NSW Increased visitation to National parks: Have your say

thecat

NSWMTB, Central Tableland MBC
Looks like everyone gets a say
http://wiki.nswmtb.asn.au/images/6/69/Tourism_and_National_Parks_in_NSW_Invitation_for_Public_Submissions_Letter_June_08.pdf

"Some rather exciting news that could mean better access to NSW
National Parks may be forthcoming in the future.

The NSW Government's State Plan seeks to increase visitation to our
national parks, and reserves by 20 per cent by 2016. To meet this
target it is vital that we provide high quality and diverse visitor
experiences and promote these special places effectively, while
ensuring the protection of their conservation values.
...

Submissions are invited from interested individuals and
organisations on tourism and national parks. Written submissions are
invited, and should be lodged by close of business Monday 21 July
2008.

The addresses for submission are on the page this was taken from here:

http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/commercial/tourismtaskforce.htm


We need to be realistic but it is our chance to have a say and hopefully get better (responsible and sustainable) MTB access to National Parks.

I'll get a draft letter together shortly and post it up, if others could do the same it would be great.
 
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thecat

NSWMTB, Central Tableland MBC
The Secretary
Task Force on Tourism and National Parks
GPO Box 7050
Sydney 2001

Dear Sir

As a keen park visitor and avid cyclist I read with interest the
recent report into park usage and am pleased a task force has been set
up to help encourage an increase in sustainable tourism use.

A major limit to my visitation, and that of many other cyclists, is
the severely restricted access of cycling on trails with in National
parks.

Cycle tourism is on the rise and has proven to be a real boon in
several overseas situations. There are many models out there that
demonstrate how sustainable management of cycling can increase both
visitation and user satisfaction and appreciation of the area. These
includie those found in Forest Wales, The Seven Stanes network
Scotland, Whislter Mountain Bike park Canada and The department of
Conservation New Zealand.

The Cycling Promotion Fund states, "... a record 1.47 million bicycles
sold in 2007... Cycling has become the 4th most popular physical
activity with more than 1.6 million Australian adults cycling in 2006,
an increase of 17% from 2001." Further more, Retail Cycle Traders
Australia statistics show that 1998-2005 70% of all bike
sales were mountain bikes.

However cycling access to parks is severely limited by current DECC
policy which restricts access to fire road and management trails and
banning it from Single Trail (deemed walking trails) unless
specifically approved in a parks Plan of Management.

With a negative emphasis on allowing cycling access to single track
coming from the over riding policy this means park managers are
generally not inclined to break from the normal and grant single track
access in their parks plan.

The vast body of scientific evidence found in studies, both over seas
and from Australia points to the fact that there is little difference
in the environmental impacts of cycling and walking so I can see no
reason why appropriate single trails could not be openned up to
cycling within National Parks.

Few bush walkers would enjoy strolling along a straight fire trail, so
too mountain bikers.

Falling into a similar demographic as other nature based
recreationalists including walkers, the average mountain biker is
looking for a nature escape where the joy journey is far more
important than the destination and a flowing single trail in beautiful
surrounds is their holy grail.

I truly believe opening up appropriate single trails to sustainable
recreational cycling would be a big step in the right direction for
increasing tourist visitation and increase park use.

Yours Sincerely
 

thecat

NSWMTB, Central Tableland MBC
Our inside sources tells us that there has only been 10 submissions to date.
5 of these by mountain bikers.

Get typing peope we have a real chance to make a difference here
 

Derka Derka

Likes Dirt
Done

Dear Sir

I have for many years enjoyed using our national parks. As such I am very interested to see the report into park usage and I think that it is fantastic that a task force has been set up to help encourage an increase in sustainable tourism use. This is great as I am a firm believer that the more positive/constructive use & exposure the parks can get, the stronger the preservation for future generations.

I have recently visited areas in New Zealand in which recreational activities such as cycling have been used to encourage young people to get out and enjoy the environment in a very positive constructive way. Infact I was amazed to see work going on by cyclists to regenerate areas of natural bush to enhance the environmental area in which they rode. In particular the local cycle club was planting conservation department provided shrubs to encourage an increase in the native Wood Pigeon population. This of course was not only good for the environment but also good because it gave the people involved a real sense of conservation in action.

