The Townsville Mountain Bike Strategy 2021-2031 has been adopted today following extensive community consultation.

The strategy outlines the key areas for growth of mountain biking in the region and allows Council, State Government, and community organisations to prioritise investment and funding based on community recognised issues.

Council Community Health, Safety and Environmental Sustainability Committee chairperson Maurie Soars said the growth of mountain biking would provide various economic, social, and environmental benefits to the community.

“The number of mountain bike trails in the region has significantly grown in recent years, bringing with it greater participation and usage,” Cr Soars said.

“Approximately 20% of mountain bike riders currently reside in Queensland, and we are home to one of the biggest Mountain Bike Clubs in Australia.

“We want to see Townsville’s numbers of increasing and as a result, we have developed this strategy following a two-stage community engagement process, which has provided us with feedback from mountain bikers in the area.

“The community engagement also gives all levels of government and community groups an understanding of current participation rates, riding levels and identifies and prioritises issues and concerns from the Townsville riding community.”

President of Rockwheelers Mountain Bike Club Michael Brosnan said the adoption of the Mountain Bike Strategy is a great first step for mountain biking in Townsville.

“The Strategy has identified the sport’s popularity, potential growth areas and is the first step to promote the adventure tourism benefits mountain biking can bring to Townsville,” Mr Brosnan said.

“We would love to see all of the Strategy’s recommendations come to light, particularly funding for trail maintenance, because with increased usage comes additional resources and maintenance which is currently funded by Rockwheelers.

“Rockwheelers is a not-for-profit organisation run by volunteers and I’d like to encourage trail users in the community to join as all funds go to new trails, maintenance, and applying for funding and grants.

“It would also be great to see a partnership with Council to assist in this in the future.”

Cr Soars said the results of the initial surveys had a general overarching theme of maintenance, better access, and amenities.

“Mountain biking gives us a unique opportunity to promote local tourism, encourage healthy habits and strengthen Townsville’s liveability so it’s important that we understand what is needed for future development in this space,” he said.

“This Strategy focuses on prominent locations such as Mount Louisa, Mount Stuart, Magnetic Island, Castle Hill, Pallarenda Conservation Park, Douglas Mountain Bike Reserve and the Paluma to Wallaman Trail.

“An issue that became very prominent was the need for more amenities, which we understand is going to benefit the current riding community and increase further participation. Also raised was the need for maintenance of current trails, and the inclusion of more beginner friendly trails.

“Documenting identified areas for improvement in a formal strategy will allow future investment from government and community groups, as we want Townsville to benefit from this growing sport.

“We would like to thank all those who have participated in the Have Your Say Survey and have supplied feedback to us. This strategy is a fantastic collaboration between Council, community organisations and residents.”