More than two years after it received $500,000 in State Government funding for the project, Council has revealed its plan for the construction of a staircase up the northern cliff of the old Bombo Quarry.
The staircase is a long held dream of Councillor Warren Steel to make the Bombo Headland more accessible for walkers.
“I have been fighting for this for seven years and am so pleased it is finally moving ahead.
“It will be a terrific tourist attraction for our area.
“A lot of visitors already come here, but they don’t understand why they have to walk back to continue north to Boneyard and beyond.”
He thinks it should be marketed as the Thunda Staircase, drawing on Bombo being the Aboriginal word for thunder.
When the project received the grant back in April 2018, Mayor Mark Honey spoke of the potential for the headland to become a coastal botanic garden, and hoped the stairs will be a catalyst for further improvement of the area.
The DA reveals it involves the construction of a staircase from the top to the bottom of the cliff face, linking existing walking trails.
This will involve clearing existing vegetation (comprising native and weed species) formation of a short path from the existing walking path at the top of the cliff to the cliff edge and construction of a concrete staircase inclusive of a ramp to allow users to push bicycles up and down.
The design includes a small viewing area at the top. It will be anchored into the cliff face, while also being supported by pillars driven into the quarry floor.
Revegetation of the development area with appropriate native species is proposed.
Bombo Headland Quarry is of one of the most significant geological sites in New South Wales and is heritage listed.
According to the Office of Environment and Heritage website: ‘The Bombo Latite Member is also of international scientific significance in providing one of a number of samples upon which the concept and limits of Kiaman Magnetic Interval were defined. Like rocks of Permian age throughout the world, the latite shows a reversed polarity (at the time of its extrusion the North and South magnetic poles were reversed).’
“This means you can stand by a particular rock and your watch will stop,” says Cllr Steel.
The environmental report accompanying the DA says, “The staircase has been sighted in a recessive location, minimising impacts on the character of the Quarry, while helping to reduce future erosion of the cliff face, with the associated environmental and visual impacts.”
The Development Application was open for public comment the day after our last issue went to press, and close 4pm Thursday 23 July.