Blue Mountains City Council has secured Federal Government funding to deliver a package of works to boost the social and economic recovery of Mount Victoria in the wake of the ongoing impacts of the Black Summer bushfires of 2019-20.
The Mount Victoria Village Recovery Package is made up of a comprehensive range of village upgrades and initiatives that have been identified by Council in consultation with the Mount Victoria community.
Between late 2022 and mid-2024, the following improvements and support initiatives are planned:
- Improved village marketing and promotion: an interpretative heritage trail to guide visitors through the village, and a new Visitor Information Sign to promote local experiences
- Enhanced village centre amenity: new planting, street trees and seating to revitalise the village.
- Mount Victoria Memorial Park renewals: a renewed entrance to the park; carpark upgrades including the upgrade of the adjacent stormwater channel; accessible footpaths; visual amenity improvements to the park water fountain; and sculptural installations by local artists;
- Smart City initiatives: a local weather station to improve bushfire threat knowledge and smart sensors to improve asset management; and
- Business support package: mentoring and resources to equip local businesses to better prepare for disasters and enable them to build a strong business support network.
“While much of the state continues to be lashed by incredible amounts of rainfall, we must not forget that it wasn’t long ago that bushfires raged across many of our suburbs, tragically threatening life and property and irrevocably altering some of our most beloved areas of the Blue Mountains,” said Blue Mountains Mayor, Mark Greenhill.
“The Black Summer bushfires of 2019-20 were the second blow of a catastrophic one-two-punch that started with the devastating bushfires of 2013. Mount Victoria stood in the path of both firestorms.
“And of course, since then, our communities have also weathered extreme floods and the extensive effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic which have further impacted local business operations and presented significant challenges for our visitor economy.
“I said after the fires in 2020, that recovery from this type of natural disaster isn’t a quick fix, and that we’re in it for the long haul. Securing this grant is proof that we’re walking the talk – we haven’t stopped investing in projects and initiatives that can increase the resilience of our towns and villages.
“I encourage everyone to take advantage of this opportunity to learn more and provide feedback on the recovery package. If you can, stop by and talk to Council staff at the information stalls – your thoughts will help shape the future of Mount Victoria,” he said.
The first part of the upgrades are planned to commence by the end of 2022 (weather permitting), to improve the safety of the heritage staircase along the Great Western Highway and enhance the streetscape.
Council is also now calling on the community to have their say about the planned Village Centre and Mount Victoria Memorial Park improvements: Visit the Blue Mountains Have Your Say website to complete the Mount Victoria Village Recovery Package survey.
The project received grant funding from the Australian Government.