20 May 2020
George Town Council recently went to tender for the re-design and construction of the Mt George and Tippogoree Hills trail networks. Council has awarded the tender to internationally renowned trail builders ‘World Trail’. Glen Jacobs, Director of World Trail said, “We are extremely honoured to be given the task of helping deliver such an amazing project. The drive and vision for this project by George Town Council has been very refreshing and professional to say the least. The north east of Tasmania is fast becoming the epicenter for mountain biking.”
George Town has a distinct history, from early colonial settlement to industrial manufacturing, and like many Council’s around Tasmania, George Town is looking to boost and diversify its economic and tourism opportunities with the development of mountain bike trails.
Initially it was the George Town Chamber of Commerce who recognized the impact mountain biking destinations were having on boosting local visitor economies. George Town Council contracted Dirt Art to conduct a feasibility study and prepared a draft design to support a bid for funding the project. $4.4 million was secured in 2019, from the Australian Government as part of their Community Development Grants Programme, designed to support needed infrastructure and promote stable, secure and viable local and regional economies.
“This funding has created an incredibly exciting opportunity for George Town to create a world-class mountain bike trail, which will not only result in more jobs for the area but also will strengthen the local economy, particularly in the local tourism and hospitality sector,” Mrs Bridget Archer MP said.
“After COVID-19 restrictions ease and we can begin welcoming back tourists to northern Tasmania the trail, once complete, will undoubtedly be high on the list for MTB enthusiasts.”
George Town Council recently went to tender for the re-design and construction of the Mt George and Tippogoree Hills trail networks. Council has awarded the tender to internationally renowned trail builders ‘World Trail’.
Glen Jacobs, Director of World Trail said, “We are extremely honoured to be given the task of helping deliver such an amazing project. The drive and vision for this project by George Town Council has been very refreshing and professional to say the least. The north east of Tasmania is fast becoming the epicenter for mountain biking.”
“With the addition of another high quality MTB trail in a premium destination, George Town will have the ability not only to sit up there with the other two world class venues, at Derby and St Helens, but embrace and support the strong and proud local ride culture in Launceston and surrounding regions” said Mr Jacobs.
The new design proposal showcases 80km of purpose built mountain bike trails over two separate networks, one on the flanks of Mt George near the town centre and the second in the Tippogoree Hills, five-kilometres south of the township. The design philosophy is to create heavily featured trails that cater to a diverse range of skill levels and skills progression. Shuttle ability to take riders to high-points will be a priority in this development.
Cr Greg Kieser, the Mayor of the George Town Council said, “As a keen mountain bike enthusiast, I am very excited about what impact a world class mountain bike trail development will have on our visitor economy, particularly from interstate and overseas. Council will be working with our local business community to ensure the whole community will be trail ready for the launch in October 2021. It’s extremely important to have the whole community on board as the development progresses as we believe our community will be our biggest advocates!”
“I am expecting we’ll see a lot of local traffic from Launceston and surrounding areas. I believe Launceston has a high number of MTB’ers and our trail networks will be close enough to come for a ride after work, or for a half or full-day with the family on the weekends” he added.
Long-standing manufacturer and local employer Bell Bay Aluminum, part of the Rio Tinto Group, have been a key driver of the development since the conception. The smelter has been incredibly supportive of the project with a significant portion of the trail network to be developed on their land.
Shona Markham, Bell Bay Aluminum’s General Manager is excited about the development and what it can do for the region. “With the growth in mountain biking participation in Northern Tasmania, along with the obvious natural attractions of the Tamar Valley region, we are eager to partner with the Council, community and region to explore the huge potential of the mountain bike tourism. This is a great example of where an industry like ours and tourism can work hand in hand.”
What’s next for the George Town MTB trails …
George Town MTB Trail microsite launches today
A detailed design plan will be available in July 2020
Construction scheduled to commence in October 2020
Project completion on the October 2021