Boardwalk on agenda for Wentworth Falls Lake

Ingenious locals once created their own shortcut across swamps and creek beds on the western side of Wentworth Falls Lake using wooden planks, large rocks and even a fridge door.

But the missing link in the circular lakeside walk could be provided by council in the not too distant future — and at a considerably higher standard.

The completion of a boardwalk around the lake is included as a “general new project” in council’s 2013-2017 delivery program, with initial funding of $250,000 allocated from council’s environmental levy fund for the 2014-15 financial year.

And councillors confirmed at last Tuesday’s council meeting that funding is included to begin the boardwalk in the “forwarded estimates” for council’s next budget.

Clr Romola Hollywood raised the project during a debate to honour the late Stanley Bignell’s contribution to the Blue Mountains by naming a piece of new infrastructure at Wentworth Falls Lake after him.

Mr Bignell was a World War II veteran and a prisoner of war, a manual arts teacher in Katoomba who introduced boat-building as a subject and established a junior sailing club at Wentworth Falls Lake, while also improving sports facilities in Hazelbrook’s Gloria Park.

“It came to me that we are currently engaging in some improvements to Wentworth Falls Lake that’s in the forward planning [stage] and I am very hopeful that we will complete that infrastructure.

“I’m hopeful of seeing a report go back to council about the possibility of suitably recognising the contribution of Stanley Bignell at Wentworth Falls Lake as we complete upgrading that infrastructure.

“Whether that be through interpretive signs or the naming of a walk.”

Clr Chris Van der Kley praised Clr Hollywood for coming up with the idea.

“I think it’s a good solution,” he said.

Mayor Mark Greenhill confirmed Mr Bignell’s daughter and son-in-law were informed of the proposal to name a public asset at Wentworth Falls in their late relative’s honour and “they were very impressed”.

Completion of a boardwalk circuit would build on many recent improvements made to the lakeside reserve, including concrete paths, interpretive signs and new playground equipment.

A council spokesperson said that “while funding is earmarked for the boardwalk, this expenditure is yet to be confirmed in council’s 2014/15 operational plan and budget, which will be placed on public exhibition in May”.

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