Bindoon Mountain Bike and Adventure Park

Follow the progress on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/BindoonMTBPark

  • Current Status: 
    • ✅ Feasibility Study complete
    • ✅ Extensive community engagement undertaken (and continuing)
    • ✅ Steering Group formed
    • Concept Plan for MTB trails complete
    • ✅ Offer and acceptance for land purchase finalised
    • ✅ Business Case and Cost Benefit Analysis complete
    • ✅ Detailed Design and costings for Stage 1 complete
    • ✅ BBRF Grant application for Stage 1 submitted
    • ☐ Development applications approved
    • ☐ Funding and grant approvals
    • ☐ Construction tenders awarded for Stage 1
    • ☐ Stage 1 complete
    • → Stage 2 investigation
  • Managing Department / Officer: Economic Development

Contents

Summary

POTENTIAL PROJECT: The Shire of Chittering is progressing an exciting recreation project with high social and economic potential for the region: Bindoon Mountain Bike Park.

This project began when strategic plans identified the positive returns that a mountain bike park might bring to the Shire. In 2019 the Shire became aware of a key land parcel in the heart of Bindoon that could provide an opportunity to investigate this idea further.

Later that year a Feasibility Study was undertaken and uncovered the following:

Bindoon MTB Feasibility Results

Additionally, it recognised that mountain biking can improve overall health and social benefit outcomes for the community. Health benefits include; improved heart health, reduced joint stress, disease reduction, mood uplifts and higher brain performance. 

Community engagement was undertaken in 2020 and also showed strong positive signs with 93% surveyed in the local area saying they were in favour of the project, and further afield in the broader WA community 97% of the 800+ respondents said they would also use the facility.

A steering group was formed and a Concept Plan completed which led to a further Detailed Design of Stage 1, which will ultimately include;

  • An initial trail network as indicated in these plans by Chittering’s own Three Chillies Trail Design:
    • Two green cross country walking and cycling trails
    • One green downhill trail
    • Two blue downhill Trails
    • One blue cross country trail
    • Two black downhill trails
    • Shuttle Access
  • Summit features including a toilet, picnic and viewing facilities
  • Trailhead features (further detailed design to follow);
    • Kiosk with bike hire and refreshment facilities
    • Changeroom and toilet block
    • Barbecues and shelters
    • Bike lockers and maintenance
    • Car park

Stage 2 to be confirmed, but may include;

  • A further 11 trails
  • Spectator trails and viewing platforms
  • Lift infrastructure
  • Night sky viewing platform
  • Co-located caravan and camping facilities
  • Possible co-located adventure tourism business opportunity

Further analysis through a Business Case and Cost Benefit Analysis has shown that recent plans for the first stage alone of the mountain bike park will deliver an additional;

  • $6.6 million in returns to the region
  • An extra 6 jobs to the area
  • Health and recreation benefits for locals and visitors

The Shire of Chittering has applied for co-funding in a Building Better Regions Fund grant application, where the Federal Government would assist with a significant share, if successful. Applications are under review and successful applicants will be notified in July/August 2021.


Why was it researched?

Mountain biking has been identified as an aspirational recreation in the Shire in the Chittering Trails Network Plan, and the Mountain Bike Trails Master Plan.

A major trails park in Bindoon links with these long term ecotourism intentions to make the Chittering Region an attractive cycle and trails destination.

It is a key area of opportunity in Chittering in the Northern Growth Alliance Tourism Strategy, this new project has been identified as a possible offset to the economic damage expected to come with the Bindoon Bypass, and this may now also offset the damage from COVID-19 (see COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan).

Similar bypasses in other towns have seen an average 40% reduction in traffic, 4 businesses and 35% of jobs lost in Harvey, Northam and Karuah respectively. This would be the equivalent of losing half the businesses in Binda Place shopping precinct in Bindoon.

