Enduro World Series a chance for North-East to shine

Sarah Courtney, Liberal Member for Bass

31 March 2017

In just over a week Tasmania will host the Enduro World Series for mountain bikes at Derby – an event that will showcase the best of Tasmania and the best of the North-East.

This is a chance for the North-East to shine, and the event will also have massive economic benefits to the North-East and spin-off advantage to Launceston.

I know that there are some people, egged-on by the Greens and Wilderness Society, who are concerned that the bike trails might be compromised by forest harvesting activity, and our bill to unlock Tasmania's production forests.

I want to assure Tasmanians that the Government will never do anything to compromise this fantastic attraction.

I have spoken to the Minister for Resources and he has been very clear: "the Government will not authorise any harvesting which will cause detriment to any significant tourism infrastructure or service".

Despite this very clear assurance, there are rumours that the Greens and radical environmentalists are planning to disrupt the event for cheap political point-scoring in pursuit of their radical anti-forestry agenda.

If they proceed with their fact-free protest action, it will be nothing less than an act of economic sabotage against the North-East community.

I call on them to renounce these destructive plans and instead acknowledge Tasmania's outstanding environmental record and constructive collaboration between the forestry and tourism industries and the local community.

One of the keys to these magnificent trails has been the co-operation between the forest industry, which manages part of the land on which the trails are built, and the local biking community and Derby community.

Forestry Tasmania is a sponsor of the Enduro World Series and as part of its commitment to balance harvesting with the needs of neighbours, three coupes that intersect with the trails have been removed from the future harvesting plan.

Forestry Tasmania has worked closely with the Government, the Dorset Council and the local mountain biking community on the design and development of the Blue Derby trails.

The Blue Derby trails were built in areas that had previously been harvested, in some cases multiple times, so it shows that well managed forests and tourism can co-exist and prosper.

The Enduro World Series on April 8-9 is a perfect chance to show the world's media about our special Tasmania and why it has become a must-see destination for tourists, and I call on everyone, including the Green movement, to get behind it.