Land dropped from revised draft Hills Activation Strategy as next stage of consultation moves forward

NEW PLAN: Wodonga Council's draft Hills Activation Strategy has been revised to only council land, meaning the Hunchback Hill plan now only focuses on the Klings Hill.

NEW PLAN: Wodonga Council's draft Hills Activation Strategy has been revised to only council land, meaning the Hunchback Hill plan now only focuses on the Klings Hill.

Plans for mountain biking on Hunchback Hill will be “largely dependent” on the result of an independent audit, as the Hills Activation Strategy moves forward without proposals for land not owned by Wodonga Council.

The first draft outlined a vision for land across the six hills, but the revised proposals only looked at council land, meaning Branduda Range had been dropped completely and Hunchback’s strategy focused on the Klings Hill component only.

Access remained a key priority, including the establishment of a new section of single mountain bike track to Klings Hill’s summit, separating riders and walkers who shared Coyles Track.

Wodonga mayor Anna Speedie said proposals relating to crown land on Hunchback, the Felltimber Creek Nature Conservation Reserve, had been removed.

“That is managed by Parklands Albury-Wodonga and is currently having an audit done as is imposed by the Department of Environment, Water, Land and Planning,” she said.

“It’s not ours, but we will continue to work with Parklands and meet with them regularly as we do other authorities like the CFA.”

Feedback from authorities linked to the hills was integrated into the new draft.

Council Natural Resources planner Claire Coulson said this included removing a proposal to exclude grazing on the eastern side of Mahers Hill.

“There were concerns about how fire hazards would be managed without grazing, so we’ve now scaled back some of those suggestions and made it very clear we will consult with CFA before we make any changes to grazing,” she said.

Cr Speedie said proposals for amenities, including event spaces and car parking, had been scaled back in some cases.

“There has been some camping removed from Klings Hill,” she said. 

“We have had some great feedback (on our strategy).

“There was some particularly on mixed use of trails with bikes and walkers, and the potential danger of that, and looking at very significant environmental areas … and how we protect those into the future. We now go out to start our second phase of community consultation.”

A community forum will be held at The Cube Wodonga on Sunday, March 26 and Monday, March 27.

To view the revised documents and provide feedback, go to makewodongayours.com.au.

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