Mike Baird is helping us!
Wednesday, 12 August 2009
Manly MP Mike Baird is today meeting with the Environment Minister Carmel Tebbutt to find a solution that would give mountain bikers access to sustainable tracks but ensure the environment is protected.
“I believe a win-win situation is possible. Our national parks must be protected but they should also be enjoyed,” Mr Baird said.
“I have asked for today’s meeting with the Environment Minister because damage is being done to the local environment as a result of riders having nowhere to go.
“Sustainable mountain biking tracks have been created in the Kosciuszko and Blue Mountains National Parks and it can be done on the Northern Beaches.
“Glenrock near Newcastle is a good example where mountain bikers and rangers have come together in a partnership to create sustainable tracks and they are working together to maintain the tracks on an ongoing basis.
“I know people are concerned about the fragile environment in National Parks and I share those concerns passionately, as do many mountain bikers. That is why there needs to be designated and sustainable trails.
“I will be asking the Minister to commit to undertake formal consultation with key mountain biking groups and National Parks and Wildlife to ensure cooperation instead of a stand-off.
“Simply fencing off trails that have been used unofficially for many years and providing no alternative facilities is not the way to go.
“Equally, it is essential that we put the protection of the environment at the forefront – it needs to be the number one priority.
“What is clear in speaking with many passionate individuals on both sides of this issue is that there is actually a lot of common ground.
“People live on the Northern Beaches because they appreciate our beautiful environment and do not intentionally want to do it harm.
“Pretending mountain bikers don’t exist and failing to provide any facilities will not protect the environment, it may well do the opposite.”