Archive for the 'News' Category

BMCC loses millions more.

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

In the 19 November 2008 edition, the Gazette reported that council had a number of investments with Grange Securities (part of Lehman Brothers) that had their value reduced.

The auditors at that time wrote down the value of the then $25m investment fund by $4.1m. The report also noted some direct investments in sub-prime mortgage CDOs, which it claimed would be repaid at maturity.

Recent reports in the SMH and Age newspapers show that BMCC losses could be much greater. A table from The Age shows that BMCC had $11.3m invested with Grange, and a 20 April 2009 report in the SMH states councils have been offered only 5.6c in the dollar repayment of their capital.

If this figure is accurate, BMCC faces losses of over $10m, or in excess of $800 per ratepayer.

In November, council suggested that these problem investments would come good, but current reports suggest that council may be forced to accept the 5.6c in the dollar payment, throwing the council budget into disarray for years to come.

Upper Mountains low risk for Employment Vulnerability

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

The SMH reports a study evaluating NSW areas for sensitivity to increasing unemployment.
Wentworth Falls and Leura were rated a low risk, while Katoomba and Blackheath were ranked medium low risk.
Full results are HERE, with local results for Katoomba, Leura, Wentworth Falls and Blackheath.

While Katoomba and Blackheath had unemployment rates slightly higher than the state and national average, the study suggests any increases will be proportionally smaller than high risk areas such a south west Sydney.

Interestingly, it showed residents of the upper mountains are significantly more likely to have post-school qualifications than NSW in general, which contributes to increased overall job security.

Bushfire Benefit Performance

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

This Saturday 7th March at Wentworth Falls School of Arts

Tickets/Enquiries:  0408330388 or 04392928014

Door opens 5.15pm show starts 6pm

Tickets $25 aDULTS




Blue Mountains Bush Fire Preparedness

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

With the terrible bush fires in Victoria fresh in our minds, now is a good time to review plans to cope with the bush fire risk in the upper Blue Mountains.
The BMCC has developed a Local Disaster Plan that covers roles and responsibilities in the case of bushfire or other serious situations. It can be downloaded here:
It rates the risk of fire throughout the mountains as ‘major’, the highest level.
This plan also notes the major avenue of communication to the public in the event of a disaster is via the media, with mobile PA systems on emergency vehicles and door to door as back-ups.
The second document of help when considering bushfire preparedness is the
This document, provided by the RFS, takes a simple approach to developing either a stay and defend, or evacuate early plan.

Katoomba suffering high mortgage failures

Thursday, November 27th, 2008

Ratings agency Fitch reported yesterday that Katoomba experienced the fourth highest rate of mortgage delinquancy in its latest review of the state of loan solvency.

While still at historically low levels, the high ranking is a concern for mountains residents as it points to a potentially growing number of locals struggling to make ends meet.

Local scoops Premier’s History Award

Friday, October 31st, 2008

Sacred Waters: The Story of the Blue Mountains Gully Traditional Owners has won a 2008 Premiers’ History award. The book was written by local resident Dianne Johnson in collaboration with the residents of the Gully and their descendants. It chronicles the experiences of local indigenous people following the flooding of traditional lands to form Warragamba Dam, and the impact of white Australia on traditional indigenous culture through a local view. The $15,000 award recognises outstanding achievement in the Community and Regional History category.

KAtoomba Maternity closure forces birth by side of road.

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

The media is reporting the lack of an anaesthetist should a woman in advanced labour require surgery prompted Katoomba maternity staff to insist the woman be transferred to Nepean.

Apparently, her contractions were only a minute apart when the call to make the hour long transfer was made. The baby was born near Glenbrook, and fortunately both mother and baby are healthy.

It seems that the government has decided this is a reasonable outcome, as it still has not adequately staffed the Katoomba maternity ward, despite repeated earlier promises.