Mountain bike enthusiasts who feared being banned from Manning Park have been given hope and a reprieve.
Cockburn City Council voted last week to delay a decision on the future of trails in the park after groups of park users gathered in protest.
The council decided to postpone it to consider the cost and timing of detailed environmental and heritage assessments of the upland area, despite its staff recommending it go ahead and lift the ban. to feed.
There were seven passionate and lengthy deputations at Thursday night’s council meeting from various Manning Park users, including environmental, mountain bike, and running groups and residents.
A resident who commutes to work through the park and claims to use it three to five times a week pleaded with Cockburn councilors to consider options for preserving and improving the trails.
“The calendar information provided today has more positive than negative outcomes for preserving the area’s fully shared use,” he said. “I don’t understand the rationale for the council’s proposal to exclude bicycles from the existing trails in Manning Park.
“Persin Manning Park three to five days a week, winter and summer, over an hour a day. Coincidentally, I travel to work through Manning Park and consider myself lucky to be able to do this.
“Where is the proposal, I wonder, to give the existing paths or paths the maintenance they deserve to improve the experience for all users?”
Margaret McIlroy of WestCycle and the Manning Park Mountain Bike Riding Group suggested that the council instead follow the recommendations of the Community Engagement Group it set up to lead discussions.
“This provides a clear process ofassessment and management processing the eight-stage development process,” said Ms. McIlroy.
“The eight-stage process developed by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation, and Attractions will determine whether or not the development of mountain bike trails in Manning Park is appropriate.”
But others, including Robyn Walsh of a local Friends of Manning Park group, spoke out in favor of the recommendation to ban bicycles from the park and remove all unapproved trails.
Council staff had made the recommendation in a report ahead of Thursday’s meeting, as PerthNow revealed on May 12.
“The Friends of Manning Park welcome this recommendation to exclude mountain bikes from Manning Park,” said Ms. Walsh.
“The city has finally listened and is now boldly and nobly taking a stand for wildlife, ecology, and the conservation of this precious and rare bushland.
“I want to acknowledge the mountain bike community and sympathize with your situation. You’ve been getting mixed messages. Which made you think you would get this resource? Unfortunately, the specific features of Manning Ridge that make it attractive for mountain biking are the areas occupied by the highest natural values.”
Councilor Michael Separovich wondered if authorities had caused more damage to Manning Park than mountain bikers.
“Let me clarify, so the only sanctioned trail in all of Manning Park is the park that runs around the lake, meaning all courses in the highlands are technically unapproved trained Cr Setrainedch.
“Wouldn’t this mean that, as far as the amount of land cleared, the City of Cockburn is responsible for the largest clearance for unapproved trails in Manning Park?”
The head of Cockburn’s natural and built environment, Daniel Arndt, said the eviction being done by the city was primarily for fire prevention and was not intended to “build the trails to turn them into paths.” “.
The council will now wait several months while it assesses the cost and timing of further studies, the preparation of a detailed management plan for the high-altitude park area, and a structured trail development process.
A decision is expected in September.
When a management plan for the park is completed due to a future council decision, the city will form another community advisory group to guide and inform the strategy and future management of Manning Park.