Orange City Council’s (OCC) plan for a mountain biking centre in the Mt Canobolas State Conservation Area (SCA) is a brazen assault on nature conservation.
In the midst of the Sixth Great Extinction of life on Earth, OCC sees no issue with taking over an area legally dedicated to nature conservation for mountain biking.
It is ludicrous that, while Governments spend hundreds of millions of dollars on nature conservation in some places, they should willfully sanction its destruction in others.
The irony extends to Orange City Council itself. Existing native trees are rigorously protected in all new subdivisions, yet they are happy to damage the most important refuge for flora and fauna in the district.
A very important principle is at stake here. If nature conservation areas are not protected from all developments their dedication becomes pointless. The very survival of our flora and fauna depends on maintaining the integrity of all reserves.
The mountain biking proposal is the thin end of the wedge. Once a few tracks are established, there will be demands for more tracks and more infrastructure until the SCA is no longer a safe place for many of its unique life forms.
No other conservation reserve in Australia is subject to an official assault of this magnitude by mountain biking interests. This proposal is not necessary, alternative locations abound. Orange can have an exciting mountain biking industry, it already does in fact, without destroying our iconic mountain.