Scientists from the Canobolas Conservation Alliance (CCA) have called on Orange City Council to release consultants reports to the public before any decision is made to progress the Mountain Bike proposal on Mt Canobolas. (CWD 1 Oct 2021).
CCA have previously highlighted to Council that if they maintain their focus on the State Conservation Area (SCA) the next stages in the application are very expensive and unlikely to succeed due to the extremely high biodiversity and Indigenous heritage values of the SCA, according to CCA Vice President Dr Andrew Rawson.
“Council have already dedicated half a million dollars of Orange ratepayers money to hire outside consultants to design trails on the mountain, and to collate scientific information that was freely available in State and Commonwealth databases, publications and reports. Most of this information has been generated over decades by experienced scientists including members of CCA.”
“The problem for council has always been that our research and advice comes with a clear message – “don’t put trails in the SCA”. OCC have consistently ignored this advice and are embarked on a wasteful and we believe ultimately fruitless exercise that would also see the region’s most important natural asset desecrated.”
“Don’t be fooled by OCC spin about ‘protecting sensitive ecological areas’” said Dr Rawson. “the 70km of trails proposed for the SCA are all in ecologically sensitive areas. This is not just my opinion – it is fact, as this is a gazetted Conservation Area, home to over 1000 species – a number of which appear on State and Commonwealth lists as threatened, endangered or critically endangered.”
“Many are found here and nowhere else on Earth” he said. “One species has recently been listed as an Asset of Intergenerational Significance, a new classification aimed at fostering the highest possible protection measures for critically endangered species.”
“The SCA has been nominated and is the first location being assessed as an Area of Outstanding Biodiversity Value under the new classification recently announced by NSW Environment Minister, Matt Kean.”
Dr. Andrew Rawson, CCA Vice-President.