The volunteer built MTB loop around the Manly Dam has been closed by Warringah Council who cite “safety reasons”. The shut-down has been met with disbelief and outrage, protest action is planned.
The NoBMoB (Northern Beaches MTB group) have provided the following information on the closure and action that is planned to protest against the councils closure.
At 4.38pm on Friday afternoon 12th February, a press release was issued by Warringah Council closing the single track on the long standing (about 12 years) and renowned Manly Dam MTB loop.
The decision, it was said, was for ‘safety reasons’. The MTB community and locals were outraged as the trails have been built by volunteers along with Warringah Council Rangers and have now written to Council, Councillors and the Mayor.
The Councillors made it clear that they were not advised that a decision had been made and it was not put to their vote. As days have passed it has become clear that the decision was made by Council staff only, supported by the General Manager and based on Council’s current interpretation of their old Plan of Management document.
Council has been able to mitigate their liability on sports fields, play parks, beaches, pools, and other facilities etc. successfully.
We believe they can easily do the same by clarifying the definitions in their Plan of Management.
Protest rides have been organised at Warringah Council Chambers on 5.30pm Tuesday 23 February 2010, at Manly Dam itself 9.00 am Saturday 6 March 2010 and if necessary again at Warringah Council Chambers 5.30pm Tuesday 23 March 2010.
Please attend with bike and helmet and a calm and happy face!
Please also write and call the General Manager -Rik Hart (firstname.lastname@example.org 9942 2111), the Mayor – Michael Regan (email@example.com 0409 154 708) and the Media to request that the decision be repealed, that the perceived level of risk is unfounded and can be mitigated, and that a simple and prompt resolution be reached in consultation with Councillors, the local community and the Mountain Biking Community.
Active outdoor recreation should be supported not repressed and when issues or concerns such as this arise, then Council should consult, communicate and seek resolution rather than act in a shortsighted fashion with rash closures and bans.
For more details of how to help please go to : www.nobmob.com and follow the links on the home page.