Comments on the Proposed Centenary Trail

Centenary Trail Proposal

Parks and Conservation Service proposes a 100km long shared walk and bike track, with a large part of the route planned through nature parks including the Mt Majura and Mt Ainslie reserves. Under the current plan, 19km or roughly 20% of the Trail would be new; a large propotion of new construction would be in the nature reserves.

Information on the proposed trail alignment is available at the Territorial and Municipal Services website; click on Centenary Trail to open the page. For further enquiries contact or 6207 3703. Submission of comments on the proposal closed on Friday, 10 February 2012.

Mount Majura
The proposed route in the Mt Majura nature reserve follows mostly maintenance roads, except behind Mackenzie Street, where a shared bike and walk route is proposed through a narrow 100-200 meters wide strip of box-gum grassy woodland parallel to and between the existing maintenance roads behind the houses and the transmission line easement. This site represents one of the best preserved remnant Yellow Box – Blakely’s Red Gum grassy woodland within the reserve and is declared Critically Endangered under the Commonwealth Environment Conservation and Biodiversity Protection Act.

Mount Ainslie
The proposed route in the Mt Ainslie nature park includes the construction of a new multiuse track in pristine currently little accessed areas that provide habitat for declared species and that are important refuge sites for wildlife.

The reserves are part of  Canberra Nature Park, public land which is managed primarily for conservation and secondarily for education, research and low key recreation. Our main concerns relate to the construction of a trail through critically endangered box-gum grassy woodland, incursions of new tracks in conservation sensitive sites and the large scale events proposed for the Centenary Trail which carry a high risk to impact on wildlife and the natural environment of the reserves.

Nature reserves are threatened from continous development encroachment. We are deeply concerned that the ACT Government now considers actions that threaten the reserves from the inside by virtue of recreation taking precedence over conservation.

Mountain bike riding on highly erodable soil in the Mt Majura nature reserve causes siginficant damage.

ParkCare comments on the proposed Centenary Trail
ParkCare groups, initially excluded from consultation, lodged submissions with the Parks and Conservation Service. Find below the comments of some of the groups.

Friends of Mt Majura comment, 21 December 2011: Click here (pdf, 449KB);
Friends of Mt Majura comment, 10 February 2012: Click here (pdf, 19KB)
Mt Ainslie Weeders first comment: Click here (rtf, 41KB);
Mt Ainslie Weeders second comment: Click here (rtf, 35KB).
Red Hill Regenerators 27.01.2012 submission: Click here
Black Mountain Questions and Responses: Click here (pdf 18KB)

ACT Trails Discussion Paper 2011-2021
Concurrently with the Centenary Trail proposal, Parks and Conservation Service commissioned CBRE Town Planning to develop a strategy for the management, use and construction of trails in the nature reserves and national parks.

Canberra Off Road Cyclists were involved with the development of the discussion paper (Simon Corbell, Minister for TAMS, ACT Legislative Assembly Question, Notice paper No. 125 of 27 October 2011, Question No. 1913, Hansard 8.12.2011, p6075, 6076).

The main thrust of the discussion paper is to open the “under-utilized” nature reserves for more recreation, particular mountain bike riding, for large scale recreational events and tourism.

CBRE invited FoMM to comment on the draft ACT Trails Discussion Paper 2011-2021: click here to view the comment.

The ACT Trails Discussion Paper 2011-2021 is not yet available for public consultation which will be conducted at an undisclosed time. Perhaps in anticipation of the consultation outcome, Parks and Conservation Service in association with the International Mountain Bike Association Australia held a three day workshop in March 2012 on how to construct “sustainable” multiple use tracks in nature reserves, click here to view a flyer.

Track proliferation and illegal bike riding. Formation of informal tracks and illegal riding in the Mt Majura and Mt Ainslie nature reserve are common given the challenging slopes, good access, closeness of mountain bike facilities and lack of enforcement.

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