As a keen environmentally concerned citizen I would like to encourage serious consideration be placed on groups such as cyclists that can be encouraged to use our national parks in a constructive way.

I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the above ideas,

Yours Sincerely

Derka Derka
 
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Dumbellina

Likes Dirt
Its been extended until end of August, so keep the submission writing happening.

Here is some bits and pieces from Mountain Biking Australia articles, and my paper on the legal challenges to accessing recreational space for MTB. Use it in your submissions

Dumbellina said:
National Parks
The National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 says that NPWS has the objective of managing national parks to conserve their natural and cultural heritage. Conservation must be balanced with other park management objectives, including regulating legitimate recreation (including MTB). NPWS is obliged to manage national parks for conservation and recreation purposes. National parks are created to conserve the area’s natural and cultural heritage and to provide opportunities for people to enjoy the parks and their heritage values through recreation.
Regulating MTB in national parks has advantages and creates opportunities for the sport. The primary advantage is that the sport is given legitimacy by the NPWS and by other stakeholders, such as environmentalists. Legitimacy is the express unambiguous recognition that MTB is allowed within national parks (subject to certain limitations) and leads to the right to participate in managing MTB in national parks and the opportunity and resources to build and maintain good trails. By contributing resources and creating opportunities, NPWS can exercise control over MTB and promote compliance amongst riders. Involvement of MTB riders in regulation means that issues such as biodiversity, erosion and public safety can be dealt with rationally and inclusively. Furthermore, once the regulation is written down in a plan of management everyone knows their rights and obligations, protecting riders from arbitrary trail closures. The need for regulation still depends on whether these benefits outweigh the costs.
The costs of regulating MTB are already apparent in most national parks. Regulation causes stagnation because trail access and design cannot evolve with the sport. Freeriding and downhilling are prohibited in most national parks because of environmental and public safety concerns. Furthermore, the number and diversity of open trails is greatly reduced to accommodate environmental and public safety constraints. This has the effect of forcing other forms of MTB into other public spaces or onto private land. The small areas of accessible public recreational space are already under heavy competition from other users (such as motorbikes). Regulation drives unauthorised trail construction further underground, leading to more dangerous trails and trail-builders having an improper sense of ownership. The costs therefore are a reduction in the scope of riding opportunities, movement of non-XC MTB into other areas, and more clandestine trails. If the NPWS are willing, these costs can be offset by allowing some MTB in national parks on good quality and interesting trails.
The big stick in the spokes of regulating MTB in national parks is the lack of clear policy from NPWS’ Head Office. Regulation depends on the attitude of the individual park manager, who has discretion to prohibit MTB or leave it unregulated. NPWS’ policy also has interpretation problems: is it a ‘track’ which is supposed to be closed to MTB or is it a ‘trail’ which is supposed to be open to MTB? These dangerously loose terms means that trails used by 4WDs can be called a “track” and closed to MTB. Assuming that the local NPWS office takes a reasonable view on regulating MTB, what form should the regulation take?
Regulation is the control exercised by an authority (NPWS) over a class of persons doing a particular activity (MTB riders). Regulation varies from prohibition to ‘no regulation’ and in between permits and licences. Prohibition means the activity can never be lawfully undertaken and ‘no regulation’ means the activity can be done anywhere at any time by any person. Permits allow the activity to only occur on a specific occasion in the specified manner with written permission from the authority. Permits are difficult to administer but allow for greater control of the activity. A licence is an open-ended approval for a particular activity in a particular area, subject to conditions. Licences are easier to administer but more difficult to enforce and less control can be exerted over the activity. The form of regulation can be varied according to circumstance: the nature of the activity being regulated, the effect of non-compliance, the likelihood of compliance with the regulation, and the enforcement costs. Accepting that MTB in national parks should be regulated, it is now a matter of determining the most appropriate and efficient way of regulating mountain biking in national parks.

