“The National Parks and Wildlife announcement this week of building mountain bikes tracks will divert limited funds needed for on-ground conservation work to the construction of facilities that damage park values. Bike riders have vast amounts of legal access to thousands of kilometres of park roads, including management trials. The diversion of funds for new mountain bike tracks is a waste. These proposed “thrills and spills” bike tracks won’t stop illegal bike track construction in sensitive bushland areas; only enforcement by park rangers can do that and there’s no funding for it, said Keith Muir, director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
“These new mountain bike riding tracks, along with all the other potentially destructive activities now to be permitted in national parks, including function centres, sporting, recreational and cultural facilities and retail outlets, are a consequence of last years amendment to the National Parks and Wildlife Act,” said Mr Muir.
“The bike track development plans are based on the false assumption that illegal track use will decline with the provision of legal high impact bike tracks. National Parks don’t plan to build downhill tracks and it is these damaging tracks that the mountain bike riders build illegally in our parks. So it seems that the money spent on new bike tracks won’t solve the illegal track problem. Such half-baked plans would not survive public scrutiny if they were subjected to proper review processes,” Mr Muir said.
“Environment Minister Robyn Parker needs to protect national parks, not facilitate commercial development of these precious areas”, said Mr Muir.
For more info contact: Keith Muir, (02) 9261 2400 (wk); 9550 3615 (ah); 0412 791 404 (mob)