Illawarra Escarpment Mountain Bike Draft Strategy: Public Consultation

A Draft Mountain Bike Strategy for the Illawarra escarpment is open for consultation until 10 December 2018.

Public exhibition of the draft strategy provides an opportunity for the community to have a say in relation to a draft Illawarra Escarpment Mountain Bike Strategy prepared by Office Environment and Heritage (OEH) and Wollongong City Council.

The draft strategy is a Government response to the need for better management of mountain bike use of the escarpment. Mountain biking occurs on the escarpment both legally and illegally. The demands and impacts of mountain bike use on the escarpment are increasing. Many trails provide a good riding experience, but their condition and sustainability vary greatly. The adverse safety, environmental and cultural impacts of illegal use and ad-hoc trail development need to be addressed to ensure the activity is sustainable into the future.

The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and Wollongong City Council developed the draft strategy from a mountain bike concept plan developed by Dirt Art, a company who specialises in mountain bike trail design. Environmental data, field investigations, a preliminary cultural heritage assessment and information from mountain bike riders and other stakeholders was used. A Mountain Bike Working Group that consists of state government agencies, tourism bodies, mountain biking groups and land managers have also had input into the draft strategy.

The draft strategy proposes a sustainable network of mountain bike trails on the Illawarra escarpment and provides a basis for engagement with Aboriginal people and the broader community about the proposal.

The primary emphasis of the strategy is safe sustainable recreation for a broad range of riders. It identifies a total potential mountain bike trail network of 82 kilometres on the escarpment. Trails have been prioritised for implementation in 3 stages, with up to 37 kilometres proposed for short-term construction.

The network trails will allow separation of mountain bike riders from bushwalkers. In the few places where trails cross public roads or walking tracks, speed reducing devices will be included in the design.

Public feedback will inform the preparation of a final Illawarra Escarpment Mountain Bike Strategy.

How can I get more information about the proposal?

There will be an opportunity to provide comments and ask questions at our community stand at Mount Keira Summit Park on 24 November between 10-12pm.

Hard copies are available for viewing at the following locations:

  • Corrimal Public Library, 15 Short St, Corrimal
  • Dapto Public Library, 111 Princes Highway, Dapto
  • Thirroul Public Library, 352-358 Lawrence Hargrave Drive, Thirroul
  • Wollongong Public Library, 41 Burelli Street, Wollongong

For further information on the draft Strategy please contact the NPWS by phone on 02 4224 4188 or email at npws.illawarrahighlands@environment.nsw.gov.au

What happens next?

At the end of the public exhibition period, NPWS and Wollongong City Council will comprehensively review all public feedback and prepare a submissions report that will be available to the public. The feedback will inform a final Strategy, which will then be adopted by OEH and council.

Implementation is subject to adoption of the draft Strategy, environmental assessments and approvals under NSW legislation and availability of funding and management resources.

A comprehensive Review of Environmental Factors and heritage assessment will be undertaken before any works commence on the mountain bike trails. These studies will identify any potential environmental and or cultural impacts and the measures required to protect these values.

All existing illegally constructed trails that are not required, or not suitable, for the track network in the Strategy will be closed and rehabilitated.

How can I comment on the Draft Strategy?

The draft Strategy will be on public exhibition from the 30 October for 42 days. The closing date for comments is Monday 10 December 2018.

Anyone may provide a submission on this draft strategy. Submissions should be in writing and be as detailed and specific as possible, however, any comments are welcome.

Your submission will be most effective if we understand your concerns and the management outcomes you want. Some suggestions to help you write your submission are:

  • Be clear and specific about your concerns and suggestions.
  • Please tell us whether you support or don't support parts of the strategy.
  • Give reasons for your comments – this makes it easier for us to consider and respond to your feedback.
  • Suggest solutions or alternatives to management of the issue if you can.

Your privacy

Your comments on the Review of Environmental Factors may include 'personal information'. OEH complies with the NSW Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 which regulates the collection, storage, quality, use and disclosure of personal information. For details see OEH and your privacy. The inclusion of personal information with your submission is voluntary but information that in some way identifies you may be gathered when you use our website or send us an email.

A summary of submissions and the content of individual submissions may be shown to the proponent in cases where it may assist in determining the Review of Environmental Factors. A summary of issues raised in public submissions may also be made publicly available during and after a determination has been made. If you wish your identity and personal information in your submission to be treated as confidential you must request your name be treated as confidential, and not include any of your personal information in the main text of the submission or attachments so that it can be easily removed.

If an application to access information under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 requests access to your submission, your views about the release will be sought if you have indicated that you object to your submission being made public.

Have your say

Public exhibition is from 30 October 2018 to 10 December 2018.

You can provide your written submission in any of the following ways:

  • Post your written submission to:
    The Manager
    National Parks and Wildlife Service Highlands – Illawarra Area
    PO Box 5436
    Wollongong NSW 2520
  • Email your submission to: npws.illawarrahighlands@environment.nsw.gov.au
  • Make a submission online by using the online form below.