Environmental constraints
Enjoying natural space on a bike is the heart and soul of MTB, but like all recreational activities MTB can impact those natural spaces. These impacts can be managed through regulation. Without regulation new trails have a tendency to be created and ‘chicken’ lines appear around obstacles. Generally, there are three kinds of impacts attributed to MTB: biodiversity, erosion and public safety. The creation and use of trails is said to impact biodiversity through habitat fragmentation, however, most MTB trails are pre-existing, narrow and low impact. Similarly, erosion is related to the soil type, slope, trail design, level of use, climate and vegetation, not only the type of use. Public safety is about walker-bike collisions and risks to MTB riders. Non-compliance could result in impacts being spread over a greater area, or impacts occurring in areas with the greatest susceptibility, or where they are less able to be appropriately managed. Non-compliance means the NPWS has not fulfilled their legislative objectives of balancing conservation with sustainable recreation.
Environmental impacts directly attributable to mountain biking are limited to erosion of trails, damage to vegetation and natural features by off-trail riding, and spread of invasive weeds and plant diseases.[1] Indirect impacts are those associated with human presence in a natural setting – pressure on camping grounds, water supplies, waste facilities, and damage caused by trampling and vandalism of natural and cultural features.[2] In order to distinguish between recreational activities for the purpose of prohibiting or regulating access to natural areas for that activity only directly attributable impacts are relevant.
The need to consider the environmental impact of an activity is prescribed by the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (‘EPAA’). ‘Environment’ is defined in the EPAA as including “all aspects of the surroundings of humans, whether affecting any human as an individual or in his or her social groupings”.[3] Components of the ‘natural environment’ are: land, air and water, any layer of the atmosphere, any organic or inorganic matter and any living organism, and … includes interacting natural ecosystems that include [these] components.[4] Trail construction on public land could be a land use activity under Part 5 EPAA.[5]
An environmental impact assessment under Part 5 means that a public authority in considering [whether to permit or undertake] an activity shall examine and take into account to the fullest extent possible all matters affecting or likely to affect the environment by reason of that activity, in particular conservation reserves, flora and fauna protected under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 (‘NPWA’), wilderness areas declared under the Wilderness Act 1987 and threatened species and habitats under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (‘TSC Act’).[6] If the activity is likely to significantly affect the environment (including threatened species and habitats) the public authority is required to provide an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and obtain consents under the Wilderness and Threatened Species Acts.[7] Trail construction is likely to affect the natural environment warranting consideration of environmental impacts, though the affect is unlikely to be significant, no EIS is needed.
An activity that is likely to affect the environment, could also cause ‘harm to the environment’ in the sense of pollution, that is “[to cause] any direct or indirect alteration of the environment that has the effect of degrading the environment”.[8] The physical alteration (erosion) could constitute harm to the environment warranting pollution control measures.
National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974
Nature conservation, including habitat and ecosystems, biodiversity, landforms, landscapes and natural features (including wilderness); and managing; and conserving lands, places and objects of social, historical and cultural significance; and applying the principles of Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD), are the objects of the NPWA.[9] In exercising its functions, including providing facilities and opportunities for sustainable visitor use and enjoyment on conservation reserves,[10] the NPS must abide by these objects and “the public interest in the protection of the values for which land is reserved … and the appropriate management of those lands.”[11]
Each type of conservation reserve is to be managed according to a stated set of principles. For a national park, for example, these principles are “… to identify, protect and conserve areas containing outstanding or representative ecosystems, natural or cultural features or landscapes or phenomena that provide opportunities for public appreciation and inspiration and sustainable visitor use and enjoyment”.[12] A plan of management must be prepared for each conservation reserve, as soon as practicable after reservation,[13] and the plan must consider, amongst other things, the relevant management principles; the conservation objectives; the need for sustainable visitor facilities; appropriate and ecologically sustainable use of the reserve lands; and the reserve’s social, economic and cultural values.[14]

ESD requires integration of environmental considerations in land management decision-making, including: (a) the precautionary principle (lack of scientific certainty should not be used to postpone preventative measures against serious or irreversible environmental damage); (b) inter-generational equity (the present generation should maintain or enhance environmental health for the benefit of future generations) (c) conservation of biodiversity and ecological integrity; and (d) users of natural environments should pay the full cost of environmental damage and market mechanisms used to discourage environment damage.[15] ESD principles are not determinative instead they guide decision-making so that environmental impacts and mitigation measures are properly accounted for.

