Mountain biking

Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) will look at alternative route opportunities for mountain biking along the escarpment rather than progressing with plans to build trails in Redwood Park.

As part of a Committee recommendation, which will need to go to the Ordinary Meeting of Council on 23 June 2022 for endorsement, TRC Environment and Community Committee portfolio leader Cr Tim McMahon said Council had used feedback from the environmental constraints and opportunities assessment as part of its decision making.

“From the start of this project, we’ve always said we would wait until we received the findings from the flora and fauna and cultural heritage assessments before making any judgement,” Cr McMahon said.

“There is a huge opportunity to grow mountain biking in our Region. We want to develop a bike trail network of up to 100kms to make the Toowoomba Region a destination that draws tourists from all across Australia, as well as international riders but it’s important we get the balance right.

“To do this, we’ve held a range of meetings with key stakeholder groups, community workshops and a community survey to understand and address competing community expectations. I’d like to thank all members of the public who provided feedback and spoke so passionately about this project.

“While we do have an opportunity to make the Toowoomba Region one of a limited number of nationally significant mountain biking destinations in Australia, and the only one within Queensland, it’s vital we manage competing interests concerning the environment.

“We now have the environmental constraints and opportunities assessment completed which outlines the environmental impacts and based on assessed impacts Council does not support additional mountain bike trails in Redwood Park.

“The standards of regulated vegetation, protected wildlife and cultural heritage values identified in Redwood Park are considered of such diversity that it would be unwise to progress the development of additional mountain bike trails in Redwood Park. Instead we want to ensure that the flora and fauna and cultural heritage of Redwood Park is protected for future generations.

“It is considered that progression of mountain bike trail development works in Jubilee Park will be possible with appropriate mitigation measures, avoidance or trail modifications.

“Further to this, there may be other locations across the escarpment which could be considered to provide trail linkages from the Toowoomba Region into the township of Withcott in the Lockyer Valley Region to ensure the future development of a nationally significant bike trail network of up to 100kms.

“With the findings from the flora and fauna and cultural heritage assessments back, we now have a more clear direction on where we can continue to build our bike trail network.”

If approved at the Ordinary Meeting of Council next week, the next step will be to progress to the detailed design phase of mountain bike trails in Jubilee Park, which will include any required environmental investigations and cultural heritage assessments.

"Council is prepared to help with the operational aspects of maintaining a growing mountain bike network and as such, will give consideration in future operational budgets for the ongoing maintenance in accordance with the Toowoomba and Lockyer Valley Escarpment Mountain Bike Master Plan 2019-26," Cr McMahon said.