MOUNTAIN BIKING –
Central Coast Council is looking for community feedback on the contentious subject of mountain biking across the region, with consultation on its Mountain Bike Feasibility Study discussion paper open until March 22.
The issue has attracted heated debate in recent months between avid mountain bike riders and environmentalists who claim the practice can be damaging to bushland.
Council’s Unit Manager Environmental Management, Luke Sulkowski, said with participation in mountain bike riding as both a sport and a recreational activity increasing, it was important to plan ahead in a sustainable way.
“There is currently no strategic framework for managing the rapidly increasing demand for mountain biking across the Central Coast,” Sulkowski said.
“As the demand for the sport increases, Council needs to have a way to balance the requirement of the sport with environmental and heritage protections for our natural areas.
“By identifying the role that Council’s natural reserves may play in the provision of mountain biking experiences across the Central Coast, we will be better able to protect areas of high conservation and heritage value, minimise the building of unauthorised trail construction and maximise the safe use of Council reserves by all visitors.”
Council Administrator, Dick Persson, said it was important for the community to engage in the discussion with respect.
“We recognise there are different views within the community on how to respond to the demand for mountain biking on the Central Coast,” Persson said.
“However, our research shows there are also some areas of agreement – for example 95 per cent of survey respondents supported mountain biking continuing in areas where it is currently allowed.
“Our survey also showed that 87 per cent were concerned about the lack of authorised trails for mountain biking and 75 per cent about the lack of clarity regarding which trails are authorised.
“I strongly encourage all members of our community interested in this topic to review the discussion paper and watch the information video before completing our survey.”
In addition to the discussion paper and information video, community members are invited to submit a question regarding the discussion paper online though Council’s Your Voice Our Coast platform or register to talk to staff at a virtual drop in session.
Media release, Feb 24
Central Coast Council