ESD principles could be easily applied to a decision to construct of a new trail through a natural area. Say a particular soil type is highly erosion-prone on steep slopes after rain, the location and direction of the trail and volume of use could do serious or irreversible damage to the natural environment (without a rigorous scientific study concluding as much). This would mean that future generations would inherit a spoiled landscape, with deep erosion ruts and an ever-widening trail causing vegetation damage and greater erosion as users tried to avoid the ruts. The vegetation damage and erosion affects the integrity of the local ecosystem and biodiversity. The costs of avoiding environmental damage (for example constructing timber boardwalks) should be borne by the user, either through park entry fees or in-kind support (for example, labour and materials from local clubs). ESD is not a justification for exclusion at the first hurdle, rather a set of considerations through which practical and environmentally sustainable decisions can be made.

Bicycles fall within the NPWA definition of a vehicle, “an apparatus propelled, or directed or controlled, upon land, snow or ice by human …power”.[16] Vehicles are only permitted to leave the road entering into or traversing the national park with NPS consent.[17] While ‘road’ is not defined, it is safe to presume trails are excluded. Mountain bikes have no absolute right of access to conservation reserves, except on roads.

The National Parks and Wildlife Regulation 2002, furthermore, prohibits organised sporting competitions (for example club mountain bike races) and any person from engaging in any activity or recreational pursuit that involves risking personal safety or the safety of others or damaging the environment.[18] Mountain biking is not one of the listed prohibited activities or recreation pursuits.[19] The prohibition does not apply in the case of NPS consent, approval under a plan of management, or a notice permitting the activity.[20] A notice prohibiting an activity within all or part of the park overrides a plan of management approving that activity.[21] Mountain bike access is entirely discretionary – either through NPS consent, a plan of management, or a notice allowing (and not prohibiting) the activity.

Other environment protection laws

Water catchment areas are a unique form of conservation reserve, governed by its own legislative regimes with the over-riding objective of protecting the quality of metropolitan water supply.[22] Exclusion of access to the most sensitive areas is absolute[23] and in other sensitive areas access is strictly controlled. A ‘cycle’ is defined as a vehicle[24] and riding vehicles in sensitive areas is prohibited without the Sydney Catchment Authority’s consent.[25]

The Wilderness Act 1987 concerns the identification, declaration and management of wilderness areas. A wilderness area is: an area of land and its ecosystems that have not been substantially modified by humans and human activities or could be restored to its unmodified state; is sufficiently large, and is capable of providing opportunities for solitude and appropriate self-reliant recreation.[26] Once declared, a wilderness area is to be managed to protect (or restore) its unmodified state, to allow the area to continue evolving without human interference, and permit opportunities for solitude and appropriate self-reliant recreation.[27] As a matter of policy that NPS says “cycling within declared wilderness areas is generally not allowed but may be permitted on specified management (vehicle) trails only…consistent with any plan of management [or NPS approval]”.[28] In the case of the Kosciusko National Park, the policy shifted from cycling being permitted on all maintenance trails within the wilderness area, to permitting cycling on a seasonal basis along four management trails only[29] (a 92% reduction in recreation space[30]).

