‘Come visit, grey nomads, the Newell is open again!’

Published: November 7, 2016
Newell Highway closure

Two communities in central-west New South Wales are desperately hoping that grey nomads will start visiting again now that the Newell Highway has fully re-opened again.

For the past six weeks, traffic on the highway had been diverted via Cowra and Young after floodwaters cut off the section between Forbes and West Wyalong.

Allan Stewart, who owns a caravan business in Forbes, and he said he had taken a massive hit because of the drop in passing grey nomads, and was elated at the re-opening.

“Sixty per cent of my customers couldn’t get here, it’s very slow now with all the other roads around open,” he told the ABC.  “It’s still not doing much, because they’re getting over the floods I suppose.”

However, West Wyalong mayor, Tony Lord, said a lot of repairs would still be required.

“The tourist economy has suffered quite significantly with motels having so many fewer bookings and cancellations,” he told the ABC. “It just worries me that are they rushing it just a fraction, and will it do more damage to the road network.”

However, other communities which have been benefitting from the diversion are now expecting a drop in traffic as the Newell re-opens.

A bakery owner in Young, Wendy Dunk, told the ABC that trade had been booming over recent weeks with many more caravans in town.

“I’ve got all casuals in the front of the shop and they’ve just had to work longer hours,” she said.

·         Have you been affected by the Newell’s closure? Have you discovered some magical places that you wouldn’t have otherwise visited? Comment below.

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