Environmental assessment of Illawarra's mountain bike network released

The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is progressing plans for a 50-kilometre mountain biking network in the Illawarra, with the Draft Review of Environmental Factors (REF) now on public exhibition.

Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area-Mount Keira

Kane Weeks from NPWS said the draft REF covers the first stage of the proposed mountain bike network in the Mount Kembla area.

"The draft REF includes environmental, cultural heritage and geotechnical assessments. It identifies the potential impacts of the mountain bike trails and outlines the mitigating measures," said Mr Weeks.

"NPWS supports high quality, sustainable cycling experiences in the Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area and riding is a fantastic way for people of all ages to enjoy the reserve.

"But this needs to be balanced with protecting the unique environmental and cultural values of this dedicated conservation area.

"We have taken the time to get this right. The proposed network outlined in the draft REF caters for different riding levels while also protecting the conservation values and cultural significance of the Escarpment.

Importantly the draft REF also acknowledges that the Illawarra Escarpment, in particular Mount Keira (Djera) and Mount Kembla (Djembla), continue to carry great cultural significance to the Aboriginal community.

The draft Review of Environmental Factors will be on public exhibition for 28 days from 20 June to 18 July 2022.

To view the draft REF and have your say, go to: Illawarra Escarpment Mountain Bike Project

Further information about the proposed network at Balgownie will be provided when the Illawarra Mountain Bike Strategy is finalised. The draft REF for this section of trails will also go on public exhibition later for comment.

The start date for any trail construction is pending approval of the REFs. Trails that do not form part of the final network will be progressively closed and rehabilitated.