Warburton MTB plans out for comment

The Warburton Mountain Bike Destination project has entered a critical phase with the project's Environment Effects Statement now open for public comment.

The ambitious project aims to make sleepy Warburton in the Yarra Ranges a major resort for physical activity, including the development of a world-class collection of MTB track and trails on the nearby hills.

But the area is environmentally sensitive, so extensive measures are needed to ensure that bushland values and bike riding happily co-exist.

The EES, at 3,500 pages, is surely the most comprehensive ever released for an MTB facility, taking two years and $3M to assemble. That’s more than some MTB parks have cost to build.

There is a lot at stake for this project. The Yarra Ranges is close enough to Melbourne for easy access (you can ride your bike there) but far enough away for people to make a weekend of it.

This opens up tremendous economic opportunities for tourism related industries to develop and create employment for the local communities.

Yarra Ranges Shire estimates that when fully operational the destination and its 177 km of trails will inject more than $48M a year into the local economy, supporting more than 200 jobs.

"The project will provide more recreational opportunities for local residents and visitors of all ages and riding abilities, helping them connect with nature and lead active, healthy lives,” Yarra Ranges Shire says.

The EES will be on exhibition until Tuesday 25 January 2022. Public hearings are expected to start in March next year.

The summary document is here.

Full details are on the website.

This article was made possible by the support of Bicycle Network's members who enable us to make bike riding better in Australia.