MANAGING OUR ENVIRONMENT Disability access upgrades of St Johns Lookout picnic area are now complete, providing access from four car parking spaces via a sandstone paved pathway to picnic tables, the amenities building and the lookout. A timber ramp, stairs and deck were constructed to provide access to the amenities building and the picnic tables have been adjusted to accommodate varying heights. The lookout area was paved and the railing around the lookout extended and built in a design so as to provide a safer viewing area. As part of a Metropolitan Greenspace Grant, works are continuing at Rumbalara Reserve on the refurbishment of Red Gum walking trail. Old rotting treated pine and hardwood steps, bridges and boardwalks are being replaced with galvanised structures. These structures will require less maintenance and will have a much longer life span than the previous timber structures. The Kincumba Mountain picnic grounds now feature greater disability access after the construction of a sandstone path, enhancing the amenity offered at the reserve. A revised brochure for the combined reserves of Rumbalara and Katandra has been completed and is available in visitorsâ€™ information centres, libraries and the foyer
of Councilâ€™s Mann Street administration building. The brochure features an A3 map highlighting numerous trails throughout the reserves suitable for bush walkers, joggers and mountain bikers, and includes information on the history, geology, wildlife and vegetation within the reserves. Council has commissioned a bushland management plan for a remnant area of Umina Coastal Sandplain Woodland, an endangered ecological community located at Umina. The management plan will also cover the coastal foredune area surrounding Umina Surf Life Saving Club. The bushland management plan will provide guidance to Council in managing these areas through a strategy to reduce the impacts of weeds and to implement protective measures. Council manages in excess of 6,000 hectares of bushland, including Crown Reserves, with approximately 32,000 neighbouring properties along the 580 km bushland interface. Over the last financial year, forty five mechanical firebreaks were established or maintained within extreme to high bushfire risk areas. These hazard reduction activities have provided protection for over 550 reserve neighbours. In addition to the Annual Fuel Management Program, Council has been heavily involved in the review of the Gosford Bush Fire Risk Management Plan. This document broadly identifies areas at risk from bushfire across the entire local government area and is currently being reviewed by the Gosford Bush Fire Management Committee.