Recreation trails across Western Australia have been supported with $1 million in Lotterywest grants.

Sport and Recreation Minister Terry Waldron said 14 community and local government organisations secured grants as part of the annual Trails Grant Round provided by Lotterywest, in partnership with the Department of Sport and Recreation.

The program offers grants from $25,000 up to $100,000 to support the planning, construction, upgrade and promotion of various types of trails including walking, cycling, horse riding and paddling routes.

Mr Waldron said the grants were a vital source of support for trails which provided health and cultural benefits to West Australians.

As a result of a successful application, the Shire of Collie has subsequently been selected for assessment as a World Class Trails Hub.

The assessment is being undertaken by consultants for the Department of Sport and Recreation.

The Trails Hub project will provide a blueprint to guide communities to become a trail hub.

Collie has significant existing infrastructure as well as natural features and community involvement and support that has seen it recognised as having significant opportunity to be a Trails Hub.

As this project develops, community forums and key stakeholder meetings will be held to determine Collie’s suitability.

The result will be a report that provides a ‘trail development map’ identifying the existing capacity and inventory of trails and community participation, as well as recommendations to guide the develop of Collie as a World Class Trail Hub.

Collie is also being assessed for suitability as a Trail Hub under theSouth West Mountain Bike Master Plan(SWMP), a project coordinated by the Department of Sport and Recreation, Department of Parks and Wildlife and Westcycle, which is the peak body for cycling in Western Australia.

Mountain biking is seeing a meteoric growth in community participation levels, and the South West is seeing increasing mountain bike tourism and there is significant potential for this to grow.

The objective for the SWMP project is to develop a plan that can be used to prioritise, create and sustain a high quality mountain bike trail network in the South West.

The SWMP will guide investment in the future of mountain biking in the South West by providing the platform for the development of the region as an innovative, sustainable, high quality and exciting riding and off-road cycle tourism destination that holds high environmental values.

The benefits of having Collie identified as a Trail Hub in this document are also significant, and Council officers are assisting the consultant and advocating Collie as a Mountain Biking trail hub.

“This is an excellent opportunity to develop Collie as a destination for adventure tourism,” Collie Shire chief executive officer David Blurton said.

“Collie is well positioned with the Bibbulmen Track and Munda Bindi trail and it has long been recognised that these trails should be capitalised upon as they run right past our doorstep”.

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