ONE hundred kilometres of bike track and $10 million in extra tourism income could be there for the taking if councillors rally behind a master plan for a mountain bike facility at Mount Canobolas.
After months of discussing the possible tourism benefits, councillor Ash Brown will address councillors at a briefing on Tuesday, pushing for a master plan to be put together.
Cr Brown, who chairs Orange City Council’s bicycle committee, said the process would involve employing a world-class trail designer to develop the plan.
The design would include track routes, a possible food outlet at the summit, viewing platforms at strategic points along the tracks and provisions for camping and parking.
An ecological consultant would ensure the environment was preserved, while NSW Forestry Corporation and the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service would also need input.
“There could be 100 kilometres of track up there,” Cr Brown said.
“We want this to be an internationally recognised standard facility, that’s why we have to engage these consultants.
“It’s important to note that it’s not about a few kids riding their BMXs down a mountain, it’s a plan to increase tourism.”
Cr Brown said Bathurst had the annual V8 Supercar race at Mount Panorama and Mount Canobolas could be Orange’s version if it was developed to professional standards.
“[Mountain biking website] Flow Mountain Bike said it’s going to be better than Mount Buller [in Victoria] and on par with Rotorua, they were really excited about it,” he said.
“Over in Rotorua, they’re attracting $10 million a year in tourism dollars to the area ... and we want it to be similar to that here.”
Cr Brown said the mountain biker demographic would also take advantage of Orange’s existing attractions of high quality food and wine.
The project could take up to five years, depending on council support and grant funding.
The matter will be brought to a future council meeting.