What actions will I take to strengthen mountain biking in Hobart if elected to council this October?
I will advocate for council to:
Seek and allocate funding to complete the "Riding The Mountain" plan as a priority
Invest in a full-time trail crew to maintain trails in conjunction with local volunteers & clubs
Work with Cascade Brewery to ensure informal trails are protected
Investigate opportunities for a washdown facility near the silos
Work toward a junior & senior pump track in Hobart LGA
Work with Hobart Dirt Devils to support events
Explore options for a multi-day back country mountain bike ride in greater Hobart.
Mountain biking in Tasmania has seen significant growth in Tasmania in the last decade. Hobart has the best city linked mountain biking terrain in the country by some margin. So it is crucial we make the most of that connection and continue to capitalise on the popularity of mountain biking, both in Hobart and abroad.
A 2018 report investigated the social and economic benefits of mountain biking in Australia
(You can read the full report here). It showed that the economic and social benefits of mountain biking:
Furthermore, this report found that in 2018 11% of all mountain bike rides occured in Tasmania, despite our population representing just 2.1% of the Australian population. This can be explained by the popularity of Tasmania as a mountain bike destination and by the popularity of riding within the Tasmanian population. Capitalising on the national popularity of mountain biking would bring significant economic benefit to Hobart. On social media there are frequently posts from interstate travellers asking about trails to ride in Hobart so they can stay an extra few days in conjunction with visiting Blue Derby and Maydena Bike Park. However, the trail network is poorly sign-posted and a rabbit warren that local riders can navigate with local knowledge but interstate riders find very challenging. Without a more formalised mountain bike trail network, Hobart is missing out on a fairly significant tourism opportunity.
Recently, Hobart City Council commissioned the "Riding The Mountain" report. This report was so good it has won national awards. It presented a network of mountain bike trails in the foothills of Kunanyi Mount Wellington and proved economic benefits exceeding the outlay. It was well received by all users of the mountain. Despite this amazing work, Hobart City Council has no funding to implement the plan.
I believe in the proven social and economic benefits of mountain biking. I want to see more people out on their bikes, more people in the bush and more people visiting Hobart to enjoy what this amazing place has to offer.
What do you think?