Future direction set with Bass Coast Tracks and Trails Strategy
Bass Coast Shire Council has adopted a comprehensive plan to guide future upgrades and an expansion of its tracks and trails network over the next decade, in an effort to create opportunities for a healthy, active and more connected community.
The Bass Coast Tracks and Trails Strategy 2022–2032 consolidates existing plans and documents for the region’s expansive tracks and trails into a single blueprint that will shape future planning, design and delivery of an interconnected network.
Council voted to adopt the Strategy at its council meeting on Wednesday, November 16.
The Strategy has mapped and categorised all previously identified trails and combined the information with new trail locations and gaps in the network. An additional 40 trail opportunities to grow the network have been identified.
As part of the Strategy, all tracks and trails have been evaluated and works have been prioritised under a number of criteria including the level of service, quality standards and future trail development.
The council will allocate $1 million a year in it’s long-term financial plan for planning, design and delivery of the trails.
Bass Coast Mayor Michael Whelan said the strategy had effectively streamlined tracks and trails for the region and excitingly identified opportunities for new additions to the network.
“Bass Coast Shire Council is responsible for the management a staggering 272 trails across 167km in both coastal and urban environments across our beautiful region,” Cr Whelan said.
“As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, more people than ever are embracing healthy, active lifestyles and are using our network of tracks and trails to connect with nature. This increased demand means Council has an important role to play in facilitating access to the network as we further grow visitation to the area and rebuild tourism after the pandemic.”
Cr Whelan said the creation of a strong tracks and trails network also aligned with the council’s position on climate change and reducing the community’s reliance on cars by improving recreational trail opportunities, as well as sustainable and active transport options.
“This strategy also helps Council create connections with townships through its vast network of tracks and trails, in an effort to enhance the experience of both residents and visitors in Bass Coast,” he said.
For further information on the Tracks and Trails Strategy, please visit www.engage.basscoast.vic.gov.au/ttstrategy or contact Council’s Community Engagement Advisor on 1300 BCOAST (226 278) or (03) 5671 2211 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.