The $4 million regional trail bike facility at Wyaralong is on track to open in 2011 with the State Government and South East Queensland Councils committing over $2 million to develop the park.
The Council of Mayors (SEQ) today announced a $1.25 million commitment from SEQ Councils, subject to council budgets being confirmed over the next month.
Queensland Minister for Sport, The Hon. Phil Reeves MP, also confirmed the State Government’s $1 million contribution, in addition to providing the $1.5 million 745-hectare site.
Mr Reeves joined V8 Supercar driver and trail bike enthusiast Craig Lowndes, Council of Mayors (SEQ) Trail Bike Taskforce Chair and Lockyer Valley Mayor Councillor Steve Jones and Mayor of the Scenic Rim Councillor John Brent in inspecting the site today.
Cr Jones said the Wyaralong facility was a positive step in dealing with illegal riding problems in local council areas.
“Eight SEQ Councils within 90 minutes of the Wyaralong facility have committed $1.25 million in funding for the project, in addition to the State Government’s contribution of $1 million,” Cr Jones said.
“This is great news for SEQ’s 230,000 trail bike riders who currently have few safe, legal riding options.
“Research carried out for the Council of Mayors (SEQ) shows that over 86% of riders are likely to ride at a regional facility and 67% said they would be less likely to ride at illegal sites.
“And in more good news for trail bike enthusiasts, riders from participating councils will receive significant discounts on entry to the facility and priority during busier times.”
Cr Jones said the Wyaralong trail bike park would be a family friendly recreational facility.
“Our research challenged the stereotype of trail bike riders, indicating that almost half of riders surveyed were ‘family men’, with 25% regularly riding with family members and 40% of rider’s children also involved in trail bike riding.”
The financial contributions from the State Government and SEQ Councils will fund the development of essential site infrastructure, such as access roads, water, energy and basic camping facilities.
Cr Jones said the Council of Mayors (SEQ) will now seek an experienced commercial operator to develop and manage the site effectively and safely, a process that will take three to four months.
“We are looking for a commercial operator that is going to provide an exceptionally high standard of service to SEQ trail bike riders and make a significant financial contribution to further develop the site,” Cr Jones said.
“We have been pleased with the significant amount of interest shown by commercial entities and individuals following local and national advertisements of the upcoming Expression of Interest (EOI) process.
“Following the Council of Mayors (SEQ) briefing with industry stakeholders yesterday, we will finalise the EOI document and formally commence the search for a commercial operator,” Cr Jones said.
Cr John Brent said the facility would be a major new attraction for Scenic Rim Region.
“Scenic Rim already offers a range of recreational activities for visitors and the Wyaralong Regional Trail Bike Park, along with the neighbouring Lillybrook facility for mountain biking and horse riding, has the potential to attract thousands more visitors to our region,” he said.