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The GCMTB Club committee has been working exhaustively on assessment of the Department of Environment and Science (DES) Nerang Area DRAFT Management Plan and DRAFT Visitor Strategy, since their release this week. These are DRAFT documents provided for public consultation. It is imperative that we all provide a response to DES on these DRAFT plans. DES requests responses via survey with a link provided on their notice page here:
On that page, they note that written submissions can be lodged by emailing: ParkManagementPlans@des.qld.gov.au
GCMTB Club recommends that you complete the survey and email a written submission to ensure our voices are heard. Additionally, email submissions can be CC’d to:
• Minister for the Environment, Leanne Linard firstname.lastname@example.org,
• Local member, Meaghan Scanlon
Acknowledging that there are almost 70 pages of nonsense in the DRAFT documents, here is a summary of key points that should be considered in any response to DES:
- The immediate decommissioning of over half of the existing mountain bike trails in Nerang National Park is not supported by evidence presented (all trails in green “Zone 2” area of map above to be closed).
- The characterisation of legacy mountain bike trails simply as “illegal construction of mountain bike tracks” and presenting the highest risk to key values of the park is grossly negligent, appears to represent researcher bias or influence, and is not based on settled scientific evidence.
- It is extremely disingenuous for DES to ignore the long history of these tracks since the gazettal of the Park, prior department studies documenting minimal impact from narrow mountain bike tracks, and their own past recommendations to formally develop the trails.
- Conflicting positions of local Traditional Owners have not been reconciled and the identified primary threat of mountain bike trails to the cultural landscape is both noted as intangible and does not include any actual assessment of existing tracks on tangible features.
- There has been no consideration of the role that GCMTB Club has contributed in good faith to the development of the management plan, or consideration of future role in visitor strategy. GCMTB supports sustainable recreation consistent with the area’s natural and cultural resources and values, and should be engaged in the process of rider education, management consultation, and as a liaison to the local volunteer trail management organisation.
GCMTB Club will provide additional information, including access to past DES studies, reports, and recommendations, as well as a more detailed point-by-point survey response template in the coming weeks. Deadline is 19 September for us ALL to respond to the DRAFT.