This is an update on behalf of the Mt Wilson/ Mt Irvine Rural Fire Brigade as lead community organisation on this issue.

Blue Mountains City Council (BMCC) passed a Motion on 28 March reaffirming its commitment to working with Hawkesbury City Council (HCC) on a joint project to restore the route as an emergency vehicles access route. That positions BMCC to work with HCC to access the Federal Government’s 2016 Election  commitment to provide $100,000. That funding will allow BMCC and HCC to undertake a feasibility study and costings so that they will be positioned to seek further funding for the restoration works.

We have received strong support in this from all our Ward One Councillors, Kerry Brown (who lodged the Motion), Kevin Schreiber and Don Mc Gregor as well as from Mayor Mark Greenhill. That support extends to them reaching out to the HCC counterparts to seek their support for this project which will benefit both BMCC and HCC community groups.

We are advised that BMCC and HCC Council Managements are already in communication to progress this and that there are also meetings planned between Mayors and Councillors.

To support and provide assistance to BMCC and HCC, we are also obtaining further information on how BMCC and HCC can access the $100,000 through an application process to the Federal Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development.

Federal Member for Macquarie, Susan Templeman MP continues to provide support and has made representations to Minister Fiona Nash, Minister for Regional Development and Minister for Local Government and Territories, who is now responsible for this Federal Government support for type of regional infrastructure project. Minister Nash is a Senator for New South Wales.

We also continue to encourage the RFS Blue Mountains District to pursue this with Hawkesbury RFS District. We continue to note that the Brigade and community are not advocating that the route be restored as a public road. Rather, we see its strategic value as a piece of infrastructure for fire hazard reduction work (not firefighting) and access for ambulance and police rescue vehicle when Mt Wilson Rd is not available due to severe weather and fire events and helicopters are not able to fly or are unavailable due to competing demands.

It’s worth remembering that our Brigade plays a role in many types of non-fire events, such as assisting other authorities in motor vehicle accidents and rescues as well as undertaking emergency clearing of fallen trees where they block roads along our only access route of Mt Wilson Rd and around the two villages. Our Brigade is also the home of our NSW Ambulance First Responders group which works with the Ambulance Service to provide initial emergency medical assistance in our isolated location. 

As we do play this broad role in supporting all our emergency services as well as Blue Mountains City Council, we are also looking to engage with the Blue Mountains Emergency Services Committee to raise awareness and support for the restoration of this route as an important piece of local infrastructure for a variety of emergency situations.

In past updates we have asked residents, our visitors and all interested parties to write to BMCC, HCC, State and Federal Ministers and local Members to urge them to cut through any cross- jurisdictional impediments and restore the route as a fire trail for emergency vehicles.

While we’ve made a lot of progress on this in the last year, we need to keep working at it. So, even if you’ve already written, please write again. And if you haven’t done so, please let our various levels of government know of your support for this. It may be your life or the life of a loved one which is saved through the availability of this route in emergency circumstances.

Contact details are provided below. The people to contact: