Hard work going to waste on boardwalk

Much has been said about the future of the stairway and boardwalk at Red Cliffs recently.

I would like to enlighten those interested into the history of these two structures.

In the early 1990s, funding was granted to construct these two structures as well as clearing all the rubbish out of the gully.

The basis of the contract was to employ Aboriginal people to provide employment and to enhance their working skills.

I managed the project on behalf of the Department of Conservation, Forests and Lands and sourced employees through the local Aboriginal co-op. 

Anyone familiar with the terrain in this area can only imagine the extreme difficulty working on the cliff side.

The redgum posts supporting the stairway were two to three metres long and the post holes, dug by hand, were one metre deep so the posts could be concreted in.

The concrete was mixed on top of the cliff and lowered down in a barrow by rope. 

This structure no longer exists. I’m led to believe it got infested with white ants.

Maybe parks services were unaware that white ants can be controlled. When this stairway was completed it was a beautiful structure, strong and well made.

The boardwalk is still in existence, but needs extensive repairs and constant maintenance. Similar to the stairway, the posts are concreted into holes one metre deep. 

Some people may believe it is up to council to repair it, but it’s not. 

It is the responsibility of National Parks Service, but my gut feeling is they are not the least bit interested in it.

I visited the site last Tuesday and I must say I was disappointed at what I saw, knowing the hard and heavy work that went into the project.

The efforts put in by the Aboriginal workers was outstanding.

Neil Watkins,

Project manager

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