Pedal power tourist push

Pilbara News - - Pilbara News - ■ Tom Zaun­mayr

Moun­tain bik­ing is poised to be­come a tourism draw­card in Kar­ratha af­ter a fund­ing an­nounce­ment pledg­ing new fa­cil­i­ties at the lo­cal vis­i­tor cen­tre.

The Kar­ratha Vis­i­tor Cen­tre has been ap­proved for a State Govern­ment grant to build a coffee shop, ablu­tion fa­cil­i­ties, a laun­dro­mat and clu­b­rooms for the Bur­rup Moun­tain Bike Club.

It is an­tic­i­pated the clu­b­rooms would be the cat­a­lyst for fur­ther de­vel­op­ment of the tracks in the Kar­ratha hills, which al­ready at­tract in­ter­na­tional rid­ers through com­pe­ti­tions such as the Dr Bayn­ton’s six-hour chal­lenge, de­spite not yet at­tain­ing an of­fi­cial sta­tus.

KVC man­ager Jane Knapp said the clu­b­rooms would help un­lock the hills tracks’ po­ten­tial.

“We have been told our tracks are po­ten­tially world-class with a bit of work,” she said.

“We’ve got per­fect ter­rain for it so it would be silly not to get into ad­ven­ture tourism and WA’s whole moun­tain bike strat­egy. There are no sanc­tioned tracks in North West WA so if we could be close to be­ing the first sanc­tioned track up here to get points to­wards na­tional com­pe­ti­tions that would be mas­sive.”

Ms Knapp said con­struc­tion of all fa­cil­i­ties would be un­der­taken by lo­cal com­pa­nies, with an aim for com­ple­tion by the end of the year.

“We haven’t signed any con­tracts as such but the process has started and ap­provals will be in shortly, hope­fully,” she said.

Min­ing and Pas­toral MLC Ken Bas­ton said the Re­gional Vis­i­tor Cen­tre Sus­tain­abil­ity Grants em­pow­ered lo­cal cen­tres to com­pete in an in­creas­ingly on­line world.

“Sup­port for in­no­va­tion will help sus­tain and grow the tourism sec­tor, which means more jobs and op­por­tu­ni­ties in lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties,” he said.

The Roe­bourne and Port Hed­land Vis­i­tor Cen­tres were also suc­cess­ful in get­ting grants to­talling $162,475 across the three Pil­bara cen­tres.

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