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Residents wary of quad bike tour

Charles Marais wants to run guided tours through Woondum National Park to rock pools at Hill Rd near Mothar Mountain, but opposition is rising.
Charles Marais wants to run guided tours through Woondum National Park to rock pools at Hill Rd near Mothar Mountain, but opposition is rising. CONTRIBUTED

SCORES of people are opposed to a proposal before Sunshine Coast Council for quad bike tours through Woondum National park near Cooran dispute the applicant's claim that only five have opposed the commercial venture.

A spokesperson for local opponents, who asked not to be named, said a petition to stop the Noosa Quad Bike Tours had almost 100 signatures.

"Having spoken to many now-concerned residents, the consensus is that they did not know about the business application or else they would have opposed it sooner," the spokesperson said.

A council spokeswoman said the petition was not received in time to be considered part of formal objection, but the concerns raised will be considered by council.

The council spokeswoman said the application was publicised correctly in the Noosa News on February 28 with a closing date of March 19 for submissions and a public noticeboard was also placed on the property at the same time.

Locals said they did not notice any board.

The tours proposed by Charles Marais would leave from Tabelands Rd and include up to 10 customers plus two guides travelling through Woondum National Park to rock pools at Hill Rd near Mothar Mountain.

Opponents are stepping up their efforts to make more hinterland residents aware and are considering a protest ride.

"Local horse riders who ride the Noosa Trail network would be sharing parts of the quad bike tour route," the spokesperson said.

"They are very concerned about their safety."

The spokesperson said four-legged riders coming across inexperienced quad bike riders could have their horses spooked and "this could very well result in serious injury or even the death of the rider".

Mr Marais said last week that Noosa Quad Bike Tours would be using only Hill Rd in the Woondum National Park.

"Over 95% of this road is closed to horses and designated for four-wheel-drive and trail bike use only," Mr Marais said.

"An extremely short optional section of the over 110km of Noosa Trail shares a small part of Hill Rd, with clear warnings of this shared use.

"Noosa Quad Bike Tours acknowledges that this area is for all to enjoy and share.

"As such, Noosa Quad Bike Tours will take extra due care when traversing this section of Hill Rd."

Mr Marais said his venture had support from local horse riders to use this area in a shared manner.

"It is a fact that quad bikes have the lowest footprint of all forms of transport, way more so than that of horses. If anyone has any further concerns, we suggest they contact us directly," Mr Marais said.

In his application, Mr Marais said he would transport quad riders to the tour start by courtesy bus to help reduce the vehicle traffic to the property.

"Traffic will therefore have no additional impact to the road network or Tablelands Rd."

One opposing resident said Tablelands Rd was narrow with steep shoulders and it required great caution to pass oncoming single vehicles, let alone a number of quad bikes travelling in convoy.

Topics:  council, plan, quad bike, residents, tour


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