By Lithgow City Council
Hassans Walls Reserve at Lithgow will soon be safer for visitors when work on a new boardwalk and viewing platford is completed in February.
The boardwalk will begin at the existing shelter shed, meander south for about 80m and end in a 25sqm viewing platform which will provide access to some of the most spectacular views in the region.
Lithgow Mayor Maree Statham said: “The new boardwalk will provide many benefits to the community and natural environment. The galvanized steel and fibre reinforced plastic boardwalk has been designed to accommodate for disabled access, increase safety for visitors to the reserve, and to protect threatened flora and fauna species in the area.’’
The boardwalk construction is the second stage in a complete rejuvenation of the Hassans Walls Reserve and follows the recent installation of interpretive signage at the reserve, which includes the history of Hassans Walls and information on flora and fauna living in the area.
The signage, in conjunction with the boardwalk, will promote the reserve as an attractive, accessible and safe location for families to visit, promoting tourism in the region and strengthening the local economy.
The sections of steel boardwalk have been manufactured off-site and will be carefully installed with the help of cranes to ensure existing nature vegetation is not disturbed.
“Installation of the boardwalk is anticipated to be completed in February 2014, with ancillary site works, including footpath and car park works scheduled to follow,’’ Mayor Statham said.
“Council is also currently investigating more interpretive signage that will be placed at the end of the boardwalk once completed to inform visitors of the different features that can be seen from the lookout.
“The new boardwalk and lookout on Hassans walls is being named in honour of Sir Joseph Cook.’’
Joseph Cook was a local coalminer who rose to become Prime Minister. He immigrated to NSW in the 1880s with his wife and settled in Lithgow where he started working in the Vale of Clwydd Colliery. He was elected to the NSW Parliament in 1891 as Labor Member for Hartley.
When the Commonwealth of Australia was formed in 1901, Joseph Cook moved to the new Federal Parliament where he held several ministerial roles in conservative governments and served as Prime Minister between 1913 and 1914.
In recognition of his services he was later knighted.
“Council considered that with 2013 being the 100th anniversary of Sir Joseph Cook becoming Prime Minister of Australia, the naming of this new boardwalk and lookout is a fitting and long overdue tribute, especially as the lookout will provide viewing of the Hartley District,’’ Mayor Statham said.