Greens want space for dirt bikes
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Greens want space for dirt bikes

A DIRT bike Mecca would be constructed in bushland to the west of the territory under an election commitment by the ACT Greens.

The ACT Greens today announced it would provide $500,000 in funding to build an off-road trail bike facility at Pierces Creek.

The ACT Greens' Shane Rattenbury, right, discusses plans with Peter Daley from the Dual Sport Motorcycle Riders Association.

The ACT Greens' Shane Rattenbury, right, discusses plans with Peter Daley from the Dual Sport Motorcycle Riders Association.

Photo: Jay Cronan

While plans for the track are yet to be produced, it is understood the area would provide facilities similar to Stromlo Forest Park.

A dirt bike facility in the ACT has been on the drawing board for years, with the proposal previously receiving planning funding through the government's Motor Sports Funding Package. But no capital funding had been allocated for its construction.

The unlikely alliance between the environmentally conscious party and petrol heads would provide the cash to create the area for motorcyclists.

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ACT Greens sport and recreation spokesman Shane Rattenbury said a designated trail bike facility would be a win-win for both riders and the environment.

''Currently some riders are riding in nature reserves without lawful authorisation,'' Mr Rattenbury said.

''Creating a designated facility will benefit the environment by making use of a location away from sensitive conservation areas and one where better erosion controls are in place.

''It will also allow riders to take their family to a legal facility and the Greens think that is fair enough.''

ACT Dual Sport Motorcycle Riders Association president Peter Daley said the absence of a purpose built facility would force enthusiasts to break the law by riding in suburban parks, national parks and other public spaces.

Research conducted by the ACT government found 90 per cent of the 700 trail bike riders surveyed felt uncomfortable about riding in unauthorised locations.

He said the park should contain more than 100 kilometres of track and various options for all disciplines of off-road riding.

''It would be a facility everyone could go to, no matter what type of motorbike they had,'' he said.

Mr Rattenbury said the on-site works could commence after an agreement was reached with Actew Water to protect the Cotter River water catchment.

''Those discussions are progressing well and we commit to including $500,000 worth of capital works in the next budget so that work can commence as soon as possible,'' Mr Rattenbury said.