Off-road bike track
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.’’