NEWS 15 March 2022 |

This morning the five-week Inquiry Hearing for Warburton Mountain Bike Destination Project Environment Effects Statement (EES) began.

What happens next is really important. If the bike tracks planned in the Yarra Ranges National Park go ahead, the habitat of threatened wildlife, like the Mount Donna Buang Wingless Stonefly and Leadbeater’s Possum, will be severed and cleared.

Not only that, a dangerous precedent may be set, making it very hard to protect vulnerable wildlife in national parks across Victoria.

So we’re going all out to protect the Yarra Ranges National Park from these very poorly planned mountain bike tracks.

With strong legal representation and expert witnesses we can expose the problems with the project’s Environmental Effects Statement process.

It’s an expensive undertaking. But we’re not going to sit by and watch as the forest homes of endangered and critically endangered plants and animals are sacrificed unnecessarily.

At this stage our legal team and independent witnesses will speak about the issues we’ve raised on day nine and ten of the hearing.

They’ll give expert insight into the problems with the project’s ecological assessment and approach to park management. They’ll share their expert advice on plant pathology, mycology and soil microbiology.

The hearing will run for some weeks with evidence from the Yarra Ranges Council and their consultants.

Like many local community groups, we’ve seen the Yarra Council minimise and sugar-coat the damaging impacts of the tracks. The Council is focused on bringing in tourism dollars, not what’s best for the conservation of the park. We need to set the record straight.

The inquiry hearing will finish up on 7 April. You can watch the hearing online via Zoom. Visit this Engage Victoria page for more information on how to watch the hearing live.

The inquiry hearing will not be recorded. We encourage you to check out the timetable and make sure you tune in live to the presentations you want to hear.