North-West Bay River track takes next step

Kingborough Council has approved $15,000 in funding to progress the next stage of planning for a North-West Bay River track and released the public engagement report which showed majority support for the project.

The council doesn’t have the money to build the $1.5 million track, which would link Longley and Margate, but is working towards the project getting to a stage where it could apply for state or federal funding.

The $15,000 will be used to undertake surveys of land boundaries to determine where landowner consent or rights of way may be required along the 11 km track.

During the meeting a number of councillors said they wanted the council to commit to funding the other necessary steps to get the project to a shovel-ready stage to apply for state and federal funding schemes, but no further commitments were made.

The council also approved the draft feasibility report which the public engagement was based on.

Bike riders support track

The public engagement report showed that most respondents would use the track for walking but 57% said they would ride their bike, 18% would ride horses and similar percentage would use it for trail running.

The feasibility report recommends dogs be kept off the track to protect the area’s wildlife, but 36 comments were made requesting dogs be allowed and the staff response was that further investigation would occur into sections where dogs may be walked on lead.

Another main concern was potential conflict between users, although roughly the same number of people supported shared use as opposed it. Staff pointed out that the track had been designed for multi-use and that there may be opportunity to separate it in places depending on final surveys and that educational programs would be conducted and signage would be installed regarding shared use etiquette.

More than 30 respondents suggested connections to other paths to increase the network, including a link to Wellington Park to create a sea to summit experience. Staff responded that most of these are included in the council’s Tracks and Trails Strategy and that they had notified Wellington Park about potential connections.