Page 3463 - Week 10 - Thursday, 20 October 2022

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I would also like to mention what is happening in some other areas in mountain biking. All around Australia, and actually all around the world, this sport is growing quite rapidly. A study has just been released in New Zealand about Rotorua. Rotorua is a major mountain biking destination. It is a quite family-friendly, all-abilities destination. Rotorua estimated that they had around 150,000 mountain biking visitors, spending around $140 million in Rotorua each year. That shows the potential that we could see out at Stromlo and just in the ACT on mountain biking, if we invest in our trails and in the experience, and reassess our economic impact.

One of the difficulties with mountain biking is that it falls across a lot of different areas. It is managed by multiple ministers and multiple directorates. I think that is causing a bit of complexity, particularly for members of the community who do not necessarily know how to navigate that system. Minister Gentleman is in charge of the reserves and the forestry estate. There is the Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate; within that, Minister Steel is responsible for Stromlo, Minister Barr is responsible for tourism, and Minister Berry is responsible for sports and recreation.

That is quite a complex system for people to navigate if they want to ask a simple question or if they have a good idea and they want to advocate that going forward. It is really hard for the community to have their say because they do not have one spot to contact. They have to go to four ministers—maybe more, depending on how they frame it—and it is hard for them to form strategic policy, follow through with an idea and understand whether that idea is going ahead or whether that idea just does not fit in.

That is why I think a single point of contact within ACT government is so important for mountain biking—a one-stop shop where you could go to that single point of contact, the query would be fed to the right area, and you do not need to understand the inner workings of government, particularly when, in this sport, it is quite complex.

One of the powerful bits of this motion is about giving the community one place to go. I am really pleased; I suspect we might actually get that today. That might help a lot of people to navigate the complexity.

Consultation in general has been a bit of an issue for mountain biking. It is always hard for government. There has been a lot of consultation and there is no perfect formula for doing consultation. Government has consulted with a lot of different user groups and has done quite a lot of consultation. Minister Steel’s amendment details quite a lot of the consultation that has gone on, on the previous strategies, and it is really good to see. Because we have so many thousands of users, there are still quite a lot of individuals who do not feel that they are being consulted well.

I have put some suggestions in my motion, just to make sure that we are engaging in that properly. It is particularly important out at Stromlo because we have so many different people running different sports out there. We have trail runners, swimmers, crit track cyclists and mountain bikers. What I have heard quite consistently from the mountain biking community, and what looks to be true on the numbers, is that there are a lot of mountain bikers there—the majority, by numbers—and they do not feel that they have individually had a voice until now.

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