Threatened species are also touted as legitimate reasons for closures and restricted access. The TSC Act protects plants, animals and other life-forms, their groupings and habitats which are threatened with, or are vulnerable to, extinction or are endangered.[31] The protective mechanism is the listing of threatened species and key threatening processes by a Scientific Committee, and preparing recovery and threat abatement plans. Its real power is its integration with land use and conservation planning, by way of a species impact statement for development proposals and concurrent consent from the Minister for the Environment.[32] According to the NPS, if a trail transverses an area where threatened or endangered species have been recorded or is likely to have a significant detrimental impact on threatened species, it could amount to an offence of knowingly destroying threatened species habitat (under s 118D NPWA).[33] Prosecuting habitat destruction for trail construction would be difficult as it is neither listed as a key threatening process, nor included in the listing of any threatened species.[34] Like the wilderness laws, a land manager citing threatened species laws as a reason to close or regulate mountain biking is exercising their discretion rather enforcing a strict legal obligation.

Environmental law might appear justify a particular decision to regulate mountain bike access, but the decision remains at the land manager’s discretion. Another legal consideration that plays heavily on the decision-making process is the perceived safety hazards associated with mountain biking and the liability for injury or loss.


[references are available on request]
 

Dumbellina

Likes Dirt
I had to cut it into two parts - environmental constraints and civil liability. The law was right at the time of writing (about three years ago) and I haven't kept track of case law since. The principles in the Act remain the same.

dumbellina said:
Civil liability

Participants and land managers can be held liable in negligence for injuries and loss caused by materialisation of risks associated with recreational activities, like cycling. Overall, cycling is not a dangerous recreational pursuit. In 2003, cycling was the fourth most popular recreational activity attracting over 1.4 million adult participants, over 1 million bikes were sold, and only 26 people died nationally from cycling.[35] Despite its popularity in 2000-2001 of all road users, cyclists composed only 2% of fatalities and 11% of serious injuries.[36] So the safety concerns associated with mountain biking must be mostly those attributable to the unique risks of the sport.

Common law negligence

The duty of care owed by a public authority to a recreational participant (a water-skier) was held in Wyong Shire Council v Shirt[37] to be that if a risk of injury was reasonably foreseeable and not far-fetched or remote, then the public authority was under a duty to remove or neutralise that risk or bring the risk sufficiently to the participant’s attention. Relevant considerations in finding breach of duty of care are the magnitude of the risk, the probability of its occurrence, the seriousness of the injury, what is necessary to guard against it, and the resources available to the public authority.[38]

Nagle v Rottnest Island Authority[39] held that a public authority who encouraged people to engage in a particular recreational activity (swimming at a remote beach) came under a duty to take reasonable care to avoid injury by warning of foreseeable risks associated with that activity. This requirement for encouragement was reinforced in Wilmot v State of South Australia[40] where no duty was owed to a trail bike rider by a public land manager because there had been no invitation or encouragement for the rider to access the land.

If a risk is obvious, such as falling off a cliff, a public authority is not required to take whatever means to prevent injury to those who choose to ignore obvious risks, even though a duty of care exists.[41] Just prior to the negligence law reforms, the High Court in Woods v Multi-sports Holdings Pty Ltd[42] was divided on application of tort law to sports, the obviousness of risks in sporting activities, and by a slim majority held that sporting venue does not have to provide safety equipment nor provide warnings for risks that are not obvious.

In the context of mountain biking, a land manager who has signposted trails and accepting that the sport’s risks are neither far fetched nor remote and can be obvious, the land manager can either take steps to remove the risks or warn users.

Statutory personal responsibility

In 2002, a ‘public liability crisis’ was said to have been caused by massive increases in insurance premiums and a perception of judicial willingness to award substantial damages in negligence suits.[43] The Civil Liability Amendment (Personal Responsibility) Act 2002 (NSW)[44] was launched as an opportunity to wind back “the Americanisation of our legal system… [and its] culture of blame” and make “participants in a recreational activity … assume responsibility for an injury received and waive the implied contractual requirement that [recreation] services be provided with due care and skill”.[45]

A person injured from materialisation of an obvious risk from engagement in a dangerous recreational activity cannot claim damages in negligence.[46] Recreational activity is defined very broadly to include any sport, any pursuit or activity engaged in for enjoyment, relaxation or leisure, and any pursuit or activity engaged in at a place (such as a beach, park or other public open space) where people ordinarily engage in sport or in any pursuit or activity for enjoyment, relaxation or leisure.[47] A dangerous recreational activity involves a significant risk of harm.[48] Mountain bike riding is a dangerous recreational activity because it is a sport, pursuit or activity engaged in for enjoyment, relaxation or leisure (usually in parks or public open space) that involves significant risk of harm – physical injuries and economic loss to the rider and others.

