•    In early February 2020, a one-in-50-year rainfall event in the Blue Mountains resulted in a substantial landslip occurring on slopes above Cliff Drive, Leura. 

•    This resulted in extensive damage to 5000sqm of land and the closure of Cliff Drive, as well as Leura Cascades picnic area and walking tracks. 

•    This natural disaster resulted in a complicated and expensive clean-up for Council, further complicated by more flooding in March 2021, as well as two natural disasters this year (March and July 2022).

•    Council opened Leura Cascades to pedestrians and cyclists in June 2021, but Cliff Drive cannot be reopened to vehicles until the damaged culvert is replaced. 

•    Along with Council’s workforce being impacted by the global COVID-19 since 2020, multiple natural disasters have impacted all of Council’s current projects and left a damage bill for the City of around $400 million.

•    In addition to the recurring natural disasters, further delays have been caused due to the technicality of the design, the complexity of the environmentally sensitive site, as well as the historical significance of the location. 

•    These design challenges resulted in the requirement to complete third party peer reviews. This process highlighted multiple design challenges which required further redesign and supporting engineering to complete.

•    In addition, an extensive Review of Environmental Factors was required for the Part 5 Approval process.

•    Council understands the community’s frustration – in regards to the delays in the reopening of Cliff Drive.

•    There has been no simple solution for this project. Council has needed to access grant funding, so this project could commence. That has now been accessed and more than $4 million is available for this project.

•    Work will commence as soon as possible in 2023.