Want the Warburton MTB park to go ahead? It’s time to do your bit

The project is at a crucial juncture. Your support can make a real difference.

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As we reported late last year, the proposed Warburton MTB park east of Melbourne is inching ever closer to fruition. Assuming all goes to plan, it will provide 177 km of world-class trails in one of the most beautiful parts of Australia – a true destination for MTBers around Australia (if not beyond).

But there’s still no guarantee it’s going to happen.

The project team recently completed a gargantuan, 3,500-page Environmental Effects Statement (EEC), detailing the environmental and other effects the project might have. Now it’s up to the community to provide their feedback on that document and the project more generally, before the Victorian government makes a call on whether the park can go ahead (and to what extent).

EESs are normally reserved for big infrastructure projects like gas and mining facilities. Community submissions for these projects tend to be almost exclusively negative. With the Warburton MTB park though, there’s a real chance for those community submissions to be overwhelmingly positive.

Which is where you come in. 

The CyclingTips team has already made a submission. If you’re a mountain biker and you want to see the Warburton MTB park go ahead, or if you just think the park is a great idea, we’d encourage you to make a submission of your own (if you haven’t already).

Doing so is easy. Just head to the project’s page on the Engage Victoria website and fill in the details. It can take as little as a couple minutes to have your say, or you can spend much longer.

If you’re looking for some pointers on what to mention in your submission, here are a few things that we’ve noted about the project:

  • This is set to be a world-class facility that is sure to attract people from all over, making this a boon for regional tourism. We’ll certainly be making the trip out to Warburton more often as a result. It’s not hard to imagine a large influx of visitors staying overnight (or for multiple nights) to ensure they experience all the park has to offer. Local businesses are sure to thrive as a result.
  • The proposed trails through the Yarra Ranges National Park are bound to offer some of the most picturesque MTBing anywhere on the planet. This will offer a ride experience that won’t just attract visitors, but will develop a heightened connection with the national park.
  • It’s clear that the project team has done extensive work to ensure that the trail network will have minimal impact on the local environment. 
  • At a time when cycling on the road is feeling more unsafe than ever, having places to ride that are away from traffic, where riders can feel safe and comfortable, is surely a good thing.
  • Having a world-class cycling destination within easy reach of Melbourne will only encourage more people to ride MTB and hopefully, ride bikes more generally. The benefits of a large cycling population are well established, both in terms of community health – physical and mental – traffic congestion, the economy, and more.

Submissions close at 11.59pm on Tuesday January 25. Let’s see if we can help get this wonderful project off the ground.

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