‘Bigger than Ben Hur’ BMX track plan for Noranda rejected

BAYSWATER councillors voted against supporting a BMX track at Lightning Park in Noranda after a Dianella resident proposed a network of off-road jumps and trails.

A small BMX jump circuit was installed at Lightning Park in 2010. Rob Evans proposed to extend the circuit to build a wider network of off-road jumps, trails, pathways, seating and shelters.

After a decision on the issue was deferred in May, a City officer recommended the council provide a letter of support for the proposed project if a community organisation made an application for a grant.

At a meeting on June 21, Friends of Lightning Swamp president John Williams said he was concerned by the proximity of the $600,000 proposal to the sensitive Lightning Swamp. He said he helped young people start a petition to set up the small jumps in 2010 at a carefully chosen location.

Mr Williams said there had been issues with litter at the site.

Cr Catherine Ehrhardt put forward an unsuccessful motion for the City to use $25,000 to complete and repair the track, as the $600,000 network proposed by Mr Evans was “bigger than Ben Hur”.

Cr Chris Cornish said he was opposed to the alternate motion because there had not been demand for a BMX track.

He said the original proposal looked at accessing grant funding and now the council was considering committing $25,000.

Cr Sally Palmer said she feared a $25,000 upgrade would lead to the $600,000 proposal going ahead.

She said the City already had a “wonderful” track at Wotton Reserve Skatepark.

Cr Dan Bull said the alternate motion was a “motion by stealth” and appeared to be stage one of the large project.

“It reads like a small upgrade, but this is stage one,” he said.

Cr Ehrhardt said it was not a motion by stealth, but negated the need for the master plan.

“I think this is completing what’s there already and putting this one to bed,” she said.

The alternate motion was lost.