Orange conservationists are preparing for a long battle to protect Mt Canobolas from mountain biking.
The Canobolas Conservation Alliance, until now a loose coalition of local environment groups, formally adopted a constitution and elected office bearers on Monday.
Newly elected president, Dr Colin Bower, said the Alliance is committed to protecting the integrity and viability of the unique conservation reserve on Mt Canobolas.
‘Orange City Council has allocated $500,000 of ratepayers money to obtain an environmental approval for this proposal.’
‘They would not be doing this if they did not consider success was likely, said Dr Bower.’
‘We are concerned that Council is working hand-in-hand with the State Government to ensure this proposal is approved, despite the very significant environmental damage that would occur.’
‘This is demonstrated by the decision to make the proposal a State Significant Development, Dr Bower said.’
‘In effect, this action by the State Government wrests decision making on the future of the State Conservation Area away from the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and into the hands of the Department of Planning Industry and Environment.’
‘This is a grave threat to the mountain.’
‘Anyone can see that ten international mountain bike tracks are totally inappropriate within a small vulnerable conservation reserve.’
‘The first principle of environmental management is to avoid damage wherever possible.’
‘This proposal blatantly ignores that principle, which should immediately exclude the State Conservation Area from consideration, especially since adjoining State Forests provide a viable alternative, Dr Bower said.
Authorised by Dr Colin Bower, President, Canobolas Conservation Alliance
For further information contact Colin Bower on 0428263274 or Andrew Rawson on 0488124410