At the 13 October 2022 Ordinary Council Meeting, Cockburn Council voted to fund detailed ecological and cultural heritage studies at Manning Park.
The results of these studies will help Council decide if a formal trail network is viable in the park’s uplands.
The City has now appointed specialist consultancies to undertake these works:
- Fauna Track have been appointed for fauna survey with onsite works proposed to commence in late August
- Focused Vision Consulting have been appointed for the flora survey with onsite works proposed to commence in October
- Archae-Aus has been appointed the Aboriginal and European Heritage Survey of the Manning Park with onsite works commencing in September.
Each consultancy will provide the City with a draft survey report by February 2024. These reports will include a map which displays the locations of any significant environmental or heritage values present in the reserve. It is envisaged that the combined results of these studies will provide clarity on the feasibility and potential locations for a mountain bike trail.
At the 8 December 2022 Ordinary Council Meeting, Council also voted to fund an audit of all formal and informal trails in the upland area of Manning Park. This audit will occur in early 2024 following the completion of the environmental and heritage surveys. The findings of the audit will be presented to the Manning Park Trails Community Engagement Group to select trails for closure and rehabilitation.
The Manning Park Master Plan 2018-2028 identified the development of a Manning Park Mountain Bike Trails Concept Plan.
Manning Park is popular with bike riders, walkers, and runners but there are conflicts between some groups. The aim is to find a solution to help reduce conflict while enhancing environmental outcomes and protecting important areas within the park.
This concept for a Manning Park Mountain Bike Plan was released for public consultation in 2020.
While over 60 per cent of respondents said they felt the draft plan was good or very good or were happy with it to some degree, several key issues were identified, including:
How to enhance environmental outcomes and protect important areas within the park
How to integrate the needs of other user groups
How to achieve an appropriate scope and scale of trails.
Given these issues, the City chose to undertake further community consultation and a Manning Park Trails community engagement group was formed.
The group met five times between 8 December 2021–23 March 2022. A final report was produced which helped inform the 12 May 2022 report to Council.
The timeline, starting in 2013, of how we have reached this stage is detailed below.
- 2013: the City developed the Trails Master Plan 2013. The Plan identified that the City should begin to consider the establishment of mountain bike trails.
- 2015: the City started to look at the feasibility of a formalised mountain bike trail network in the upland area of Manning Park. The Beeliar Regional Park Management Plan identifies the upland area as suitable for cycle trails and identifies the area's purpose as recreation.
- The City sought input from the community as part of this process including letters to nearby residents, signage and newsletters.
- This process was paused in anticipation of the State Government developing a Master Plan for mountain biking in Perth and Peel and the City’s own Master Plan for Manning Park.
- 2017: The Perth and Peel Mountain Bike Master Plan was developed by WestCycle, with support from the State Government, Lotterywest and the West Australian Mountain Bike Association.
- Manning Park is identified in this Plan as a mountain biking destination. The Plan was launched in July 2017 by Environment Minister Stephen Dawson and Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray.
2018: The City adopted the Manning Park Master Plan which recommended the formalisation of mountain bike trails.
The City sought input from the community and key stakeholders as part of the process of developing the Master Plan including on-site visits daily at different times for a week, interviews, surveys, letters to nearby residents and pop-ups. Local traditional owners were also consulted in relation to the plan.
- 2020: The City resumed the 2015 project in the form of a concept plan for mountain bike trails and presented the draft design to the public for comment throughout June/July 2020.
- The public comment period was advertised in a variety of ways including Cockburn Gazette Ads, media releases, social media posts, letters to nearby properties, signage throughout Manning Park, e-newsletters, website updates and more. The initial comment period was extended by three weeks and 2000 letters were delivered to local residents informing them of the extension. Local traditional owners were also consulted in relation to the concept plan.
- 2021: Given the concerns that were identified through the consultation the City has determined to seek additional input, the City has now and formed a working group which met December 2021 – March 2022.
- May 2022: This item came before the May 2022 Ordinary Council Meeting. At this time, Cockburn Council deferred any decision on trails in Manning Park until it considers the costs and timing of detailed environmental evaluations and heritage assessments of the park’s upland area.
- September 2022: The costings of the environmental evaluations and heritage assessment were presented to the Expenditure Review Committee.
- October 2022: At the October Ordinary Council Meeting, Council voted to approve the environmental and heritage studies.
- November 2022: A report detailing the costs of protecting and maintaining the upland area from unsanctioned trail development was presented to the Expenditure Review Committee.
- December 2022: At the December Ordinary Council Meeting, Council resolved to approve funding for the trails audit to assist with the rehabilitation and the ongoing protection of Manning Park.
- August 2023: City appoints specialist consultants to undertake environmental and cultural heritage surveys of Manning Park.
Further details about the process can be found on the City’s Comment on Cockburn website.
Further information email [email protected] or call 08 9411 3444.