Media Release – Community in a desperate bid to secure safe and permanent access road!
6 April 2023
Community in a desperate bid to secure safe and permanent access road!
As the dust settles from the recent NSW State elections and following a recent funding announcement by Lithgow City Council, local community group the Wolgan Valley Association, has teamed up with Australian director Matt Bird in producing a short film that highlights the conditions of access into Wolgan Valley.
Located 30 minutes north of Lithgow on the edge of the UNESCO-listed Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, the short film features the beauty of Wolgan Valley contrasted to the adversity that the community has experienced over several years and more recently with the permanent closure of Wolgan Road Wolgan Gap in November 2022, due to a series of major landslips.
Since December 2022, Lithgow City Council and NSW Public Works with local Contractor Gracey’s Earthmoving have built an alternate temporary access road into Wolgan Valley called the Donkey Steps, however it’s incredibly steep, can only be used during daylight hours and is vulnerable to closure during inclement weather.
Although the Wolgan Valley community has welcomed recent news of funding for a new permanent access road, with the permanent road solution to be several years away, the community and valley businesses are calling on all levels of government to commit in the interim to a safe and accessible all-weather road.
Transport infrastructure, notably safe and regularly maintained road networks, are critical for Wolgan Valley and the Greater Lithgow region. But the long-term viability of the regions tourism industry under the Seven Valleys branding is on the line, even with a $50M investment by the NSW Government for the Gardens of Stone State Conservation Area which surrounds Wolgan Valley.
If we don’t have good road infrastructure, we are unable to access all possible tourism markets for the sustainable development of Wolgan Valley and the Seven Valleys destination.
According to Lithgow City Council’s very own Lithgow Regional Economic Development Strategy 2018-2022, a document that visually features Wolgan Valley throughout, the tourism industry contributes 8.4% of employment and 5.9% or $62M of gross value add to the Lithgow regional economy. It is also this strategy that identifies investment in local road infrastructure to help drive local business capability and inward business investment.
Currently, dozens of businesses that are reliant on agriculture and tourism for their livelihoods are temporarily closed due to the failure of Wolgan Gap. Whilst the opening of the newly constructed Donkey Steps may enable some of the valley’s larger businesses to operate, albeit in a limited capacity, several other locally owned and operated businesses cannot.
Access limitations for Donkey Steps notably limited hours of access, four-wheel drive only restricted vehicle access, limited heavy vehicle movement, and the escorting by property holders of visitors and supplies into the valley, is impractical for many businesses to fully operate.
This is further compounded by NSW National Park closures since November due to the closure of Wolgan Road at Wolgan Gap by Lithgow City Council.
With the release of the film, the Wolgan Valley community and valley businesses are encouraging the wider Lithgow Region and beyond in particular those that love ‘the Wolgan’ to get behind the campaign to support a long-term solution – a sealed, all weather, safe and accessible road for everyone. A #WolganRdForEveryone !
“The valley means so much to so many people. Those childhood memories of camping at Newnes or being blown away by your first glimpse of the red sandstone cliffs at sunrise, they stick with people for life.” said the Wolgan Valley Association’s President Martin Krogh. “We want more than anything to see people back here in the valley to continue those traditions and experience those moments. We want to see the Wolgan accessible to everyone again”.
To see the film check it out on the Wolgan Valley Associations Facebook page at https://fb.watch/jKmRKNAXpe/
For media enquiries contact: Wolgan Valley Association Communications Coordinator Kristie Kearney on 0439 464 660 or Wolgan Valley Association President Martin Krogh 0427 867 330 or via email at
The Wolgan Valley Association is a non-profit community organisation by which landholders and residents in the Wolgan Valley can take collective action which they believe is in the best interests of protecting and promoting the natural, scenic, cultural, economic, and social values of the Valley for current and future generations.
For more information on the Wolgan Valley Association, please visit https://wolganvalley.org.au/wolgan-valley-association/