Bindoon Mountain Bike and Adventure Park

Survey now open until 6 September! Have your say https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/J3WRVJ9

Contents

POTENTIAL PROJECT: The Shire of Chittering is looking to consult the community on a project with high economic potential. The Community feedback will help to assist in deciding on proceeding with further investigations.

  • Current Status: Planning & Community Consultation 
  • Managing Department / Officer: Economic Development

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 87Ha 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.

To advance this cause a purchase of the land would be required (with an estimated valuation of $700,000), which could be accessed from Reserve funds with no direct bearing on rates.


What happens next?

The Shire has conducted community information sessions, followed by a survey 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 can be found here, and Council will now consider how to further the project.


Community Information Sessions

COMPLETED:

Shire CEO Matthew Gilfellon will deliver brief presentations on the opportunity before upcoming Community Forums;

Wannamal: Wannamal Community Hall, Tuesday 11 August 7:00pm - 7:30pm
Muchea: Muchea Hall, Wednesday 26 August 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Lower Chittering: Lower Chittering Hall, Wednesday 2 September 6:30pm - 7:00pm

Chinkabee Complex, Bindoon. Thursday 30th July from 6pm

A Community Information Session was held at the Chinkabee Complex in Bindoon, on the evening of Thursday 30 July, featuring a presentation from the Shire, Department of Sport and Recreation and local trail builders Three Chillies Trail Design.

Food Files, the food truck linked with Northern Valleys Quality Meats, set up, and there was a pop-up pump and jump track from 3pm for bikes, scooters and skateboards. The information session was held between 6pm to 7pm, with the pump and jump track from 3pm and Food Files from 5pm.


Your feedback will be required in order to assess the progression of this project. Survey links will be provided in August, but also keep an eye on the Shire's "Have Your Say" Facebook page

Later in the process, land assessment and acquisition, facility design and business model assessment will need to be undertaken to continue to advance the project.

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


Documents and Links (Plans / feasibility studies etc)

Feasibility Study: Bindoon Mountain Bike & Adventure Park

Summary Sheet: Bindoon Mountain Bike & Adventure Park

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