Waverley Council is inviting the community to provide feedback on its development application (DA) to upgrade the Clifftop Walkway at Eastern Reserve, Dover Heights and Diamond Bay Reserve. This includes the access to the popular Eastern Suburb’s climbing areas of Rosa Gully, Diamond Bay and Bow Wall. Submissions close this coming Tuesday the 19th October – we need YOUR help to secure climbers access rights into the future.
Among the works proposed in the DA is the creation of four new viewing platforms and the relocation of the existing Diamond Bay viewing platform to “capture coastline views in a safer location”. They also propose replacement of boardwalks and fencing along much of the coastline in this area. Current access to Diamond Bay involves climbing the fence pictured below.
Why does this matter to climbers? Access to climbing areas in this area involves negotiating fences, informal tracks and ignoring signage that appears to state access is not permitted on the cliff side of the fence. There has been continued access issues in recent years, often involving the police or Waverly Council rangers telling climbers they should not be on the far side of the fence. This is despite Council agreeing informally in recent meetings with ACANSW that climbing is a valid recreational activity in this area. A 2002 document detailing some of the past issues with Council and rock-climbing can be found here.
What are we asking for? ACANSW wants Waverly Council to factor in the access of climbers to these cliffs into any proposed changes to fencing and signage.
We ask climbers to make a submission about the proposed Diamond Bay development application by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and quoting DA-378/2021.
Key points to make in YOUR submission could be:
I’ve been climbing on the Waverely sea cliffs since…..
This area is an important and popular climbing destination and popular alternative to traveling to the Blue Mountains.
Modern climbing techniques and equipment make climbing a safe activity.
I’m worried about/ have previously been, stopped by rangers or police despite understanding that it was a legal activity.
I’d rather not jump fences and disregard signs to pursue the sport. Could Waverly Council consider climber access points in its construction of the new boardwalk and fence. These might be gates, or signs warning walkers that suitably equipped climbers are only permitted to access the cliff edge.
Waverly Council should discuss specific climber access requirements with the Australian Climbing Association NSW.
Submissions close Tuesday 19 October, 2021.