An obvious risk is one that would have been obvious to a reasonable person in the position of the injured, or risks that are patent or common knowledge, or even if the risk has a low probability of occurring, or is not prominent, conspicuous or physically observable.[49] The statutory definition is a slight departure from the common law position, which conditioned the objective test on the reasonable person “exercising ordinary perception, intelligence and judgment”.[50] A person injured by an obvious risk is presumed to be aware of the risk, even if not its precise details,[51] and there is not positive obligation to warn of obvious risks.[52] A duty to warn of obvious risks arises if advice is sought about the risk, or the law requires a warning.[53] Similarly, a person injured from materialisation of an inherent risk, which is a risk that cannot be avoided by exercise of reasonable care and skill, cannot claim damages, though there is duty to warn of inherent risks.[54] For all recreational activities, an oral or written risk warning (a sign) means that a person injured has no claim unless their was an existing legal duty or prior representation contradicting the risk warning.[55] The injured person is presumed to have comprehended the risks, even if the warning was general.[56] Further, a recreational service provider can contract out of its obligations to provide those services with reasonable care and skill, except if they breach other laws.[57] In summary, sports which have obvious risks there is no duty to warn and no claim in negligence; sports with unavoidable inherent risks have a duty to warn and no claim in negligence; for all sports a risk warning or contractual waiver can be an exemption from legal liability.

A mountain biker injured on a trail in a national park, which has signs with risk warnings, stands little chance of succeeding in suing the land manager. Changes to negligence law also provided express protections against liability for public authorities, because they have many functions that are required to be performed with limited financial and other resources, and those resource allocation decisions are not subject to judicial challenge.[58] A person cannot sue a public authority for negligent performance or non-performance of its statutory duties and regulatory functions unless the act or omission was so unreasonable that no authority having the functions of the authority in question could properly consider the act or omission a reasonable exercise of its functions.[59] So a mountain biker cannot sue the public land manager for constructing a bad trail, but they could sue if the authority used piano wire strung between trees to keep bikes off trails.

In the US, the International Mountain Biking Association says liability lawsuits are effecting trail access, as land managers caught up in litigation consider restricting or closing access to new and existing trails.[60] Most US States have Recreational Use Statutes that exempts land managers from liability for accidents on their property except in cases of gross negligence.[61]

The US experience could be a warning for NSW, legislation intended to protect recreational activities against negligence claims may not have the desired effect and land managers may remain open to future claims. In spite of this, public land managers should have few concerns about liability for injuries caused by mountain biking on trails, because of the generous exemptions and minor duties in the Civil Liability Act.

Public land managers, it has been shown, have the discretion not to allow mountain bike access and there is not legal protection of access rights for mountain bikers. Equally, the legal justifications for preventing access appear, on closer scrutiny of environmental law and public liability reasons relied upon, to be only relevant considerations in the exercise of the decision-maker’s discretion. The challenge for mountain bike advocates is to be actively involved in the decision-making process and offering safe, practical and environmentally sustainable alternatives to trail closures, including investing resources in paying for and avoiding the costs of environmental impacts.
[again, references available on request]
 

Attachments

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BUSHPIG

Likes Bikes and Dirt
I think its an excellent idea, if every National park in Australia had Trails for public use i think it would be great, i have a theory though, one trail per style of riding; e.g 1: DH, XC loop, AM trail (maybe 2 side buy side single tracks, for safety reasons, applying for AM only! Signs stating directions enforced should be shown), this is only for "push bikes". Walkers have there own trails, may be shared buy horses? (If they are allowed)(and safe)? Trails are maintained buy local clubs that are supported buy Sport and recreation programs. National parks officers check trails(just as an OH&S officer checks workplaces) to ensure that the trails are being used for there intended purpose and that there is nothing "illegal" situated towards the trails and there maintainers.
 
