Council welcomes hills report findings

Wodonga Council has welcomed the presentation of the findings from the audit of the Crown Land known as Hunchback Hill.

An independent review of mountain bike tracks at Hunchback Hill in Wodonga has confirmed that track works at McFarlands and Swainsona reserves have resulted in significant environmental impacts.

The review took in the Crown Land which is managed by Parklands Albury Wodonga for the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).

Wodonga Council Chief Executive Officer Patience Harrington said the community was clear on the importance of hills in contributing to the liveability of our city.

“We know the high value our community places on our hills and the desire to use and enjoy the hills,” she said.

“The outcomes of this report ensure that there is a balance in preserving the significant environmental values in this area while allowing the community enjoy all that it has to offer.

“Parklands Albury Wodonga do an incredible job across the Border community and we look forward to working alongside DELWP and Parklands to continue to maintain our hills and reserves for the enjoyment of our community.

“The council recognises and agrees that the hills that provide the stunning backdrop for our city are important assets not only for our city but all our people as well.

“As such, respect for the environment remains at the forefront of any of our planning and management of these hills while continuing to meet the ongoing diversity in needs, usage and access they provide.

Parklands Albury Wodonga will now work with DELWP to determine which tracks will remain open and tracks that will be closed and rehabilitated.

Parklands Albury Wodonga has said it will work with key stakeholders and the community to complete the works within an 18-month period.

The management of the remaining network of approved mountain bike tracks will then be formalised with the mountain bike club through a licence under the Crown Land Reserves Act 1978.

An advisory group with representatives from the key stakeholders will be established to support the implementation of the rehabilitation plan for the site.

The full report is available for review at Parklands Albury Wodonga and DELWP’s Wodonga office.