Mount Arthur will receive a drastic makeover following Andrew Gee’s announcement of $510,000 worth of grants for the region’s Crown reserves under the NSW government’s Public Reserve Management Fund (PRMF).
Of this, the Mt Arthur Trust will receive $195 000.
Following a past grant of $106,000 work had already been done to replace most of the gabion which was constructed during the Depression-era Red Scheme, as well as putting in sections of guard rail.
Now, following the tireless work of trust members Shawn and Erica Baigent to secure the grant, the trust can afford to put in guard rails from top to bottom of the scenic drive as well as create run-offs for water.
To encourage tourism, the trust is also putting on a Man of the Mountain competition in July next year to celebrate its 50th birthday, which will involve a bike race as well as one on foot.
There will also be a photography competition with photographers able to spend all year getting that perfect shot of Mt Arthur.
“We all know how beautiful it is but we want everyone else to as well,” Mr Gee said when he came to inspect the recent work.
“There was work done on it from the Depression era and the 1960s but beyond that there hasn’t been any substantial work done so if we just let this great attraction deteriorate people won’t be able to enjoy it anymore.”
“We can see the longer you leave it to deteriorate the harder it will be to bring it back and this work is long overdue.”
Ranger Mike Augee said despite the dedication of the volunteers, without the grant money they were limited with what they could do.
Christine Robinson said local trusts were vital to protecting assets like Mt Arthur.
“When you fly over in a plane this is the only real bushland until Katumba and to be kept pristine that’s why we have trusts,” she said.
“Wellington has well and truly come out ahead here with these grants,” Mr Gee said, adding that $80,500 would go to Wellington Caves for the development of Strategic Business plans, together with three product improvement activities and two amenity improvement/useability projects.
Mr Gee said letters of offer had been sent to the trusts and once they accepted them, the funds would be made available.
“The deputy Premier, Andrew Stoner has informed me of these offers and I will be pleased to make another announcement regarding further grants in the next week,” Mr Gee said.
“The NSW government supports reserves in regional areas by listening to the community and delivering funds to where they are needed.”