Council welcomes State funding for Bowral Station

21 November, 2022Posted in: Delivering, Roads and Assets
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Officially announced at Bowral today, an important collaboration brokered between Wingecarribee Shire Council and Transport for NSW has directed significant State investment into better access and an improved travel experience at Bowral Station, a vital transport hub for the Highlands community, and gateway to the Southern Highlands.

The Member for Wollondilly, Nathaniel Smith, announced Transport for NSW will invest $608,000 for the refresh of the station’s Northern commuter car park.  “This is a great outcome for the Highlands community that provides access to the funding necessary to achieve much needed transformation of essential public infrastructure that was not up to scratch.” Mr Smith said. “This funding is for resurfacing of the old Northern carpark which is a Transport for NSW asset, so brokering a collaborative approach to that project has made the necessary improvements possible.”

For more than 150 years, Bowral Station has linked the Shire to Sydney and Canberra with daily services. The original infrastructure and facilities, from the old carpark to once magnificent heritage camelia gardens, are in drastic need of an upgrade. Council and community groups came together at Bowral station this morning, where it was officially announced that the wheels are in motion on extensive facilities upgrades that will completely transform the quality of the town’s rail travel experience for commuters.

“Receiving this NSW Government funding is the icing on the cake for the extensive Bowral Station Street upgrade project,” said Wingecarribee Shire Council Administrator Viv May. “The project includes stormwater and drainage works at the Southern end, enabling the new 150 space Southern carpark to be created, as well as reconstruction of the Northern carpark which we did not have the funds to complete. Additionally significant works have commenced on the original heritage camelia gardens.”

Mr May said that the investment Wingecarribee Shire Council has made in establishing a close working relationship with Transport for NSW set the foundation for the partnership approach needed for effective delivery of this priority project. “The carpark is a Transport for NSW asset, so a collaborative approach to that component of the project provided this injection of the funding needed. Council will use the road crews we will have on site to also deliver the necessary works on the carpark”

The region’s highly prized Station Street Camelia Gardens have not been overlooked as a key aesthetic component of the station upgrade. Careful pruning, installation of irrigation, and landscaping are being undertaken in advance of any infrastructure works, in close consultation with the Australian Garden History Society. Horticulture and camelia specialists, heritage consultants and drystone wall masons were engaged to ensure the preservation and enhancement of these cherished gardens.

“The Society is delighted with the current WSC upgrades to Station Street. The team have prioritised a quality rejuvenation of the camellia gardens and trachyte terraces together with Transport NSW so that the community will treasure these gardens into the future.” said Ruth Bailey, Chair of The Australian Garden History Society, Southern Highlands Branch. “The heritage camellias planted in the top trachyte terrace over 70 years ago, have been rejuvenated by Bill Parker and his team (from Parker’s Camellias Pty Ltd in Glenorie, NSW), one of the founders of Camellia Ark (Australia), together with Council, taking meticulous care to minimise damage. In several years, this will create a colourful highlight for people coming into the Highlands by train and driving along Station Street.”

Ruth added, “We are also very pleased that the pin oak trees at the entrance to Bowral, have been preserved for future posterity.  They were planted by girl guides and boy scouts as well as selected children from local schools in 1937 as part of the commemoration celebrations for the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, as King and Queen of the United Kingdom and the then Dominions of the British Commonwealth and as the then Emperor and Empress of India.”

Preservation of the trees and camellias celebrates the unique heritage of the Shire, a unique environment within the State of NSW.

Public safety and wellbeing will also be enhanced by pathway improvements.