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Northern Beaches National Parks to pilot Sustainable MTB Access

Rob's picture

By Rob - Posted on 24 September 2009

XC Christine

I'm very pleased... neigh... ecstatic to be able to share this news which broke last night but has been embargoed until now.

With local MP Mike Baird championing the cause of mountain bike riders on the Northern Beaches NPWS have finally realised that working together with riders is the sensible way forward. There's a story in the Manly Daily with brief details here:

Mike's press release here:

Aside from what is stated in the press, these are the outcomes as I was told:

- Northern Beaches has been chosen as a pilot area for the Government to improve mountain biking trails in national parks across the State.
- A full day of consultation will be held in late October with Northern Beaches mountain biking groups and environmentalists. This consultation will focus on statewide issues and then local issues at Garigal.
- NPWS are keen to resolve current tension at Garigal as soon as possible. The Regional Director for the Northern Area has instructed rangers on the ground to adopt a pragmatic approach until the issue is resolved.
- This initial stage of consultation will direct the Government's broader strategy on mountain biking, which will be finalised at the beginning of next year.

This does not mean that riding illegal trails is now OK - far from it. Many people have worked very hard to achieve this outcome and now is the time to show them your support and the opponents of mountain biking that the community is mature and can work well with other parties. The vast majority of riders has shown great patience but we need to hold that thought just a while longer.

This news shows what can be achieved with a positive attitude and the support of the community, and hope we can all look forward to what is to come.

Will be keeping everyone posted when more news is known about the upcoming meeting and progress in general.

PIVOT MACH 5's picture

Absolutely brilliant Smiling

CB's picture

Large pat on the back to all of you who have put in so much time and effort on our behalf.


cambowambo's picture


LadyToast's picture

Common sense. Well done to all those involved for the masses of hard work, I never doubted you for a minute. Looking forward to helping however I can.

GAZZA's picture


daves's picture

news! ...and great work from all who have lobbied so hard so far.

nrthrnben's picture

This is great!
I can see this as being a huge success as there are so many mountain bikers on the northern beaches willing to maintain and help build if need be trails.
Who can we thank?, who was involved behind the scenes?
Big thanks goes out to:
Mark Baird
Who else?

Colt's picture

What else can be said except..... YAY!

Peter R's picture

Now to get the plan happening.

Bikeboy's picture

There is obviously a lot of work being done to get to this point and not wanting to be negative but i hope the boof heads out there who cant or wont play by the rules dont $^&8 it up for the vast majority who do and are willing to get their hands dirty

BT's picture

This is great news! Well done and a champion effort to get us moving forward in such a positive manner.

Goose95's picture

I received this email from Mike Baird's office this morning, well done Mike and co!

Read the Manly Daily's story on the issue here

Media Release
The Northern Beaches has been chosen as a pilot area to improve sustainable mountain biking trails across the State, after Manly MP Mike Baird met with the NSW Environment Minister to discuss the issue last month.

“This is a tremendous win not only for Northern Beaches mountain bikers, but also for local environmentalists who will now be able to take part in consultation that will guide the Government’s state-wide strategy,” Mr Baird said.

“There are two sides to this debate and now both will be heard and both will have significant input into an agreed way forward.

“When we met with the Environment Minister last month we asked for formal consultation to be undertaken with all stakeholders to resolve the stand-off in relation to mountain biking in national parks.

“We’re delighted that consultation has been granted and will take place next month with the Northern Beaches as the focus.

“The aim is to develop sustainable trails on the Northern Beaches and ensure that our national parks are protected.”

Mr Baird said the Environment Minister had expressed concern about the current tensions in Garigal National Park.

“Consultants have been brought on board to assist National Parks in facilitating the consultation next month and they will address the issues at Garigal as a priority.

“We all want the environment protected and at the same time access should be provided in a sustainable way for mountain bikes.

In this we also want to commend National Parks who are going to play a key role in ensuring both these goals are achieved.

“I encourage as many people as possible to engage in the consultation process so we get the best possible mutual outcome.

The date and venue for the consultation will be advised in the near future,” Mr Baird said.

“This is a victory for commonsense – designated and sustainable trails for mountain bikers will mean national parks will be protected, but also enjoyed.”

Alexd's picture

Thanks to those involved who have been contributing their time and effort. You guys are doing great "give back" to our wonderful sport.

DYMTB's picture

That is fantastic news!! Nice work Rob and everyone else behind the scenes. Be sure to let me know when you need an extra set of hands..

edmond's picture

After reading through the brief I started to understand the effort and planning that went into getting us this far. Congratulations to the whole team that made this happen! Keep it up!

nrthrnben's picture

Massive cover story over 2 pages in regards to mountain biking!

Great effort made my nobmob and others in the pro mountain bike section.

Really disappointed of how misinformed or how deceiving the "Greens" where for getting those pictures published. I know the exact spots, they are in Garigal and they are 100% from Motor Bikers coming up that trail in the wet (when nobody is around). Very easy to refute.

If anyone that is reading this has doubts that it was caused by motorbikes, spend a few weekends especially in the wet around the single trails in question and listen for the motorbikers.

All we should do when the greens bring up those pictures is kindly and calmly, show many pictures of manly dam, the most trafficked mountain bike trail in Sydney, and humbly point out that there is no trenches, no massive ruts,no erosion to speak of.
Why is this?

1. Because it is used by only mountain bikers and walkers, not motorbikes.

2. Because it is maintained and designed to be sustainable.

The single trail in the pictures they took is frequented by high powered motorbikes that regularly churn up the trail.

The single trail in the pictures is an informal trail has never been designed sustainably and has never had any maintenance.

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