from the TV crew and towards the Yass Valley Council and NSW Roads and Maritime Services, which approved the decision.
“I can understand why a TV crew would want to make use of it; I can’t understand how Yass Valley Council and New South Wales Roads could have approved it,” he said.
With the roads completely closed this past Monday and Tuesday, the quickest way left for people to enter Yass could have been through the A.C.T.
“They’ve basically ring-fenced Yass to the people south of the Murrumbidgee.”
“You might as well drive around through Canberra,” he said.
Patrick had four main points of frustration and concluded with concerns that the road closure would deny him access to Yass township’s basic needs and services.
“One they’ve closed our only road, two they’ve done it with the permission of the authorities who have given us zero regard whatsoever, three they didn’t consult us and four they didn’t inform us.”
“I can’t get to the post office, I can’t get to the pharmacy, I can’t even get to the shops,” he said.