An opportunity has arisen to purchase a sizeable 100Ha lot of land overlooking Bindoon, known by some as Chinkabee Hill or Red Hill, for the benefit of the Shire. The lot is not suitable for development due to its rough topography, but does make it perfect for mountain biking, whilst maintaining the natural aesthateic and appeal of the town.

Mountain Biking is an increasingly popular recreation, and similar mountain bike parks and trails have provided a huge economic stimulus to struggling regions elsewhere in Australia (See video: Landline, How mountain biking helped save a tiny, Tasmanian town and this recent ABC News article; Mountain bike track leads surprise economic revival for Dungog in the Hunter Valley). With this in mind, the idea of establishing a mountain bike park in the town of Bindoon was investigated in an independent study by Breakaway Tourism to assess a park’s feasibility.


What did it uncover?

The Feasibility Study found that a world class Mountain Bike Park and associated Adventure Park on the site would be very popular with users.

The Study conservatively estimates that the development will ensure, annually;

  • an additional 17,200 visitors to the area
  • $1,670,000 dollars indirectly into the local economy
  • 11 full time jobs created due to growth in the economy

Of the 824 respondents from both the local area and across the State;

  • Over 96% of respondents indicated that they would be interested in experiencing the facility
  • A further 3% said they would use it depending on the inclusions, or they were unsure
  • Only 1% said they wouldn’t use the facility

In conjunction with increases in accommodation options this would further stimulate the local economy, as a growing number of visitors begin to spend more time in the area, and therefore spend money.

Furthermore, the health benefits for users range from improved heart health to increased brain power.

Benefits

In the Feasibility Study the concept includes the following features;

  • Trail Head, Carpark, Trail Hub
  • Pump/Jump, Skills and Adventure Park
  • Zip Line
  • Green Circuit Walk/Ride Trail
  • Variety Of Beginner To Advanced Bike Trails
  • Walking/Spectator Access Trail and Lookout
  • Summit Point
  • Green Walk/Ride Trail
  • Surface Drag Uplift (x3)
  • Road Shuttle Uplift

It also suggests that the facility could potentially host private enterprises and organisations, including:

  • Toboggan Track
  • Aboriginal Cultural Tours
  • Outdoor Adventure Park
  • Year-Round Competition Calendar
  • Cycle-Friendly Tourist Accommodation Park
  • Co-located Wildlife Rescue Park

The concept provided within the Feasibility Study estimates that in this example the complete cost of developing the facility would be spread across three stages, totaling $3.08 million.

However, this is not necessarily the Shire’s intended design or course of action. Instead, there are multiple models to be explored that may reduce the size of the development, or remove or reduce those costs, such as attracting private investment, grant funding, government subsidy or shared investment with other funding partners.

It is worth noting that changes or reductions in design may lead to changes in the projected visitation and economic returns for the region, however.

Mountain Bike Event Car Park


Community Consultation

The Shire has conducted several community information sessions, followed by a survey of local people in August to have your say as part of an extensive community engagement process in it's consideration of whether to further this project, both online via Facebook, and in hard copies, posted and available from local post offices and at the Shire Office.

Results of the Survey from the local community were extremely favourable towards the progression of the project:

Local survey results bindoon mtb


What happens next?

The Shire will continue to progress the development of further stages of this project with the Steering Group, investigate further funding, and refine planning on other portions of the project until construction commences.

If you require more information on the project please contact our Economic Development Coordinator on (08) 9576 4600 or email edc@chittering.wa.gov.au


Documents and Links (Plans / feasibility studies etc)

Feasibility Study: Bindoon Mountain Bike & Adventure Park

Bindoon Mountain Bike Park Concept Plan

Bindoon Mountain Bike Park Stage 1 Detailed Design

Stage 1 Business Case

Stage 1 Cost Benefit Analysis

Landline: How mountain biking helped save a tiny, Tasmanian town

ABC News: Mountain bike track leads surprise economic revival for Dungog in the Hunter Valley