Last week Lithgow Council’s Mayor, Maree Statham, and General Manager Craig Butler attended the Central NSW Joint Organisation of Councils’ Board Meeting in Canberra.
As part of the proceedings, the delegates heard about the plight of residents in the village of Eugowra who were severely impacted by floods in 2022. The discussion turned to how this community appears to not be receiving real attention and assistance to recover from the flooding – certainly not to the extent that assistance is being given to the Northern Rivers’ communities.
This provided the opportunity for Mayor Statham to outline the situation with the residents and businesses in the Wolgan Valley. The Mayor spoke about how every aspect of normal life for these people in the Wolgan Valley has been affected by the lack of access since the Wolgan Road was closed. Furthermore, it was explained that this situation will persist for some years until a new fully functioning road can be re-constructed. Yet government assistance for Wolgan residents has been denied on the basis that the properties themselves were not impacted. This is a policy gap as the effect of the road closure is really affecting people’s lives, mentally and financially.
The Joint Organisation’s councils all agreed to “Provide advocacy support to Lithgow Council for the community of the Wolgan Valley who will have no reasonable road access for years; and this support include amendments to disaster relief criteria.”
The Mayor said, “I was really pleased to see the support that is provided by these Councils, as a group, to advocate for a fair go for all residents across the Central West.”