Blazing trails

• Cr Catherine Ehrhardt down at Hinds Reserve.

A BIKE trail at Hinds Reserve is gaining momentum after Bayswater councillors narrowly approved a $9000 feasibility study.

Councillor Catherine Ehrhardt moved a motion in June to look into an externally funded single trail, but since then the scope of the project has expanded to include three trails at a cost of about $319,000.

The main trail would be for mountain bikes, taking advantage of the naturally bumpy terrain.

Pump track

The second would be a BMX challenge “pump track” with sharp turns and steep slopes, and the third would be a small education course to teach kids about road rules and how to ride.

“It’s certainly much larger than I originally anticipated when I started looking into this two years ago,” Cr Ehrhardt said at last week’s council meeting.

“In my mind back then it was just a simple trail, but I quite like what [council staff] have come back with, with multiple uses.”

She said there’s a “high likelihood” of the trail being fully paid for by external grants, assuming a favourable feasibility study.

The council’s identified a few options for external funding, including Lotterywest, the state sports department, and private sponsors like Telstra or RAC, who both run grants programs for projects that improve people’s health.

The land on Hinds Reserve is owned and managed by the state planning department, so they’d have to agree to hand it over.

In their report to council, officers reckon the department would be “keen” on that because of the annual $5000 it has to spend on maintenance.

Councillor Filomena Piffaretti told the meeting the city should be wary of onerous costs.

“I’m totally against the city taking over the management of Hinds Reserve from the state government and burdening our ratepayers with the maintenance costs in perpetuity, of firebreaks, weed management, rubbish removal, revegetation, tree management and boardwalk maintenance”.

Bayswater mayor Dan Bull and councillors Georgia Johnson, Lorna Clark and Sally Palmer voted in favour of the feasibility study, with councillors Piffaretti, Chris Cornish, Elli Petersen-Pik and Michelle Sutherland voting against.

by DAVID BELL

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