Image: Helen Castles, Gundagai Independent

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke was in Gundagai yesterday, watching the Scouts climb to ever greater heights.

Ms Cooke met the 1st Gundagai Scouts in Carberry Park where their new $89,000 climbing wall was given a thorough workout – all 8.1 metres of it.

The climbing wall was provided as part of a $1.7m funding package to Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council from the NSW Government’s $200 million Stronger Country Communities Fund.

“This wall is incredible, and I am so glad that I only tackled it once!” Ms Cooke said.

“It’s an impressive sight, and it will provide so much benefit for the Scouts and the community.

“It will be used not only for strength and fitness, it will also provide a practice platform for Scouts working towards their abseiling or climbing badge, plus it will be used as a fundraising tool for community groups,” Ms Cooke added.

Ian Petty, 1st Gundagai Scouts Leader and Regional Commissioner, said the wall will enable several users to climb simultaneously.

“The wall has four climbing paths and we will be able to do speed climbing, which will be an Olympic activity at Tokyo next year,” Mr Petty said.

“It also provides a giant drop, where users will have a harness and helmet so they can descend at a safe but rapid speed.

“The wall folds and is carried on a three-metre trailer, and when we arrive it takes 30 minutes to set up.

“This means we can offer it to the community as a fundraising tool, on top of promoting fitness, activity and the Scouting movement,” Mr Petty added