A proposed mountain bike trail park on Mount Canobolas may receive a major boost with Orange City Council looking to commit $500,000 to the project.
Mayor Reg Kidd said there are plans to allocate the money in council's 2020-2021 budget to be discussed next Tuesday night.
Cr Kidd said the money would be spent preparing a development application for the bike trails and to consider environmental issues.
"Let's do it. Let's get a DA. Part of the DA will be an EIS [Environmental Impact Statement]," he said.
Cr Kidd said council was talking to federal and state ministers about government funding but would start with council money. "The mountain needs something [for people] to do. It's a great asset on our doorstep," he said.
Let's make Orange a mountain bike track mecca because I think it would go off.Cr Jason Hamling
He said money was also needed for walking track upgrades, improving amenities and repairing the environment.
"It hasn't been adequately resourced. We have weeds, there are other invasive species up there," he said.
Cr Kidd said jobs and apprenticeships would be created with the work.
Council's sport and recreation committee chair Cr Jason Hamling welcomed the move and didn't rule out the installation of a chairlift on the mount.
"It's good news. However it's been frustrating as we've got a long, long way to go," he said.
Cr Hamling said the mountain bike park would attract tourists.
"Mountain biking is just massive at the moment. It is big business. A lot of people spend money when they go away mountain biking," he said.
"Let's make Orange a mountain bike track mecca because I think it would go off."
Cr Hamling said the existing Lake Canobolas Mountain Bike Park had been popular with locals during the COVID-19 lockdown.
He said a lot of people had taken up bike riding and used the mountain bike track during the restrictions.
Cr Hamling said it was also popular with tourists who came to Orange from Sydney and Canberra on the June long weekend.
"That Lake Canobolas track has just been smashed by lots of bikers so I think its time we tried to move this process on to expand up to the mount," he said.
Cr Hamling said there was scope for other facilities to be included with the proposed 63 kilometres of bike paths on the mountain.
"A chairlift up to the mountain, that's not a silly idea," he said.
Cr Hamling said a chairlift to bring bike riders and their bikes to the top could even be linked to a revolving restaurant on the mountain.
He said mountain bike riders looked after the tracks and the region and would not damage the environment.
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