There are occasions when major landslides on the Clyde Mountain's The Kings Highway between Bateman's Bay and Braidwood (to Canberra) have closed this main arterial road – sometimes for over two weeks - disrupting major business and tourism traffic.
We lived in Moruya on the New South Wales south coast for 14 years from 1992-2006 where I was Master and Chaplain at 'Basil Sellers House' which is a respite facility for Australian Institute of Sport athletes. I established the tourist environmental walk "Australia's Bush Orchestra" and the Basil Sellers Art Centre and the Basil Sellers $15,000 Art Prize.
In my era land slides on The Kings Highway were an old story in that locals on the Eurobodalla coast complained about the quality and route of The Kings Highway for as long as his memory serves.
In a previous article published in Christian Today for 2010 Anzac, he recounts how an alternative route from Moruya through the Clyde Mountain had been surveyed in the 1980's.
Although the survey was completed, nothing came of it due to lack of finances and local political considerations in that it would have cut out Batemans Bay as the major intersection commercial centre of the Eurobodalla Shire. However, this illustrates that an alternative route without the steep grades of the Kings Highway was found.
In my Moruya years the Moruya Examiner Newspaper recounted an oral history that revealed that a Japanese landing party in 1942 silently slipped onto Australian soil near Browlee, (Moruya). Although it acknowledged that this event has no official recognition, there was a well-spring of oral history to back it up.
That article stated that it was Winston Churchill who said that in time of war, truth is so precious it needs to be protected by a multitude of lies, and therefore the likelihood that this story is actually true, gains significant weight.
The Moruya landing party was believed to have been a special Japanese Army Unit that was highly trained in jungle warfare and surveying. It is alleged to have made its way from the coast inland, finding a route up the Great Dividing Range adjacent to Clyde Mountain (where the current Kings Highway runs).
Moreover there is supportive evidence that such a route was realistic.
First, when Gold was discovered at Araluen in 1872, west of Moruya, it was at Broulee that the gold prospectors and equipment was landed and they made their way through the dense coastal rain forest of the Australian bush, inland to the gold fields.
In other words, finding a new way through the thick Australian bush has been done before, it was nothing new, indeed, a highly trained light Japanese reconnaissance group could have done this without too much difficulty.
Second, in the 1980's the Federal Government commissioned a surveyor group to find an alternative Freeway route from Moruya to the town of Braidwood over the Great Diving Range and avoiding the Clyde Mountain's The Kings Highway due to its difficult topography.
I was a member of the Moruya Chamber of Commerce and this was discussed at numerous meetings. It would have halved the travelling time to Canberra from the south coast, to a neat one hour journey.
There you have it, The Kings Highway is a thorn in the side of all political parties and their purse strings, yet in reality, there seems to be an available alternative route.
It would benefit so many not least Christian ministry reducing travelling time as the Moruya – Canberra route is a perennial issue. Many things remain mysteries and this may be one of them.
Dr Mark Tronson - a 4 min video
Chairman – Well-Being Australia
Baptist Minister 45 years
- 1984 - Australian cricket team chaplain 17 years (Ret)
- 2001 - Life After Cricket (18 years Ret)
- 2009 - Olympic Ministry Medal – presented by Carl Lewis
- 2019 - The Gutenberg - (ARPA Christian Media premier award)
Gutenberg video - 2min 14sec
Married to Delma for 45 years with 4 children and 6 grand children