'Low chance' of ash dam failure means Wangi Rd stays open

12th April 2019

Questions about the safety of the road arose after the NSW Office of Sport closed the centre late last month on advice of Eraring power station owner Origin Energy, which had identified risks with the ash dam in the event of a major earthquake.

The Newcastle Herald revealed in the days after the closure that Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) had not had any dialogue with Origin Energy before or immediately after the shut down.

However, the RMS says there is no need to take action given the "low probability" of the "extreme event".

"Roads and Maritime has received a copy of the engineering reports for the ash dam and will review these reports," a spokesman said.

"Wangi Road is an important route on the western side of Lake Macquarie, with more than 11,000 vehicles travelling along the road each day.

"As the risk highlighted by Origin is for an extreme event with low probability, Wangi Road will remain open."

The roads department's view of the threat is in stark contrast to the Office of Sport, which closed the Myuna Bay centre without any warning or consultation with the local member of parliament, council or community.

Geoscience Australia last week rated the likelihood of a magnitude 5.9 earthquake occurring in Lake Macquarie as a one-in-5000 year event. 

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