Blue Mountains City Council

Mid Mountains Sustainablility Reference Group

The Mid Mountains Sustainability Reference Group (MMSRG) is part of a Council initiative to deliver integrated planning in the Mid Mountains. The group is aimed at establishing a strong link between community needs, project development and sustainable outcomes. The main focus of the Reference Group which comprises 38 community representatives has been a series of quarterly community forums designed to bring together community members, Councillors and Council project managers.

Since May 2008 the Mid Mountains Forums have provided an opportunity for the presentation of key Mid Mountains projects. The forums have facilitated community input into the projects and have assisted in identifying and developing new projects to meet the needs of the Mid Mountains community. Matters that have been considered in the forums include the establishment of the Hazelbrook Community Forum, Lawson Town Centre, the Hazelbrook Town Centre upgrade, conservation of Heatherbrae House, and the establishment of community gardens as well as several other important projects throughout the Mid Mountains area.

Looking Ahead

The Mid Mountains Sustainability Reference Group Forums have been endorsed by the Council to run until June 2011, at which time its operation will be reviewed. The review will consider extending the Reference Group Forum and the possibility of aligning the forum dates with key Mid Mountains Project's timelines and consultation plans.

Project Updates (as at 12 September 2012)

Heatherbrae House

Work has commenced on internal fit-out of the premises with an aim to be finished by November 2012. Lease arrangements with Connect are currently being worked out.

Lawson Community Hall and RFS Site

The length of the lease period for the RMS site for car parking being negotiated is 30 years. As this is outside the policy guidelines for lease length for RMS land, Council wrote to the Minister requesting representations to the RMS in support of this time frame for the lease. A response was received indicating a lease period of 20 years and a 10 year option after that could be pursued. A lease of the land is currently being prepared.

In terms of the use of the RMS land for car parking, it is anticipated that a concept plan will be developed in this financial year. However, funding of the construction of the car parking will be considered by the new Council in their deliberations of the 2013/17 Delivery Program.

RMS Projects

A number of Highway related projects are ongoing. The current status of projects can be accessed through the RMS website

  • Woodford-Hazelbrook

On 28 May 2012, The Minister for Roads and Ports announced that Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) had decided to end its contractual arrangements with Reed Constructions.

RMS has now partnered with the Lawson Alliance contractor, Abigroup Ltd, to complete the widening of the Great Western Highway to four lanes between Station Street, Woodford and Winbourne Road, Hazelbrook.

Abigroup completed Stage One of the highway upgrade through Lawson in early 2011 and is now close to completing Stage Two, between Ferguson Avenue and Bass Street. Abigroup has begun discussions with former Reed Construction Australia sub contractors to offer them the first opportunity to work on the project. Preliminary establishment work and upgrading of environment and safety measures started in June 2012 and the substantial work restarted in August 2012.

Community consultation

A community drop-in information session took place on 21 June 2012 at Hazelbrook Uniting Church. Approximately 80-90 residents attended and gave feedback that RMS is collating in order to help determine the priorities for construction. Residents or local business operators who could not attend the information session but wish to make comments, or ask questions, about the project should contact Michael Galderisi on 1800 038 563.

  • Lawson

On track for completion in late October 2012, with opening to four lanes.

  • Bullaburra East

A community issues report was released in June 2012 detailing the feedback from community consultation for the inclusion of a proposed pedestrian bridge carried out in April 2012.

After considering the options and issues the NSW Government has decided to proceed with a pedestrian bridge with ramps and stairs. This replaces the planned pedestrian crossing at the new traffic lights to be built on the highway at Cooranga Street. Separating pedestrians from highway traffic provides the safest crossing and would reduce the impacts on traffic flow. A ramp with stairs would always be available, whereas the lift option (option 2) may not always be, due to maintenance.

An addendum Review of Environmental Factors is being prepared for the bridge and RMS expects to appoint the contractor to construct the upgrade shortly.

Construction expected to commence in late 2012 and to be completed in early 2015.

  • Bullaburra West

Commenced November 2011 with completion in mid 2014 (same as previous update). Utility relocations including the undergrounding of electricity along the project was completed during the rail track possession.

  • Wentworth Falls East

On track for completion in October 2012.

Former Ridge Street Landfill

The site had another 5000 tubestock planted in May 2012 and that brings the ‘old landfill’ area to approx 85% planted. Previously plantings are growing really well. Approx 80% or more of the tubestock has taken (survived). The ‘Old Sydney Water Stockpile Site’ is regenerating naturally from the seed from the surrounding bushland. This summer the plan is to focus on weed management on the site and also continue with the upgrade of the solar system that drives the pump for the wetland.

Former Lawson Golf Course

The Mid Mountains Recreation Review has been scheduled for later this calendar year dependent on internal resourcing and will inform the consultation and planning process for the former Lawson Golf course, in keeping with previous Council resolutions. The Review itself will initially be functional in terms of an assessment of existing assets against demographics. The Final Lawson Golf Course Report can be downloaded at rightside.

Hazelwood Child Care Centre

Architects JDH were awarded the tender for the design of the Child Care Centre at a new site, adjacent to the existing child care centre, as outlined in Item 10 of the Ordinary Meeting of 3 April 2012. They have worked on many child care centres and have an impressive portfolio of work in this sector. Federal funds for the project ($2.2million) will be combined with $700,000 from the sale of the existing child care centre.

The second stage of the project is now underway with work on a detailed design and lodgement of a Development Application for the site. It is anticipated that the Development Application will be submitted later this month and it is intended that contract prices are sought later this year prior to an anticipated start on site in early 2013. There will be an opportunity for the community to comment on the proposal as part of the development application process.

Hazelbrook and Woodford Creeks Catchments Mainstream and Overland Flow Flood Study

The Specialist consultant has completed collection of GIS data by undertaking Airborne Laser Survey (ALS) on the study catchment. A voluntary community survey for flood information has been undertaken within the study catchment. Approximate 200 surveys forms have been received from 2000 residents. The Council has approved the establishment of the Blue Mountains Floodplain Risk Management Committee. Invitation for individual, community and environmental group representatives with advertisements in Gazette inviting nominations to this committee will soon commence shortly after the local government election 2012.

Michelle Maher
Strategic Planning Specialist, City Planning