Sunday, July 21, 2024

Lake Jindabyne shared trail on right track

Progress on Snowy Monaro Regional Council’s Lake Jindabyne Shared Trail project is charging ahead, with detailed planning and designs complete and shovels getting closer to hitting the ground.

The project will see the creation of a united mountain biking, walking and running trail network from Hatchery Bay through to Tyrolean and East Jindabyne.

The project will include improvements to wayfinding signage, additional parking, amenities and trailhead facilities. Proposed options for upgrades to pedestrian access across the Jindabyne Dam wall are under negotiation, Council said today.

The project is entirely funded through the support of the NSW Government via Restart NSW under the Regional Growth, Environment and Tourism Fund.

“Council is grateful for their ongoing support and assistance. The completion of the project will be a major boost for year-round tourism and a more sustainable economy,” Council said in a statement.

The Hatchery Bay section of trail will include a pedestrian underpass at Kosciuszko Road, formalising the link between the Thredbo Valley Track and the Lake Jindabyne Shared trail via Gaden Trout Hatchery. Council has been working with the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), Fisheries NSW and neighbouring landholders to formalise the trail connection.

“The project not only includes an extension of the existing Jindabyne Shared Trail but also improvements to our existing network. With input from our hard-working volunteers at Jindabyne Trail Stewardship, the Tyrolean and Mill Creek Trails have undergone a full review and design change,” Council said.

“This includes some new trails, more car parking and additional amenities. The process of formalising the network has involved addressing biodiversity, Indigenous Australian heritage impacts, road safety and generally improving the trail experience for all users.”

With the majority of planning complete for the Lake Jindabyne Shared Trail, an open tender process is being prepared for each stage of the project’s construction.

“Once planning and preparations are finalised, this project is estimated to need six to eight months from the start of construction to reach completion,” Council said.

“Due to Council’s proactive work to offset and remediate any biodiversity impacts from this project, the total expected payment to the NSW Government for biodiversity offsets has been reduced from $3mil to $500k.”

Contract ecologists returned to the trail network in and around Jindabyne in early September 2023 to complete their final biodiversity surveys and impact assessments.

“Compared to other shared trail projects across the country, the Lake Jindabyne Shared Trail project is much more complicated to plan and get underway.”

“There is important work to be done before, during and after construction of the Lake Jindabyne Shared Trail. Council has been required – ethically and legislatively – to work to protect and preserve the area’s unspoiled natural environment.

“This includes large numbers of sensitive and protected flora and fauna, and is in addition to the many significant Indigenous Australian heritage sites found in and around the trail.

“Other trail projects do not have the same level of constraint – across so many different areas – that Council must manage with this project,” it said.

The Council says it appreciates the support, collaboration and understanding of the local community, visitors, and stakeholders during this process.

“We look forward to sharing specific details about the construction and eventual launch dates for the Lake Jindabyne Shared Trail very soon.”

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