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BMX diggings returned to nature at conservation reserve

An unauthorised BMX track is being restored to its natural environment

By Latrobe City Council - 7th February 2002 - Back to News

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The site of an unauthorised BMX track developed in the Traralgon Railway Reservoir Conservation Reserve during the school holidays is being restored as closely as possible to its natural environment, after discussions were held between BMX riders, members of the Reserve Committee, and Council officers.

President of the Traralgon Railway Reservoir Conservation Reserve committee, John Lawson, said the land was being restored at the expense of the Reserve Committee and no action was being taken against the young people involved.

"During the school holidays we discovered a series of ramps and jumps were being excavated in the reserve by local youth to use as a BMX track. The reserve is primarily a conservation reserve. The grassy woodland and grassland is home to multiple species of wildflower and grasses, and the small shrubs and grasslands home to fairy wrens, pardalotes, thornbills and honeyeaters. Obviously clearing grassland and excavating the landscape is at odds with retaining the Reserveís conservation values, and cannot be permitted," Mr Lawson said.

"Today, perhaps 150,000 hectares of grassy woodland and grassland remain in Victoria out of 6-7 million hectares originally, mostly in small and fragmented remnants, often restricted to roadsides, railway reserves, water frontages and on private lands. It is this scarcity that makes a reasonably large area such as the Traralgon Railway Reservoir Conservation Reserve, unique," Mr Lawson said.

Latrobe City Chief Executive Officer, Richard Hancock, said the Traralgon Railway Reservoir Conservation Reserve was used by the public as a passive recreation reserve and the Reserve Committee had put enormous work into providing better access and protecting its environment. "It is simply an inappropriate place to construct a BMX track," Mr Hancock said.

"While emphasising the rules, we acknowledge that there has obviously been a great deal of energy and resourcefulness expended by the BMX riders who built the jumps, and we certainly donít want to stifle creativity. Where possible we will harness their ideas and enthusiasm in improving our own youth facilities," Mr Hancock said.

"Our officers have recently met with some of the young people to discuss the BMX track in Shakespeare Street and ways in which it can be improved. The facility is not finished yet, with some structural work to be done, and picnic tables, bollards and tree planting to be incorporated. Their ideas have been taken on board in improving the facility," Mr Hancock added.


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