The Cockburn community will contribute to planning discussions on the future of a Manning Park trails network when a working group is formed in coming weeks.
The City of Cockburn is calling for Expressions of Interest from people and groups with local knowledge of the popular park to contribute varied insights and perspectives to help workshop the proposal’s viability.
While not a decision-making body, the group of 16 will meet up to four times during November and December, guided by an independent facilitator.
An independent consultant will use a set of criteria to choose a cross section of community representatives to achieve a broad range of involvement and knowledge.
Subject to applications received, the group will comprise members of the Hamilton Hill and Spearwood community associations, nearby residents and park users, the Aboriginal Reference Group, Cockburn Community Wildlife Corridor, Friends of Manning Ridge, and mountain bike, orienteering and trail running group representatives.
City of Cockburn Acting Head of Sustainability and Environment Chris Beaton said the City was keen to hear the community’s ideas by providing a forum for positive collaboration to help identify key issues, opportunities, and potential solutions.
He said it was vital Manning Park was a welcoming space where all users could co-exist respectfully with the environment and each other.
The park is currently home to several kilometres of informal trails which have been developed over time by various users including runners, orienteers and mountain bike riders.
“Manning Park holds a special and unique place in our local community,” Mr Beaton said.
“This was never more obvious than during the City’s June 2020 advertisement of a mountain bike trails concept for the park, to gage its feasibility.
“The City’s Comment on Cockburn community engagement site was visited more than 10,000 times, with more than 1,100 people providing feedback.
“This again confirmed that Manning Park is a popular regional destination with important environmental, social, recreational and cultural values.
“While more than 60 per cent of respondents to the 2020 consultation felt the draft concept was good or very good, or they were happy with it to some degree, it also identified several issues.
“We hope the working group will help find ways to address the needs of different user groups that complements the environmental, cultural and social values of the park.”
The trails project is only a proposal at this stage and subject to further consideration by Council.
Expressions of Interest can be submitted by 4pm Wednesday 13 October and more information regarding membership criteria and meeting dates is available at Comment on Cockburn