Page 305 - Week 01 - Thursday, 15 February 2018

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Rotorua has identified those economic benefits then that is something that is likely to be replicated here in the ACT. The authors of the Rotorua study summed it up very well. They said:

Recreation is an important environmental service provided by many planted forests. The value of this service, however, is not well known. For policy makers and land managers to make informed decisions on planted forest management for multiple benefits, they need to recognise the value of the environmental services provided.

Similarly there was a terrific story on the ABC in late December last year about the town of Derby in Tasmania. The story goes that a few years ago Derby was a typical Tasmanian town: few job opportunities, a falling head count and bargain basement real estate. But then the Blue Derby mountain bike trails were built in the hinterland. Almost everything in Derby changed. The article goes on to talk about the impact it has had on the town. It says that, since 2015, 30 kilometres of trail have been built, the first stage of a planned 80-kilometre network that is scheduled to cost $3.1 million. In the article they talk to the mayor of the town. The article says:

Talking about the figures being driven by the mountain biking gets the Mayor sitting up straight in his chair; 30,000 visitors on the trails every year, tourists are staying four to five nights in Derby then another five days elsewhere in Tasmania.

It adds up to an estimated $30 million-a-year return on that $3.1 million investment.

It is an extraordinary outcome for this town in Tasmania where, as the article talks about, they were struggling prior to that, and I think it demonstrates the strength of the opportunities. This is what we want to see replicated here in Canberra. It talks about the owner of the local mountain bike shop which has sprung up now who is so busy his eyes are circled in red. He talks about how it is not just about getting the mountain bike shop running and it is not just about the money; he hires a few teenagers who have come in to work in his shop and he sees their pride and confidence in witnessing the transformation of their home town.

These are the sorts of economic opportunities we must be pursuing for this city in making sure that we provide the necessary infrastructure and that the ACT, which has a great reputation already, is able to compete with other towns that are making these sorts of investments.

Planning—urban environment

MS ORR (Yerrabi) (4.24): Those of you who know me know that I usually talk about one of two things when I rise for an adjournment. I can see the collective winks of those still assembled here, thinking, “Not Giralang again.” Do not worry; I will save that for next week. Today I would like to talk about my other great passion: urban planning.

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