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  • Eumeralla Trail Network Update
  • Strengthening Parks Vic
  • Surf Coast MTB Strategic Plan 
  • Alcoa Coalmine Trails
  • 2016 Short Film Fest
  • Upcoming GMBC Events
  • Committee Member Profile - Scott Nicholas

Eumeralla Trail Network Update

It's been 6 months since our last newsletter update on this process. There has been a lot of work carried out by our group behind the scenes but unfortunately this hasn't translated into much progress on the ground. Our recommendations for the final network have been met with significant resistance by environmental groups and this has resulted in Parks Vic head office concluding that there was not enough environmental input sought during the initial public feedback period (early 2015). They have sought and received further environmental feedback and consequently the proposed trail network for formalisation has been changed by local Parks Vic members and sent back to Melbourne for review. This process has resulted in the planned closure of further sections of trail (mainly flat trails that don’t form the main single track loop) but there are some other more significant trails that remain on the "to be further assessed" list. Concerns re Phytophthora (Cinnamon Fungus) and excessive fragmentation have been the major factors leading to these changes.

Whilst we’re told that formalisation may not be far away, the same statement has been made multiple times in the past 2 years. We don’t expect any trails within the network to be closed before the process is complete and we will continue to work closely with Parks Vic towards our goal of retaining a safe, interesting and varied trail network for all trail users. 

You can help for now and into the future. See the next section and allocate a small piece of time to do your bit. 

We need you to feedback to Parks Vic!

Parks Vic is currently seeking feedback from the community about how they can improve in the future. We have submitted detailed feedback from our experiences over the past 4 years with a number of recommendations made. We also very recently attended a workshop with Parks Vic in Torquay to discuss these issues further. 

The State Minister for Environment has asked Parks Vic to supply her with the feedback summarised by the end of the year. We also met with the Minister's advisor earlier this year to outline the issues we face on the surf coast with formalising the trail network and the lack of any sort of surf coast MTB plan. 

The more people who feedback, the more notice will be taken of our region and the greater the likelihood of progress. The feedback page is HERE. You simply need to register with your name and email to be able to post a short message. Don't forget to mention the surf coast if that's what your feedback is about as it's a state wide process.

The key points we feel are important for the Minister to act on are:

  • Over 4 years and still going - the time taken for the Eumeralla Track Proposal to be completed is far too long. 
  • Parks needs to communicate more openly and productively with community groups and make the most out of the productivity and knowledge these groups can offer. 
  • On the surf coast, Parks needs to recognise the demands for nature based tourism, particularly mountain biking and be more proactive about planning for the future.
  • Parks Victoria needs to be better funded by the government to achieve it's goals of truly promoting it's slogan "Healthy Parks, Healthy People". 
  • The "legislative spaghetti" that underpins the way Parks must operate needs to be urgently revised to facilitate more efficient outcomes. 
All you need to do is send a tweet sized message outlining one or two of the above or your own other thoughts. Please be constructive and not inflammatory. And hopefully we can see some progress on the surf coast and work towards a surf coast MTB strategic plan as below! Feedback closes Oct 7.

Surf Coast Mountain Bike Strategic Plan

Will our region have trails to keep these youngsters engaged and interested in physical activity as they grow? Can we compete against the well structured world of electronics that sees so many youngsters glued to various size computer screens? 

The surf coast region has trails in many areas but no overriding MTB Strategic Plan. In conjunction with the Anglesea Bike Park Committee, we have commenced work towards rectifying that situation by involving Surf Coast Shire, Parks Vic and DEWLP. Our goal is to produce a MTB action plan that links many of the concepts proposed by documents such as the recently released Growing Adventure Tourism in the Barwon South West Region with results on the ground. Its early days but we remain hopeful that this process will move forward and bring future great benefits to the region’s trail users. 

