MT LOUISA PLAN WINS SUP­PORT

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - BETTINA WARBURTON bettina. warburton@ news. com. au

A PRO­POSAL to open Mount Louisa to recre­ational users has se­cured over­whelm­ing sup­port from the com­mu­nity.

The Townsville Bul­letin has been flooded with hun­dreds of com­ments on its Face­book page prais­ing the pro­posal.

Townsville City Coun­cil will seek com­mu­nity feed­back on the plan to de­velop the Mount Louisa area to be used for ac­tiv­i­ties such as walk­ing, cy­cling and hik­ing.

Fit­ness en­thu­si­ast Anne Miller, of Kir­wan, said the idea of open­ing up Mount Louisa to recre­ational use was pos­i­tive.

“I love ex­er­cis­ing, and I love get­ting out­doors, so it makes sense that Townsville has a va­ri­ety of out­door ex­er­cise op­tions,” she said.

“Cas­tle Hill is a great lo­ca­tion for recre­ational use but ex­am­in­ing other op­tions is im­por­tant as well.”

Ms Miller, who works at Townsville Hos­pi­tal, said safety and ac­ces­si­bil­ity were im­por­tant con­sid­er­a­tions.

Townsville ath­lete Sam St­ed­man said the city was home to many great trail net­works.

“It is pos­i­tive that the coun­cil is look­ing at ex­pand­ing an al­ready fan­tas­tic trail net­work,” he said.

“Giv­ing res­i­dents and tourists the op­por­tu­nity to ex­er­cise in a va­ri­ety of dif­fer­ent out­door lo­ca­tions in the city makes sense.” Mr St­ed­man, who has been rac­ing in en­durance sports for the last 10 years and is the owner of Outer Lim­its Ad­ven­ture Fit­ness, said if the coun­cil de­cided to go ahead with its plan, he would like to see cus­tom- built bike trails.

“The ad­ven­ture sport in­dus­try is huge and is gain­ing more fans with each year,” he said.

“De­vel­op­ing Mount Louisa for recre­ational use would have sig­nif­i­cant tourist po­ten­tial as well.

“It would be an­other draw­card for peo­ple to visit Townsville but it would mean that lo­cals get spoiled for choice in terms of op­tions for out­door ex­er­cise.”

Cr Hill said the pro­posal would be ex­am­ined thor­oughly be­fore a de­ci­sion was made.

“Cas­tle hill is be­ing loved to death. We have known for a long time we needed ex­tra ar­eas for recre­ational users. We have talked about Mount Louisa, Mount Low and Mount Stu­art,” she said.

“So we will fin­ish the mas­ter plan for Cas­tle Hill and we will be­gin the process for Mount Louisa. We’ve got to en­gage with the com­mu­nity on Mount Louisa.”

Cr Hill said Mount Louisa, with its el­e­va­tion, nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment and views, of­fered a great op­por­tu­nity.

On the Bul­letin’s face­book page, Sandy Camp­bell said: “An ex­cel­lent idea if coun­cil can do it prop­erly.”

Estell Lee agreed, post­ing: “What a fan­tas­tic ini­tia­tive – I hope this gets funded.”

Clay­ton Lin­ning called for the coun­cil to “just make it hap­pen”, while El­iz­a­beth Zanetti said that “it should have been done 20 years ago”.

De­tails of the con­sul­ta­tion for­mat will be re­leased soon, with the coun­cil to seek feed­back from stake­hold­ers such as de­vel­op­ers, land­hold­ers, fit­ness groups and clubs.

HIGH PRAISE: Kir­wan’s Anne Miller, who was ex­er­cis­ing on Cas­tle Hill yes­ter­day, would wel­come more places to keep fit such as Mount Louisa. Pic­ture: EVAN MOR­GAN

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