Redland City Mayor Karen Williams and the Honourable Mick de Brenni MP, Member for Springwood, have met with excited users to take in and celebrate recent improvements through the Redlands Coast Eastern Escarpment Hinterland Experience project.
Councillor Williams said the upgraded Redlands Coast Eastern Escarpment Conservation Area was already being enjoyed by many avid cyclists, bushwalkers, horse riders and nature lovers.
“The major upgrade to this naturally wonderful area has long been on Council’s to-do list and we are delighted that Council’s works were able to be brought forward as a result of Queensland Government’s COVID Works for Queensland funding of $2,050,000 last year,” Cr Williams said.
“Today is a celebration of what can be achieved when different levels of government work collaboratively together to deliver for the community.
“Eastern Escarpment is part of a broader trail network across Redlands and through to Logan with this upgrade enhancing visitor access to recreation and natural areas while protecting biodiversity across this region.
“It was wonderful to meet rising mountain biking (MTB) star, 16-year-old Bailey Meares, and adaptive mountain biker (aMTB), Renee Junga today.
“Bailey – who last year was ranked seventh in the country for Gravity Events such as Downhill and Enduro Racing – tells me he loves the two new black diamond runs, which provide scope of his intense training schedule just five minutes from his school, Sheldon College.
“Renee – who had an accident when training for the Beijing Olympics as part of Australia’s first BXM squad – has more recently taken up adaptive mountain biking and provided accessibility advice so that trails suitable for aMBT could be included at Eastern Escarpment.”
Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen, Minister for Public Works and Procurement and Member for Springwood Mick de Brenni said the Queensland Government had provided Council with $2.8m for works to the Eastern Escarpment and the Cleveland Aquatic Centre as part of its plan for Queensland’s economic recovery from Covid 19.
“Our government was keen to support more investment in high quality mountain bike trails to meet the growing demand for this incredibly popular sport,” Mr de Brenni said.
“As a mountain biker myself, I’d like to acknowledge the team who delivered the project which has been acclaimed as one of the best rides anywhere in southeast Queensland.
“This Queensland Government Covid-19 Works for Queensland project has created jobs in delivering the infrastructure itself and more broadly in local tourism, hospitality and the cycling economy.”
Redland City Deputy Mayor and Councillor for Division 6, Julie Talty said the popularity of the area had greatly increased since word got out about the new trails and facilities.
“In addition to upgrading 7 km of existing trails, more than 13km of new trails have been created with new wayfinding signage, along with new viewing opportunities out to our Moreton Bay Islands,” Cr Talty said.
“New trailhead facilities at Gate 2 (near Schoek Road) include a small sealed car park, amenities, potable water and shelter with signage incorporating a map.
“As well as providing an improved experience for recreational users, the upgraded trails will also provide better access for the effective management of weeds and fires in the reserve.”
Council bought the 186.68ha parcel of land in 2008, and in 2017 began formal planning for the reserve in consultation with trail runners, bush walkers, horse riders, mountain bike riders, environmental groups, neighbours and the community.
The Redlands Coast Eastern Hinterland Experience was fully funded by the State Government through its 2020-21 COVID Works for Queensland program.