Residents and businesses in Lithgow will welcome back visitors sooner and are on track for recovery, with debris now safely cleared from the historic Zig Zag Railway, thanks to a bushfire clean-up program funded by the NSW Nationals in the state government.
The support has been welcomed by locals who have been working to restore the attraction to its former glory, repairing significant infrastructure damage caused by the 2013 and 2019 bushfires.
“For more than seven years passionate volunteers have worked tirelessly to bring the Zig Zag Railway back to Lithgow and after their efforts were set back by the Gosper’s fire at the end of last year, we were pleased to lend a hand and ensure safety,” NSW Nationals Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said.
“I’m delighted to confirm contractor Laing O’Rourke has now safely removed burnt material, including asbestos, from damaged buildings and sheds left in the wake of last year’s fires, providing volunteers and operators with a safe and clean slate to finish what they began.
“The efforts of community volunteers to restore the Zig Zag Railway to its former glory are inspiring, I thank them for their commitment and dedication to helping to ensure future generations of locals and tourists can enjoy this Blue Mountains icon for years to come.”
Getting things done
Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the NSW Nationals in the state government’s bushfire clean-up program had cleared more than 3300 fire-destroyed properties across the state, giving communities the chance to start again.
“Bushfire communities are still doing it tough and while clearing fire destroyed homes and businesses is essential in helping locals on their journey to recovery and healing, clean-up of debris from the Zig Zag Railway in Lithgow is key to reviving the local economy.
“With the site now made safe and debris removed, this well-loved heritage attraction will be able to open its doors sooner, allowing people to return to their jobs and enticing tourists back to Lithgow to spend with the railway, local cafes, pubs and retailers.”
Laing O’Rourke Project Director Paul Barrie said the Zig Zag Railway property make safe and clean-up was carried out by Laing O’Rourke teams working with Bathurst-based business, Robbie Lee Developments.
“Our teams have been working hand in hand with local businesses since February to clear properties right across the state, we have been part of some very special and unique clean-ups and this is definitely one of them,” Mr Barrie said.
“The Zig Zag Railway is an important tourist attraction and the team of locals involved have done a fantastic job to remove hazardous materials and get the site ready for refurbishment and to accept visitors again soon.”
Property and business owners can still register for the bushfire clean-up program. Owners wanting their bushfire impacted property cleared can register by calling 13 77 88 or visiting https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/register-opt-nsw-bushfire-clean.