We need your help to Protect Mt Canobolas State Conservation Area
Despite over 400 submissions objecting to the the establishment of a network of mountain biking trails in Mt Canobolas SCA, the NSW Minister for Energy and Environment, Matt Kean, authorised a new Plan of Management in September 2019 that allowed for exclusive mountain biking trails in the SCA, subject to environmental assessment.
Subsequently, Orange City Council voted to allocate $500,000 of ratepayer’s money to develop a new constraints report, redesign the proposed track network and conduct environmental and archeological assessments of the project. This work has now been completed. The track network has been increased from ten circuits within the SCA totaling 63 km of track in the SCA to over 20 tracks and circuits totaling 72 km in the conservation area. As of August 2021, the proposal is about to be submitted to the NSW Government for consideration as a State Significant Development. If accepted, the proposal will then be subjected to a full environmental assessment requiring extensive evaluation of the environmental, cultural, social and economic impacts. So far the Council has expended well over $500,000 on this project. It can be expected that at least this amount again will be required to gain final approval – all at Orange ratepayer’s expense. And that is before a single sod is turned.
Now more than ever, we must fight to protect the SCA from those who see it only as a playground and/or opportunity to make money, rather than a fragile refuge for the vanishing nature of the Orange district, and one of the most important ceremonial areas for the Wiradjuri people.
The Canobolas Conservation Alliance (CCA) is launching a campaign to oppose this unsustainable proposal with solid factual information about the natural and cultural values of the SCA. Our campaign will include:
- A ‘Values Report‘ outlining the irreplaceable natural and cultural heritage that would be degraded and potentially lost by splintering the SCA with multiple mountain bike tracks.
- An education campaign to counter misinformation about the values and condition of the SCA from the promoters of the mountain bike proposal.
- ‘Discover Mt Canobolas‘ excursions for interested members of the Orange and broader communities that will demonstrate the unique values of the SCA.
- Press releases, media interviews, market stalls, posters, bumper stickers – all highlighting the values of the SCA threatened by this proposal.
- Coordination of expert submissions in response to the Environmental Assessment when it goes on public display.
- Ensuring recognition of the issue at the State and National levels.
- Presenting the case against the proposal with the help of the Environmental Defenders Office at either the Regional Planning Panel or the Independent Planning Commission, depending on the assessment process followed.
These activities take a great deal of time, energy and money to carry through. Accordingly, we are appealing for help from concerned members of the public. You can assist by:
- Joining the CCA. Download an application for membership here.
- Donating to the CCA. A secure donation platform can be accessed here.
- Volunteering. CCA needs helpers of all skill levels to assist on stalls, write submissions/letters, assist with excursions.
- Joining the CCA emailing list below.
The CCA will keep you informed of developments through this website and directly by email, if you complete the following form.
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Say NO to Mountain Bike Trails In Mt Canobolas SCA reserve!