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Coastal Walk Repairs Remain Incomplete

By Madeleine Gray on October 6, 2016 in News

Photo:  Cliff Richard

Photo: Cliff Richard

It’s not overly hyperbolic to say that the Bondi to Bronte walk is one of the most iconic stretches of coastline in the world. The walk is touted on Tourism Australia’s website as a hub of “all-natural glamour along the cliff-tops”. It is unlikely that you will meet a tourist who has not gotten sunburnt traversing the celebrated trail.

However, as The Beast reported back in July (Counting the Cost of the Sydney Super Storm Clean-Up, The Beast, July 2016), major strips of the coastal walk were decimated by the swells associated with June’s so-called super storm. One of these strips is situated at the walk’s start, below Hunter Park, just along from Icebergs.

You know the spot: its view is the pièce de résistance for keen Instagrammers everywhere, giving the savvy photographer a gorgeous vista of Bondi Beach, all the way round to Ben Buckler Point. If you’re a keen runner, you’ll probably recognise the strip as the part of the coastal walk home to the steepest set of stairs in Sydney.

Crucially, this part of the walk is also a fundamental section of the annual Sculpture by the Sea exhibition. The rocks in this little enclave have been used in the past as bases for incredible site-specific installations, and the benches on this strip have been a welcome respite for tired feet.

During the June storm, boulders tumbled down the rock face, benches were left teetering on the water’s edge, and slices of the walking track simply slid into the ocean. And, problematically, the damage is yet to be repaired.

On July 8, a spokesperson for Waverley Council confirmed that Council had approved funding for “Coastal Walk below Hunter Park restoration ($250, 000)”. However, as of late August, the site was yet to be repaired.

The Beast again contacted Waverley Council, enquiring as to why this was the case, but Council’s response didn’t address the address the pace of repairs.

“The coastal walk in the Waverley LGA was severely impacted by the storms in June at three main locations: Hunter Park, Bronte Beach and Waverley Cemetery,” the Council spokesperson said.

“Waverley Council has already awarded contracts for the repair work to Bronte Beach (and pool) and Hunter Park and work commenced at the beginning of August.”

Council also quashed rumours that the repairs might not be completed in time for Sculpture By the Sea.

“All work is due to be completed well before Sculpture by the Sea in mid-October,” the spokesperson said.

“Council has awarded these contracts to experienced contractors who are used to working in coastal environments and are confident of completing work within the agreed program.”

“We are working to ensure our breathtakingly scenic coastal walk is available for use by our residents and tourists as soon as possible.”