The recent announcement by the State Government in conjunction with the Colong Foundation has highlighted that we, as the trail riding fraternity have a major problem. And that is that we have no say in our fate. As it is, if the government continues to be persuaded by enviro groups that all trail riding is dangerous, enviro-terrorism and just plain nasty, there will be no more public localities to ride our bikes. We will only have access to private property, and even that is at risk.
So what is the risk here…. well, if we can’t ride we don’t buy bikes. No bikes mean no sales for the dealers, no spare parts needed, no income. And the government is going to lose out big time too – and I can bet they haven’t thought that through… no rego, no insurance, no CTP. Not much? Well when you multiply the average rego/CTP cost (not including 3rd Party or Comprehensive insurance) then for every 10,000 bikes the annual loss of income is near $4.5M.
So can we do anything? Yes. But it may not work. We are already working towards discussions with the stakeholders about the possibility of keeping part of Newnes Plateau open, after all it’s not as if it is a pristine environment. It’s been logged for hardware for more than 100 years; there a hundreds of hectares of now denuded pine plantations; the mines are longwall mining the entire plateau and now sandmining is huge with big open cuts mines in operation. And they are concerned about a few km of single track???!!! We’ve been working with both Forestry Corp and the Centaltablelands Local Land Service up there to protect the peat swamps and they even constructed a rock bridge behind the Clarence MX track specifically for us to transit the Happy Valley swamp. And when Forestry Crop ran a Clean Up Australia Day event at Bungleboori last year who was there to work? We were! Not one 4WD club in sight, and worse NOT A SINGLE COLONG FOUNDATION NOR LANDCARE GROUP!!! Now there is hypocrisy in action!
Where to from here….
The MCC of NSW will be working to keep access to the plateau but we know we are up against it. But you never know unless you try.
We need to organise for the future. We CAN NOT afford to continue to be a disparate bunch of enthusiasts who “just want to ride”. That’s not enough. We need to get off our collect ar*ses and join together with ONE voice and ONE plan! If you are ready to get your hands dirty and be a part of the future of trail riding, let me know. I am coordinating the collective so email ME direct.
Let’s do it!