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City of Albany to explore options for dedicated off-road vehicle area after call to action by council

Stuart McGuckinAlbany Advertiser
Options for a dedicated off-road vehicle area in Albany will be explored by the city.
Camera IconOptions for a dedicated off-road vehicle area in Albany will be explored by the city. Credit: Laurie Benson

Albany’s council has thrown its full support behind a motion calling for city staff to explore options for establishing a dedicated off-road vehicle area.

Cr Robert Sutton tabled a motion on Tuesday requesting the chief executive investigate whether it would be feasible for the city to facilitate or provide an area for non-registered off-road vehicle recreation.

After a brief discussion in which Cr Sutton outlined his reasons for the motion, the council unanimously backed the idea.

He pointed towards the significant amount of work that had been done to set aside dedicated trails for horse riders on the Stidwell Bridle Trail.

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He said casual motorcyclists and ATV users were similar to the horse riders using the trail because they did it for “leisure and pleasure” and they would not be the same people who would end up using the motorplex.

“We are very, very good as a local government and in State government at saying you can’t go here or you can’t go there,” he said.

“When I asked where we could send people with these machines as families there wasn’t one spot, and in fact there is only five in the State.”

The motion singled out the possibility of using a city-owned block on Lake Warburton Road in Palmdale as an option but did not limit city staff to look at just one area.

Cr Sutton also suggested there was a remote possibility of one being established near the motorplex or that Baker’s Junction reserve could be explored as an option.

“I don’t think we can continue telling people where not to go and then expect not to have environmental damage when they end up going places they shouldn’t” he said.

We are very, very good as a local government and in State government at saying you can’t go here or you can’t go there. When I asked where we could send people with these machines as families there wasn’t one spot...

Cr Robert Sutton

Cr Malcolm Traill seconded the motion saying it was “a great step forward”.

During public question time, members of the Friends of the Stidwell Bridle Trail also spoke in support of exploring options for a dedicated off-road vehicle area.

FSBT chair Samantha Stevens described the motion as “a first courageous step of walking towards a problem” to set things in motion towards finding a solution.

A report will be presented to the council for further discussion by July.

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