“These past two years of prolonged rainfall have put a terrible strain on the resources of all Councils across the state,” said Lithgow City Council’s Mayor, Councillor Maree Statham. “The failure of the Wolgan Road is a key example of the challenges facing Councils and their communities.”

Since its closure in November 2022, Lithgow City Council, Public Works NSW, WSP Golder, Gracey & Sons Earthmoving, and the Mingaan Wiradjuri Aboriginal Corporation have worked tirelessly to construct a temporary detour road known as the Donkey Steps. However, the road navigates complex geography and with incredibly steep grades, this cannot be the permanent solution.

“With their only access closed to all traffic, the Wolgan community have suffered unimaginable hardship,” continued Mayor Statham. “Compounding this, just last night the Council endorsed a comprehensive, independent Slope Risk Assessment which clearly identifies the insurmountable risks associated with use of the damaged road and acknowledges that reconstruction is not possible. This was not an easy decision to make and cannot be easy news for this community to hear.”

“Fortunately though, we are able to reaffirm both Council and Government’s commitment to the project through Transport for NSW’s advice that $30 million will be made available to make an alternate alignment a reality,” said Mayor Statham. “While the project has many challenges ahead, this really is phenomenal news. With Council walking in lockstep with Transport for NSW and Public Works NSW, we will achieve the very best outcome for this struggling community.”

This funding has been made available under the Natural Disaster Recovery Arrangements, a program funded and administered by the State and Federal Government, and delivered by local Councils.

“This project will be one example of what can be achieved through the collaboration of all three levels of Government,” finished Mayor Statham. “We sincerely thank the NSW and Australian Governments for this level of commitment to Lithgow and look forward to delivering the project on behalf of the Wolgan Valley community.”