Closure of the Gorge Impacts our Community, as we Continue to Move out of the Pandemic

By Matt Kean

After long period sustained rainfall, the cleanup and repairs continue across the Hornsby electorate. By far the biggest issue still unresolved is the closure of Galston Gorge, by Transport NSW.

Closed since the 28 February, after landslides deposited large boulders, soil and trees onto the road. Considerable work has already been undertaken involving geotechnical investigations, vegetation clearing, significant rock removal, stabilization of the slopes and securing the Tunks Creek bridge. However, there is still an unacceptable risk of further landslides, which has kept the road closed.

The consequences of this closure add considerable distance and time to those commuters that simply need to travel to and from Hornsby. There is also a heavy impact on local businesses and an increase in traffic on the alternative routes. All of this has a significant effect on the lives residents and causes understandable frustrations.

Whilst I have asked for the reopening of Galston Gorge to be a high priority, of course, the safety of motorists will always be the highest priority. I am monitoring the situation regularly and have requested that residents are kept more frequently informed with updated information. I will also be considering all options on how the impact on residents can be lessened in similar circumstances in the future.

On a more pleasing note, our community’s strong vaccination rates have resulted in Covid 19 restrictions being further relaxed, as we continue to move forward out of the pandemic. However, it is still important we follow the basic rules of hand hygiene, wear a mask when we cannot socially distance and stay at home if we have symptoms.

The previous couple of ANZAC Days have been obviously impacted by the pandemic, so this year it was extremely heartening to see so many of our community attend the various ANZAC services across the electorate. This is one of the most important days of the year and it was terrific that we were able to recognize it in a more normal manner this year.