Track eco con­cerns

Augusta Margaret River Times - - News - Sally Wylie, Friends of the Cape-to-Cape Track mem­ber

The planned win­ter di­ver­sion track has re­ceived bad press for sev­eral rea­sons, one of which was the orig­i­nal plan in­clud­ing moun­tain bikes, which would have been cat­a­strophic in this sen­si­tive area.

The com­mu­nity is highly sup­port­ive of the Cape-to-Cape Track along the coast, but in this in­stance de­signed a track with­out tak­ing into ac­count the sen­si­tiv­ity of the area.

If it had re­mained a sim­ple win­ter di­ver­sion track, a goat track snaking along the river vis­ited by a few walk­ers for a month or so in win­ter, it would have been ac­cepted.

As it is, it ap­pears the track is meant to be an at­trac­tion for walk­ers and tourists.

Much of the track crosses the ri­par­ian zone of the river, an area highly vul­ner­a­ble to degra­da­tion and sub­ject to strong en­vi­ron­men­tal reg­u­la­tions.

Build­ing with ma­chin­ery started be­fore all ap­provals were in place (ie the en­vi­ron­men­tal re­port and Abo­rig­i­nal im­pact state­ment).

Caves Road is a prob­lem wher­ever the track goes.

The area around the bridge is lim­ited for ac­cess due to steep banks off the road.

Sig­nif­i­cant work would be re­quired to meet ba­sic safety re­quire­ments on a 90km/h stretch of road.

The river is a ma­jor fea­ture of our land­scape and the ri­par­ian zone plays an im­por­tant part in the river’s health, so needs the high­est pro­tec­tion.

Con­struc­tion of the path needs to re­main on hold un­til en­vi­ron­men­tal plan­ning, de­sign im­pact and cost un­cer­tain­ties have been re­solved.

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