Off-road bike track

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - An­gelique Pat­ter­son

A 300KM world class moun­tain bike trail is be­ing pro­posed to link Port Dou­glas with Cairns, Ma­reeba, Ku­randa and many places in be­tween.

Mem­ber for Cook David Kemp­ton has thrown his sup­port be­hind the ‘Sunny Sa­van­nah’ pro­posal de­vel­oped by the Ma­reeba Moun­tain Goats (MMG), which is al­ready at­tract­ing sig­nif­i­cant in­ter­est.

Mr Kemp­ton said he is ex­cited about the pro­posal as it has the po­ten­tial for flow-on ef­fects for the re­gional econ­omy.

‘‘It will be a money gen­er­a­tor when it’s com­plete, you can go to Cairns, go over to Port Dou­glas and come back around to Ma­reeba do­ing a com­plete loop. Around 60km needs to be done but the rest is all ex­ist­ing in­fra­struc­ture,’’ he said

‘‘ It’s mainly forestry tracks along chan­nels through na­tional park, I had a look and it’s just phenom­e­nal at the top of Bar­ron Gorge down to Stoney Creek and hope­fully it can in­cor­po­rate a bit of the his­toric Quaid’s Road.

‘‘At this stage it’s just a pro­posal and isn’t funded, we have put in sub­stan­tial money for the Moun­tain Goats and it’s lev­er­ag­ing off that.’’

Mr Kemp­ton and MP Michael Trout are push­ing for fur­ther fund­ing for the trial and will give Federal MP War­ren Entsch a copy of the pro­posal once a busi­ness case has been de­vel­oped.

Fund­ing will go to­wards sup­port­ing in­fra­struc­ture in­clud­ing maps and sig­nage and also link- ing up ex­ist­ing in­fra­struc­ture to map the loop and is an­other way to en­cour­age off-road bik­ing.

‘‘We have got to keep people off the road and that’s what it’s do­ing link­ing up as a cir­cuit, it won’t be for road bikes but I would hope it pro­vides a safe al­ter­na­tive route for some bike rid­ers and con­sid­er­ing the amount of people, this is huge,’’ Mr Kemp­ton said.

‘‘The next stage it to link it up with the rail­way lines through Ather­ton and po­ten­tially take it up fur­ther, there’s a lot of op­por­tu­nity with the old CREB Track - I’m amazed where these guys can ride bikes.’’

The busi­ness case for the pro­posed bike path is ex­pected to be com­pleted in the next six weeks and Mr Kemp­ton in­spected ar­eas within the pro­posed route with MMG trea­surer Rudi De Faveri and Queens­land Parks and Wildlife Ranger Rob Miller last week.

Mr De Faveri is now in the process of pre­par­ing a busi­ness case for the project.

‘‘We re­ceived our first ever of­fi­cial grant from the State Govern­ment last year and that, as well as, hav­ing David on board has been our big­gest suc­cess as a group to date,’’ he said.

‘‘This con­cept en­com­passes fan­tas­tic views, con­nects four com­mu­ni­ties and has the tour­ing as­pect of moun­tain bik­ing that our re­gion has been lack­ing.

‘‘And it doesn’t just have to be used by moun­tain bik­ers ei­ther, it could be for walk­ers, run­ners, ad­ven­ture en­thu­si­asts and tourists who want to en­joy our di­verse land­scape.’’

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