Wolgan Valley to be prioritised for Bushfire Grants program

Wolgan Valley.
Wolgan Valley.

Lithgow Council is in the process of developing an application under the Black Summer Bushfire Grants program for the Wolgan Road.

The application was expected to be submitted last week and council has been gathering community support to strengthen their application.

"This is being collated as a slope stability project which will resolve a number of long-term resilience concerns regarding the stability of the road pavement and embankment adjacent to sections of the Wolgan Gap," Jonathon Edgecombe said.

"This project will involve the construction of a significant retaining wall at the bottom of the Gap, where you may have noticed that flood waters are slowly eroding the toe of the slope here.

"Secondly, we will be reconstructing an area of pavement which became distressed a number of years ago as a result of a significant rockfall. While these areas are currently stable and safe (and this is checked yearly), these projects will ensure long term confidence in this fact."

This project is being submitted in line with Lithgow Council's adopted risk assessment and mitigation procedure which is in place to manage the Wolgan Gap itself.

"We very much hope for success in this regard," he said.

Earlier this year Cr Maree Statham said at the May council meeting that the slope stabilisation should be a priority.

"It is a significant urgency...I find it dangerous going down there, we should find funding to get that to happen. Another storm, another fire and those slopes would collapse and trap the people in the valley," she said.

Another storm, another fire and those slopes would collapse and trap the people in the valley

Cr Maree Statham

Council was also successful in its application for funding to develop an evacuation plan for the Wolgan Valley to address the key risks associated with a remote locality with a single point of access and egress.

"I see this project has having distinct opportunities for alignment and collaboration with those significant businesses and community organisations which operate out of the Valley," Mr Edgecombe said.

"While we are yet to enter the planning stages of this project, down the track we will reach out to discuss this matter with representatives of the community to ensure we address their needs and consider all available options for alternative access."