yay

lol, I'd farkin love if the national parks in NSW actually do open up public trails and whatnot for us riders. It'd be awesome for me cause I've got about 2 national parks under 5 Mins from my house :D
 

Dumbellina

Likes Dirt
Final Report - released today

Dear Sir/Madam
Taskforce on Tourism and National Parks in New South Wales
Final Report

I am writing to advise that the New South Wales Taskforce on Tourism and National Parks report has now been finalised.

The report is available on the Department of Environment and Climate Change and Tourism New South Wales websites at the following web addresses: www.environment.nsw.gov.au and www.tourism.nsw.gov.au. You will also find details of the submissions received by the Taskforce.

Thanks for your interest in this matter

Yours sincerely

Brian Gilligan
Chair
Taskforce on Tourism and National Parks

3 December 2008
 
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Dumbellina

Likes Dirt
Not the win we wanted, ie they didn't say NPs had to cater for MTB.

The report does spell out the rules to be applied in deciding whether to permit MTB, so less arbitrary decision making:
(1) impact on the environment (ie "detrimental impact on the conservation values of the area") and
(2) the legislation governing the use of the area
So this what all future MTB submissions and research efforts on National Park access issues must focus on.

I was not disappointed with the response from the MTB community, far from it. 32 submissions in favour of MTB access, out of the 293 submissions - 16 of which offered to volunteer on trail maintenance (a point repeatedly made in the report) . Remember that 90 odd of those were from "greenies", and many were from formal organisations. That was bigger than any other individual recreational group, and rated repeated mention throughout the report. This is a massive coup that we mobilised sufficient effort to get noticed. Now we are noticed, know what we have to do to get access (instead of the nothingness we have now), and know that its a live issue. Our submissions have been published along with the report, so everyone can read our arguments and see we are reasonable literate people.
 

sammydog

NSWMTB, Hunter MTB Association
Really was disappointing to see that few submissions. Seems to be the proverbial shit load of people willing to bitch and complain about the lack of access opportunities, but when the chance comes along to have a voice and make a difference.......well people just don't care.

This was a big chance and we let it go. Mind you, when the peak body doesn't make a submission, there is also an issue.
 

scratchy

Farkin Activist
Agreed Sammydog.
With a lot of pesting the local riding community a couple of years ago we got close to 400 submission to the council.

And that was for a local council project, not statewide.

Shame, NS Welshman, Fucking Shame.

Hopefully with IMBA OZ kicking off early next year we can turn over a new leaf.

On a side note it's interesting they put each person as a individual document. I'm there!
 

sammydog

NSWMTB, Hunter MTB Association
I like that they have itemised the submissions. Makes things very transparent and I wish that approach was used more often by other agencies.
 

sammydog

NSWMTB, Hunter MTB Association
More I read it, the more good stuff there is in here, but did anyone notice there was close to 30 submissions by SPAM.
 

Dumbellina

Likes Dirt
But I found this gem in the Nature Conservation Council/National Parks Association submission - see they are pro-bike (just not in wilderness areas)

NCC/NPA said:
Many protected areas, especially those close to Sydney, are accessible by public transport and many more can be reached easily on bicycle. Other options could be developed. There is enormous potential to promote ‘parks by public transport’ and ‘parks by bike’ through the website and brochures. Emerging conditions (fuel prices, carbon measures) make this a potential winner.

The world has changed. Holy smoke!
 

Maris

Likes Dirt
This really should have been farkin.net front page material, i only noticed the thread now, it is disappointing that there weren't many submissions but i'd say most people never even knew this happened at all.
 

frdlvr

Likes Dirt
This really should have been farkin.net front page material, i only noticed the thread now, it is disappointing that there weren't many submissions but i'd say most people never even knew this happened at all.
It should have been placed in General MTB Discussion , I do not go in the trail Building area, I was lucky I saw it today.
 
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