City considers management plan for hills
■ Concerns have been raised about user safety and degradation of Aboriginal cultural sites in the Karratha Hills by various stakeholders.
The hills are currently categorised as unallocated crown land, meaning the City of Karratha and other stakeholders are restricted in their ability to manage activities, leading to degradation of the area.
The City of Karratha is now investigating new management options to better control issues such as uncoordinated trail development, spread of weeds and inappropriate use by vehicles.
Burrup Mountain Bike Club president Damien Muller said there were several instances when fourwheel-drives and trail bikes had damaged their structures.
“We have had four-wheel-drives using some of our structures as flex ramps, resulting in damage to the ramp,” he said.
“The worst part about that is there are potentially people riding the tracks who won’t see the damage until it’s too late, which could result in an accident. We see them chewing up jumps and berms, as well as crosscountry four-wheel-driving, which kills off spinifex and encourages others to do the same thing.”
Mr Muller said all users, mountain bikers included, needed to be mindful that many people used the hills for various recreational activities.
He said there was potential for all trail users to get along and use the area without issues.
City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said the establishment of a management framework would result in the hills being better managed.
“The Karratha Hills are widely used by our community and visitors; however, despite the significant recreational and heritage values associated with the area, there is no formal management planning in place,” he said.
“The management planning process will enable discussions around shared management options with the Ngarluma Aboriginal Corporation with a view of moving towards the development of a clear framework to allow the ongoing protection and management of this unique area.
“While we recognise the need to support the growth of recreational pursuits in this area, it is absolutely critical that we respect and protect the rich cultural and environmental significance it has to offer.”
Ngarluma Aboriginal Corporation failed to respond to requests for comment.