Council welcomes a decision on Warburton Mountain Bike Destination
Yarra Ranges Council has welcomed the decision by the Minister for Planning that the Warburton Mountain Bike Destination (WMBD) project can proceed following an extensive Environment Effects Statement (EES) process.
In reaching her final decision, the Minister has approved most of the proposal, however, has removed a signature trail proposed in the National Park. While this is a small length of the trail network relative to the entire project, Council needs to review the decision in greater detail to better understand the implications of this amendment to the project. That said, Council remains confident the project as approved will meet its objectives of becoming a world class mountain bike destination, providing ongoing economic stability to the region and generating hundreds of jobs for the community.
Overall, Council is pleased that a final decision has been made on the future of the project, providing assurance the community and a way forward for this important regional initiative.
Yarra Ranges Mayor, Cr Jim Child, said it was an exciting time for the Yarra Ranges following the announcement. We are really pleased to now have a response and a way forward for the Warburton Mountain Bike Destination and know this will be welcomed by our community”, Cr Child said.
“Whilst we still need to take the time to review the full detail of the decision and the panel assessment report and take into consideration the amendments to the overall project, we understand the importance of compromise to ensure this exciting project can move forward”.
“Not only is the Warburton Mountain Bike Destination designed to deliver a world class mountain biking destination, but it will help revitalise the region and deliver significant social and economic benefits to Warburton directly.
“I’d sincerely like to thank everyone who has supported us throughout this process, right back to 2013 when the initial feasibility of the project took place.
“As is the case with any major project, there will be some members of the community who will be disappointed that the project is proceeding due to either environmental or social concerns.
“We hope that the modifications that have been made to the project have helped at least alleviate some of those concerns and can have confidence that this incredibly through process will ensure the project is delivered in a way that protects the natural, cultural and social environments of this unique area.
“We know that the Warburton community is dealing with a lot right now following recent weather events, but we hope this decision brings to a close the uncertainty surrounding this project. Following our detailed review of the Ministers decision, we look forward to further updating and engaging with the community”.
Warburton Mountain Bike Destination, together with the Yarra Valley Trail and ‘ngurrak barring’ Ridgewalk in the Dandenongs, is part of Council’s Ridges and Rivers project, a $30 million investment funded between Federal and State Governments, Council, and Bendigo Bank (Warburton and Yarra Junction).
The three trail-based projects will help position the Yarra Ranges as a world-class trail based tourism destination and provide a significant social and economic boost to the region.