the roundtable – 22 jul
council had to consider the issue of the investigation and development
of a mountain bike trail through the Mt Evelyn Aqueduct Reserve. The issue came
with past controversies. The reserve is cared for by the Friends of Mt Evelyn
Aqueduct, they’ve worked for the past 30 years improving the site to the point
the reserve is rated as the third highest in conservation significance amongst
council’s 140 managed bushland reserves.
2011 there was concern about the extent of mountain biking on two unmade,
unmaintained tracks in the reserve, in 2012 the informal trails were closed.
The closures made the local mountain bikers very unhappy.
Last night council had to weigh up the best option and heard submissions from
the Yarra Ranges Mountain
Bikers (YRMTB) and the Friends
of Mt Evelyn Aqueduct and MEEPPA.
had first come to council at our June 24 meeting, however council resolved to
defer the item as the parties involved didn’t receive formal notification and
we wanted to encourage further discussions between all the parties to see if
the issue of the best trail option could be agreed on.
terrific to hear President of the YRMTB,
Damien Auton, say on multiple occasions
that the mountain bikers supported ‘option 5’, the option which has the least
environmental damage. Mr Auton received multiple questions from Cr Child on
this change of view from the YRMTB, Mr Auton maintained at all times that “we
support option 5 – our preferred option is option 5 – yes the definitive answer
is option 5”. In addressing council Mr Auton talked about the group’s support
for the development of sustainable mountain bike trails and best practice in
of Mt Evelyn Aqueduct and MEEPPA were also clear supporters of ‘option 5’ as it
recognised the very high conservation values of the reserve. The records in
relation to this reserve indicate that nearby there are 26 threatened flora
species and 25 threatened fauna species. The most striking and well known of
these, the powerful
impossible to maintain environmental values and mountain bike trails but it
does require careful planning and good trail design and construction processes.
looks to provide a single track mountain bike rail alongside the existing Mt
Evelyn Aqueduct Trail. The existing trail generally meets the required 2.5m to
3m width for a shared use and this provides scope to reconfigure the main train
to provide a single track mountain bike trail and a pedestrian/shared use
It’s a rare occasion that council considers an option that everyone is happy
with, and it’s great to be part of a win win solution. I’m also really pleased
that all parties came together heard the issues from both sides which
eventuated in a shared agreement on what’s the preferred option.
voting for the motion:
Cox, Cliff, Avery, McAllister and McCarthy
voting against the motion:
Callanan and Witlox.
Labels: cr samantha dunn, mountain bike trail, mt evelyn, yarra ranges council