Mike Baird's view on the Manly Dam Issue
Local MP Mike Baird has put out a press release on the Manly Dam fiasco, and shows a level of understanding and commonsense sadly lacking in the council.
I'm thankful of all the support Mike has given, and continues to give to mountain bike riders.
Monday 15 February 2009
KEEP MANLY DAM OPEN FOR MOUNTAIN BIKING
Manly MP Mike Baird has appealed to Warringah Council to show some commonsense and manage the risks rather than ban mountain biking at Manly Dam.
“It is disappointing that it seems the fear of incidents rather than any actual incidents have triggered Warringah Council’s ban of mountain biking in Manly Dam,” Mr Baird said.
“Mountain bikers and walkers have enjoyed Manly Dam for many years and I have spoken to the Mayor this morning to urge Council to apply commonsense.
“Pleasingly the Mayor has agreed that reopening Manly Dam for mountain bikes is an urgent priority and he is today putting in plans to achieve this outcome.
“Putting up bars and closing tracks is only going to lead to more risks and environmental damage as riders try to find other tracks.”
Mr Baird said his office has been flooded with emails from mountain bikers dismayed at the Council’s ban announced late on Friday afternoon without consultation.
“As someone said to me, mountain biking seems to be the only recreation where the majority must give way to the few.
“If there is a legitimate concern about safety – that is based on facts not fear of litigation – then put practical measures in place.
“In this regard Warringah Council should discuss with National Parks and Wildlife how the safety risks are managed in other mountain bike trails such as Kosciusko.
“It is clear that these risks have been managed before in this State and the question is why Warringah Council didn’t pursue these avenues before they decided to close the gates.
“For many years mountain bikers and walkers have managed to share the Dam and together manage the risk that comes with any physical activity.
“Rather than reducing opportunities for people to ride, Council should be constructively trying to increase opportunities for mountain biking on the Northern Beaches.
“From a state point of view we know the National Parks and Wildlife are currently working on their strategy to boost mountain biking on sustainable tracks across NSW.
“This strategy is being directed by consultation that occurred late last year with local riders and environmentalists following our meeting with the Environment Minister.
“Mountain biking on sustainable tracks is a legitimate recreation that should be encouraged and I will be working with Council to get this ban reversed.”
MEDIA: Lisa Harrington – 0406 726 880