Bindoon Mountain Bike and Adventure Park

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Contents

POTENTIAL PROJECT: The Shire of Chittering is investigating the development a project with high economic potential. 

  • Current Status: Planning & Grant Preparation 
  • 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).


Community Consultation

The Shire has conducted 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 of Chittering has resolved to commence preparation for a grant application in the upcoming “Building Better Regions Fund” (BBRF) in the December Ordinary Council Meeting.

This means that the Shire is preparing the documents required to be ‘grant ready’ for Stage 1 of the project that would include twelve mountain bike trails ranging in difficulty from green to black and a large walking trail around the perimeter.

A business case, business model, cost benefit analysis and detailed trail design will now commence in time for the grant deadline.

BBRF is a federally funded grant that supports regional infrastructure projects, and this latest round has a dedicated pool of funding for tourism. Applications are due 5 March 2021 and set to be announced in mid-2021

During this process Council will need to discuss purchase of the land that the project will be situated on.

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