July 28 2020
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JULY 28 2020 – 5:33PM
Parks Victoria staff dismantle illegal bike track
ABOVE: Parks Victoria staff working to close down the illegal mountain bike trail. Picture: CONTRIBUTED
A PARKS Victoria chief ranger in the Wimmera has admonished riders that created an illegal bike track near a sacred Indigenous site in Black Range State Park.
On Monday, Parks Victoria released a statement saying a crew of 20 staff had dismantled it.
The statement said the trail appeared to have been constructed over the June long weekend and was near the Mudadgadjin Aboriginal place in Telangatuk East, which includes a significant rock art shelter.
“While working, the crew maintained physical distancing and hygiene requirements at all times,” the statement read.
“The Black Range State Park protects native plants and wildlife on rugged terrain in Victoria’s west.
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“Part of the Gariwerd cultural landscape, the park contains important natural and cultural values.
“Off-road biking and the creation of new tracks can damage the environment and Aboriginal cultural heritage, cause erosion and spread weeds.”
Black Range State Park is located 55 kilometres south of Horsham, on the western edge of the Grampians National Park.
In the statement, area chief ranger Rhonda McNeil said, “the Black Range State Park protects a special landscape, and off-road mountain-biking and the creation of illegal tracks can damage that landscape.”
“With so many designated roads and tracks available for legal mountain bike riding there’s no excuse for this type of activity.
“Anyone caught will face penalties under the National Park Regulations.”
A Parks Victoria spokesman said mountain biking is permitted on designated vehicle tracks in most parks and reserves across Victoria.