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NSW Tourism promoting MTB ?

arghvee's picture

By arghvee - Posted on 24 May 2010

NSW tourism holding MTB as a reason to visit? Very much at odds with the infrastructure, regulations and support. I was so surprised to see this full page ad in the SMH - its not as if we are Rotorua. I've sent this to Mr Sartor et al , and included the premier encouraging acceleration of their support.

Perhaps some more letter/email writing at this time could help, esp since Aussies are doing so well around the world, it gives some momentum for change.

hairylittlehobbit's picture

I noticed the same article and said the exact same thing to the people i was with.

Rob's picture

Yes, I find it incredibly odd too, that there are limited MTB facilities in the state, but Tourism NSW markets itself like this.

I wrote to them to ask about the ad, they said,

The bike track in our advertising campaign is the Alpine Way, Thredbo, Snowy Mountains.

Funny thing is, MTB isn't on their list of Adventure stuff and only the Barrington Outdoor Adventure Centre, listed in Natural Attractions, shows people riding bikes.

I guess we should be thankful that at least they are trying. Clearly the marketing gurus have established that this is the sort of thing average Joe wants to do (ride a bike on some cool trail with his missus) so that's got to say something.

darkmuncan's picture

Ive seen this Print Ad on bus shelters too, including STAND F @ Wynyard.

I was amused to say the least.

Looking at the models/bikes and where they are riding it looks to me to not be targetting MTB'rs at all but to somehow promote NSW as an outdoor activity friendly place. (which It really is - for most people)

I wonder if its getting any placement outside of NSW though?

Lach's picture

Given that the Alpine Way is a tar road, then the picture is presumably from somewhere accessible from the Alpine Way (such as Thredbo or Crackenback Lake). Be interesting to know whether it was taken on a designated mtb track or on a walking track that looked good for the photo.

Nonetheless, anything that raises the profile of mtb riding as a "legitimate" recreation / tourist pursuit / sport is a good thing, no?

arghvee's picture

Agree about raising the profile. My comments to Mr Sartor/NPWS congratulated them on recognising the sport.

Interestingly, received a letter from NPWS as follows. Given I've been out of the loop recently, Rob, is this right?

Thank you for your recent email regarding mountain biking in National Parks.

For many years the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has welcomed visitors and supported their recreational aspirations while protecting the conservation values of the parks and reserves. We recognise that bike riding and mountain biking riding in particular is growing in popularity. Bike riding can be good for the environment and good for people’s health and therefore community wellbeing. It is also another way of connecting people to nature and if managed carefully can link to the intent of the National Parks and Wildlife Act.

We do however need to be clearer about how and where mountain biking should occur and then how potential impacts should be considered and managed on a park by park basis. I can confirm that the NPWS is finalising a discussion paper that not only reviews our current Cycling Policy but also develops a Sustainable Mountain Biking Strategy for NSW National Parks.

The paper is substantially informed by meetings with representatives from northern Sydney mountain biking groups and networks and a workshop held with a broader range of stakeholders including environment groups. My hope is that through a community consultation process we will be able to establish an agreed direction on the provision of mountain biking in national parks and reserves. The paper will include recognition of the high demand for riding on singletrack, while ensuring that protection of the natural and cultural values of our national parks remains pre-eminent.

On the local front, Northern Sydney parks staff have met with World Trails to plan three possible singletrack mountain bike tracks in three different areas. I have asked staff to continue talking with representatives from the mountain bike fraternity on these trails. I understand they have hosted a World Trail workshop with representatives from a number of user groups including bike riders and conservation groups. They have also conducted a workshop with land managers within the region to facilitate cross tenure mountain bike trails for all technical abilities.

The National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 requires that all activities in national parks are carried out in accordance with the relevant plan of management. Most current plans of management, including those for parks in northern Sydney, do not permit the creation of singletrack mountain bike tracks. Consultation with representatives from mountain bike groups and networks has suggested that Garigal National Park has strong potential for the installation of environmentally sensitive singletrack. NPWS is investigating potential routes and design specifications for an appropriate section of singletrack within Garigal National Park. I expect that work will commence shortly upon the environmental impact assessment and a possible plan of management amendment processes - both of which are required for any such changes to activity within a national park. The proposed amendment to the plan of management will involve public exhibition and review by the Regional Advisory Committee and National Parks & Wildlife Advisory Council.

A proactive approach to mountain biking is further advanced at Glenrock State Conservation Area near Newcastle. I have attached a link that illustrates the partnership with the community. The National Parks & Wildlife Advisory Council recently visited the park and specifically commented on the collaborative approach taken by our staff to work with various groups to get the best recreation and conservation outcomes.

I trust this reassures you of progress that the NPWS is making on this issue. I encourage you to continue your involvement and input through the consultation processes.

Yours sincerely
Sally Barnes
Deputy Director General
Head - National Parks and Wildlife Service
Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water

Rob's picture

I believe this is in response to a few letters that have been written, see here:

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