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"It must measure up or it won't go ahead": New mayor on bike track

By Peter Holmes

Uphill is the best bit. Stock image.

Orange City Council has lodged paperwork seeking state government planning approval for a 100km network of mountain bike trails on Mt Canobolas.

"After 12 months of investigation by a team of environmental consultants, archaeologists and track design experts, council has lodged the application with the Department of Industry Planning and Environment (DPIE) for the project to be considered as a State Significant Development (SSD)," said a statement from Orange City Council.

The DPIE will consider a Preliminary Environmental Impact Assessment (PEIA) compiled by environmental consultants The Environmental Factor.

"The PEIA provides an overview of the project and considers the potential environmental impacts that may result from the proposed works," council stated.

New Orange mayor Jason Hamling is backing the proposal, which has divided sections of the community.

He described it as "one of the council’s generational projects that is going to make a huge difference to our local business economy by drawing enthusiasts from all over Australia”.

“We’re not pretending that a project of this scale is going to happen overnight, but it’s great to see another milestone that could bring us one step closer."

Hamling described the area on Mount Canobolas as a “very special, environmentally sensitive area".

"For that reason, it must measure up or it won’t go ahead," he said.

He said there had been some opposition to the project, including from members of the local Indigenous community.

“We want those voices to continue to be heard through the process," Hamling said.

"We have had discussions on the proposal with the Orange Local Aboriginal Land Council and will continue to do so."


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