LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Share Mt Canobolas with everyone, including the mountain bike riders

I am writing in response to articles and letters recently published in the CWD regarding the establishment of mountain bike trails in the Mount Canobolas SCA.

SAVE THE MOUNT: "Mountain biking is a great sport, but if we need a new track we should be seriously examining more appropriate sites," says Nick King.

SAVE THE MOUNT: "Mountain biking is a great sport, but if we need a new track we should be seriously examining more appropriate sites," says Nick King.

Orange, unfortunately, has always been a "cliquey" community.  If you don't belong to a certain "clique" you don't get to use to all the facilities of the town. Let me illustrate:-

Lake Canobolas was originally built as a water supply for the citizens of Orange.

The cost of construction and maintenance was borne by funds taken from the rates and taxes of all the people.

Yet for years full use of the lake by all citizens was limited by members of the trout fishing "clique".  If you didn't belong you could not fish at the lake.

Because the lake was stocked with their Trout you could not engage in other water activities such as sailing.

This allowed about 100 people to bottle up a facility built for everyone. 

Eventually the club members died out, someone stocked the lake with Red Fin fingerlings and the council ended the monopoly.

Duntryleague was a private club. 

Membership was exclusive and not everyone was welcome to join.  The common people got together and built their own golf club, Wentworth, all were welcome. 

More recently Duntryleague fell on hard times. 

Membership rules were eased and they begged for money from the common people and the governments to refurbish their once private club.

We were convinced that Orange needed an art gallery.

It would bring exhibitions and visitors to the town, we were told.  Once again funds came from rates and taxes. 

After the art Gallery was completed some citizens of the town asked for permission to hold an exhibition of art produced by the amateur artists of the district. 

It was turned down because there was no room for lots of paintings of vases of flowers or gum trees. 

How boring that would be in a professional gallery.

Now some of our community want to ride their bikes on trails to be established in the Mount Canobolas SCA. 

Another precinct we all sponsor. 

But once again a minority want to reserve the precinct for activities such as bush walking and bird watching. 

Naturally this is to protect the flora and fauna of the area. 

Might I remind the readers that some of these people strenuously resisted all attempts to carry out controlled burning to reduce the amount of dry fuel throughout the area thus reducing a substantial fire risk.  

Finally earlier this year nature took matters into its own hands and we had the predicted bush fire. 

Fortunately there were no fatalities and little damage to property.

Wake up Orange. If we all pay we all want our turn at the toys.

Ray Moffat

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