Alcoa Coalmine Rehabilitation

Alcoa has been seeking feedback for many months now with regards to what the community would like to see as an outcome of the coalmine rehabilitation process. The main page with all details is HERE. Trails have been very prominent in feedback and regularly mentioned at the community meetings. Alcoa initially released draft guiding principles to be used to direct the outcome (phase 1) and in recent times, these have been further refined (phase 2). Phase 3 (early 2017) will outline the draft revised Mine Closure Plan for community feedback that will detail the actual proposed outcomes and phase 4 (late 2017) will outline draft plans for Alcoa owned (freehold) land.  

We have been heavily involved in this process and have submitted formal proposals for the inclusion of a significant trail network in the final outcome. We believe there is scope for a range of outcomes to be included and encourage anyone who is interested to get involved. The next community meeting will be held on Oct 10 at the Anglesea Senior Citizens Club , McMillan St Anglesea. If you haven't already done so, you can register your interest in the process HERE to receive all of the updates. 

2016 Short Film Fest - Call for short Films

After the success of the 2015 event, we're in the throes of getting things sorted for another short film fest late Nov / early Dec. And we're looking for some cool footage (~3-10 mins in length). If you think you have something that might provide some entertainment, please let us know by emailing Brett at We might even have a great prize for the best submission!  

Upcoming GMBC Events

You Yangs Yowie - Sat Oct 8

Are you ready to take on the Yowie? This epic event is a highlight of the MTB calendar and there's offerings for all level of riders including a dirt squirts race, 15, 33, 66 & 99k options. Full details HERE

MTB Skills @ The Hill

GMBC are introducing a 6 week Junior MTB Skills Program based at The Hill for 5-12 yo's. Places are limited to 30 children. You can secure your child's place and view further information HERE. Entries closing very soon. 
Location: Newcastle St off Shannon Ave & West Fyans St
When: Wednesdays, 4.30-5.30pm, Oct 5 - Nov 9
Cost: $30 (need to take out free 8wk MTBA membership if not already a member).   

Committee Member Profile - Scott Nicholas

Less than 4 years ago, Torquay’s Scott Nicholas did not own a mountain bike. But he did have a few pairs of running shoes and had not long prior opened The Running Company Geelong. It wasn’t long before he honed his skills and began claiming the vast majority of Strava KOMs on the surf coast!

For those who knew him, his rapid improvements on the bike came as no great surprise. Scott grew up in the US college system and ran with the University of Oregon, well known for its running prowess. His running PB’s are super impressive (1500m - 3:46, 3000m - 8:24 & marathon 2:18).  

But running is hard on the body and since discovering the thrills of MTBing, Scott hasn’t looked back. He’s passionate about single speeding and for a year or so, didn’t own a MTB with gears. On the surf coast he discovered he wasn’t alone in this regard and he established the informal group Surf Coast Single Speeders. 

In 2015, Scott became the 24hr single speed world champion and in early 2016, found a derailleur and teamed up with Tobias Lestrell to win the inaugural Otway 300 followed by a win at the You Yangs Crazy 6hr event. Not many people can put Tobias in the hurt locker as per the above pic taken during the Otway 300! Next on the radar is an assault at the Australian 24 hr single speed title at the Scott (perfectly named for him!) Oct 8/9. 

Given his passion for all things bikes and his long experience in the retail industry, maybe he should start a surf coast bike store. Well that's exactly what he's been working on throughout 2016. Bike Matters in Torquay is set to open just after the Scott and expect to discover an amazing fit out. 

For those new to the group... 

Welcome! To find out a bit more background to our group, check out our page on the GMBC website HERE

What can you do to keep our trail network open? 

Please help us to extend our voice!

  • Like our Facebook Page.
  • Get friends to sign up to our monthly email update database HERE.
  • Forward this newsletter to interested friends.

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If you have any enquiries please email us. We would love to hear from you so please shoot through any feedback or questions and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
Happy riding, stay safe and we’ll see you on the trails.
Surfcoast Trail Group
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Surf Coast Trail Group · 1 Hurst Rd · Anglesea, VIC 3230 · Australia

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