Blue Mountains News
Call for Funding to Repair Flood Damage at Popular Council Reserve
Council’s much-loved Charles Darwin Walk, at Wentworth Falls, has a repair bill of up to $1million after flash flooding in February. Significant redesign and reconstruction is required due to the damage to infrastructure and creek banks along the Jamison Creek, after the one-in-50-year rainfall event. See map for current closure
Other areas such as Leura Cascades, Prince Henry Cliff Walk, Katoomba Falls Reserve and numerous other walking tracks were also damaged in the deluge.
Mayor Mark Greenhill said: “Fixing damaged infrastructure in these areas, particularly the Charles Darwin Walk, is going to be a long-term process without Federal or State government assistance.
“The February storms that caused extensive damage across the City were declared a natural disaster, however bushland walking track and fire trail assets are not covered under Natural Disaster funding – only essential public infrastructure is.
“That means Council is reliant on insurance and external funds to cover repair and replacement costs. Given eighty per cent of the damage at Charles Darwin Walk will not be covered by insurance, there is a significant shortfall.”
Council responded to more than a dozen significant landslip events across the City, following the flooding event in February.
The severe impacts from the deluge means significant redesign and reconstruction is required for infrastructure at many locations along the 2.4km Charles Darwin Walk and any recovery work will have to be done in stages.
“Recent upgrades at Charles Darwin Walk – that were built to Australian standards – survived the flooding,” Mayor Greenhill said.
“Any replacement of infrastructure needs to be compliant and it needs to be able to survive these one-in-50-year flooding events.
“The repair and restoration of flood, as well as fire-damaged infrastructure, is an enormous undertaking for Council given so many natural areas have been affected.”
Council oversees the management of 135kms of walking tracks across the City, as well as more than ninety lookouts and five bushland campgrounds.
As a result of bush fire damage, Council has also had to close natural areas at Mt York, Pulpit Rock and Popes Glen.
The summer bush fires also caused up to $1 million worth of damage to reserves in the upper Blue Mountains. Get more information.
The natural disaster in February that closed Cliff Drive and Leura Cascades has also left a complicated and expensive clean-up for Council. Get more information.
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