Alternate Motions Passed for Proposed Trails at Mt Hallowell

Published on Monday, 24 October 2022 at 1:57:30 PM

Mount Hallowell was the centre of attention in Council Chambers last week as Councillors considered the Mount Hallowell Mountain Bike Trails Concept Plan.

A full gallery of community members was present last Tuesday to hear Council debate the highly anticipated item on the agenda, concerning the future of the Mount Hallowell A-Class Reserve.

Councillors were presented with a detailed report which included analysis of community consultation, and also heard from representatives of the community who spoke during Public Question Time.

Deputy Shire President Kingsley Gibson moved two alternate motions which were passed unanimously by Council after some debate.

The substance of those motions is as follows:

  • A Trails Working Group will be formed to provide advice on trails development within the Shire

First Priority actions

  • Development of a project plan for Mountain Bike Trails at the proposed alternate site on Turner Rd, with a report to Council by March 2023
  • Incorporate a trail network as part of the Berridge Park concept planning process to create a connected precinct to McLean Oval
  • Investigations into signage and mapping for existing and future trails within the Shire
  • Build collaborations between trail user groups and interested members of the public

Second Priority actions

  • Continue the eight-stage process at Mt Hallowell, excluding the area which includes ‘the core’. This process will be subject to the following:
    • An updated Mt Hallowell Management Plan endorsed by Council
    • Flora studies
    • Fauna studies
    • Dieback assessment
    • Indigenous Cultural survey
    • Obtaining relevant licences and permits
    • Lodgement of a Development Application

With these two motions passed, Cr Gibson said Council’s focus is now on the Turner Road Reserve and the improvement, signing and mapping of our existing, significant trails network.

“The idea of establishing a working group is to help ensure we are delivering infrastructure that meets the needs of the community,” Cr Gibson said. 

“Because trails on Mount Hallowell would take a significant amount of time and cost to develop through a substantial environmental and administrative process, they are a second-order priority for the council which recognises there is a strong, immediate demand in the community for something to happen sooner.”

“In any case, Council has now resolved that further trails development at Mt Hallowell should be restricted to a much smaller area that broadly aligns with the original proposal for the site.”

Council has explicitly excluded trails development in what is referred to as ‘the core’ of the reserve. 

As steps are taken to progress the actions identified by Council, more detail will be made available to the community.

Minutes from the October Ordinary Council Meeting are available now.

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