All of the communities near where I live have their own progress associations. I was recently talking to someone from the local progress association and I was amazed to find out the real story behind a local road which used to be a dirt road but was closed for about a year while it was made into an asphalt road. It has completely changed the way I view this road.
We drove down the dirt road when we first arrived in the area. It was kind of spooky. A huge amount of dust would be kicked up by any passing cars even though it had recently rained. In some places the water had eroded the road making it a bit dangerous because people had to drive on the opposite side of the road on blind corners. When we got back to my parents place the car was absolutely filthy.
The progress association had been trying to get the road fixed for 10 years. This road was the only way for several towns to access the main highway if the other road became flooded. One year right before an election, one of the candidates made an election promise to have the road “sealed” (changed from dirt to asphalt) if they were voted in. The election happened, they were voted in and just two weeks later the president of the progress association was on their doorstep reminding them of the promise they had made.
Some time passed before work finally began. The road was completely closed to through traffic and we looked forward to it opening even though we weren’t residents here.
The new road opened in early 2007. I believe they got one of the best pieces of road I know of anywhere in New South Wales. It is my favourite road. It is smooth and beautiful to drive on. Here’s a picture of it from Google Earth. I’ve put little pink lines around it so you can see which road it is.
What an accomplishment – what a thing to get ticked off the to do list! 11kms of road, costing just over 4 million dollars. I didn’t know about all the hard work and effort that had gone into getting the road before I went to the meeting. Now I am just amazed by it every time I drive down that road. I’m only a recent newcomer to the town but I feel so proud of them – and I can’t imagine how happy they must feel about it after working so hard for so long..
Some places in this country, progress associations are the exact opposite of their name. They try to stop anything they don’t personally approve of. I am so thrilled to be living in a place where the progress association is all about progress. I have joined the local association myself. Last month I attended the first Progress Association meeting and met some wonderful people. I intend to get involved in the excellent work they are doing.
Each little step they take, every bit of progress they make is the result of a lot of hard work by a lot of people. But as this road proves, when you work together amazing things are possible.