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Menai (Lucas Heights) Closed to the Public

Rob's picture

By Rob - Posted on 03 July 2011

**MENAI (LUCAS HEIGHTS) is officially OFF LIMITS to MTB's**

Terrible news for MTB riders: The area at Menai (aka Lucas Heights) has been closed to any kind of public access, which of course now means MTB riding there is banned.

This looks to be a very serious move, with signs erected and riders reporting federal police are now patrolling the area.

Sorry to report this everyone - it was a great area Sad

See MENAI (LUCAS HEIGHTS) is officially OFF LIMITS to MTB's thread for more info.

Update 4/7/11: Having spent all day chasing the matter, Steve Mowle has managed to convince the ANSTO management to meet with Mountain Bike riders to discuss the use of Menai. This is an outstanding achievement. Please show your support and attend the meeting if you can - see ANSTO/Rider Meeting (Re: Menai Closure).

Update 4/7/11: Correction: Sorry folks - this is not a public meeting. Please do not show up! Those who go will be sure to report back though.

Hop fiend's picture

I have heard rumours that they shoot to kill anyone who is unauthorised tresspass on the reactor site itself!!!

Little-Ditty's picture

And... like... why would you want to do that? Smiling

FlyingTomato's picture

i think you'd find that rather than "shoot to kill" authorisation, they just have the same powers as police (other than victorian because we all know they have a backward way of yelling stop or ill shoot) in that if they tell you to stop what you are doing and if you do not comply and you appear threatening then they take you down by force.

Its not a nuclear reactor that is going to melt down half of Sydney if it goes up, its a tiny one used for research purposes.

Having said that i am disappointed that this is now closed to public as i never got to ride here yet!!

JA_SC's picture

Guys get off your ass!! We cant let them close down one of the few freeride venues we have... it sends the wrong message.
We need you all at the meeting as show of support.

Hop fiend's picture

what I was getting at is that they take security very seriously at ANSTO-so this enviromental crap they are saying is just that -it is all about security!!!

Fatboy's picture

Just told a mate about menai and he said something similar happened about a decade ago. It turned out they were transporting spent fuel rods from the site so increased security for a few weeks then the signage and Feds disappeared. Hopefully that's all that's going on this time.

Rob's picture

To pooh, pooh the argument of transporting stuff... you could probably carry anything that comes out of that reactor in a backpack Eye-wink

OPAL's reactor core is about the size of a two-drawer filing cabinet...


Lach's picture

I know from previous involvement with the container terminals at Port Botany that there are container loads go out of the country every few years - police escorts, special loading arrangements for the ship etc. AFAIK in the past they have stored at Lucas Heights prior to "export".

I don't know whether this has been a few years' worth of fuel rods from the reactor (if it was, it would probably have a fair bit of lead around it and so would hit a shipping container weight limit way before it filled the volume available), or whether they store permanently or temporarily other stuff there (medical waste etc).

Whether such activity is an explanation for restricting access in the bush around the reactor is another matter......

delicious's picture

I hate to be the one to point this out. There have been signs like this there for years.
Ansto owns the land. Clearly the time has come for them to enforce their right to keep people off their land. Chances are that this is mostly about motos & 4wds and the inclusion of mtb's is about not discriminating.
I'm all for discrimination. There's loads of places bikes are allowed and motorised vehicles are not.
Not all of the bushland that we refer to as The Trails of Menai are on Ansto land. Some is on ALC ( Aboriginal Land Council ) and Ansto & the Federal Police would have not jurisdiction here.
However, I'm no solicitor. I have no clue where the borders are ( the fenced areas maybe a clue ) and the last thing I'd do is stir up a fight.
I ride those tails as much as anyone, I know my way around very well and I'm saddened at the prospect of being barred. Hopefully Ansto management will let us back in.

Little-Ditty's picture

Hear hear!

Nerf Herder's picture

Menai MTB Park

Public meeting regarding the proposed Menai MTB Park:

When: Sunday November 20, 2pm

Where: Sutherland Shire Cycling Club clubhouse,
Rawson Pde, Waratah Park, Sutherland.


- To provide an updated summary of our current situation.

- To define our goal - to provide The Sutherland Shire with a sustainable, environmentally friendly, recreational facility in the Shire’s west, right in the heart of the Shire’s major growth area.

- To discuss the potential affiliation with the Sutherland Shire Cycling Club, as well as with
Mountain Biking Australia and the International Mountain Biking Association.

- To ask questions and take feedback regarding the Menai MTB Park.

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