The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning enters debate over role of mountain bike tracks on Wodonga's Hunchback Hill

CONCERN at mountain bike tracks on Wodonga’s Hunchback Hill has escalated with Victoria’s environment manager looking to stop further development.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning has stressed its worry in a letter penned by acting Hume region director Darien Wahlquist.

“DELWP recently inspected the works at Hunchback Hill as a result of a number of concerns being raised,” Ms Wahlquist wrote.

Under attack: Wodonga Council candidate and Parklands Albury community ranger Ant Packer has been grilled about her links with the use of Hunchback Hill.

Under attack: Wodonga Council candidate and Parklands Albury community ranger Ant Packer has been grilled about her links with the use of Hunchback Hill.

“The inspection identified several issues including a lack of appropriate signage, multiple intersecting tracks, poor siting and design of tracks as well as potential for conflict between passive and active recreational activities.”

Ms Wahlquist noted the department would be making specification recommendations to Wodonga Council’s hilltop plan and liaising with Parklands Albury-Wodonga which manages the site.

“DELWP will be working closely with PAW  and Wodonga Council to ensure that concerns are addressed, including cessation of further track development and the rehabilitation of some of the existing tracks that are poorly sited,” she wrote.

The letter was sent to a Wodonga resident who had emailed Victorian Energy, Environment and Climate Change Minister Lily D’Ambrosio with concerns.

Parklands Albury-Wodonga ranger Ant Packer, who is a candidate for Wodonga Council, was asked if she had received the letter at an election forum on Tuesday night.

She initially responded by saying “it’s not appropriate in this forum for me to be talking about Parklands Albury-Wodonga issues”.

But questioner Dan Humpage, a Save Hunchback Hill member, challenged her, saying “it goes to the heart of your leadership credentials”.

“We are not under investigation,” Ms Packer said.

“At the end of the day leadership is about being proactive, seeing what the risks are and doing something about it.

“There have been mountain bike tracks on Hunchback Hill for 20 years.”

Asked again about the letter, Ms Packer said “we have not received any letter”.

Organisers cut off further probing by Mr Humpage.

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