Common Ground Trails have been selected to build the Bunya Mountains cycle trails (Photo: WDRC)

August 24, 2021

Bunya Mountains residents are seeking a meeting with Western Downs Regional Council over the development of mountain bike trails in the region.

WDRC announced recently that Common Ground Trails had been awarded the contract to develop the trails.

The company will construct about 30km of mountain bike trails near Russell Park and trailheads at Tolmie Street, Fishers Lookout, Russell Park and Munro’s Camp.

The Bunya Mountains Community Association Inc (BMCAI) has written to the WDRC seeking a meeting with Council and Common Ground Trails to discuss their concerns about the project.

The group noted that promised follow-up consultations with the community had not occurred.

Residents fear degradation could occur in an environmentally sensitive area and have concerns over future maintenance, accidents and the lack of provision of updated maps.

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BMCAI members have met with representatives from the South Burnett Regional Council and the Department of Transport and Main Roads to discuss safety issues at the T-junction between Bunya Avenue and Bunya Mountains Road.

BMCAI believes the intersection is confusing to use and with the increasing amount of traffic – and increasing size of vehicles – it is an accident waiting to happen.

Council and TMR will develop an interim response, including reinstating line marking and directional signs, to assist with traffic flow.

TMR will also examine whether the speed limit should be reduced from 60km/h to 50km/h on this section of Bunya Mountains Road.

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FLASHBACK: Former South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell with Bunya Mountains resident John Learmont

Bunya Mountains resident John Learmont was presented with a certificate of appreciation at the recent BMCAI meeting after announcing his retirement as president of the association.

John has been a member of the association since it was formed.

He was elected treasurer in 2016 and president in 2019.

Deputy president Ian Harris thanked John for his service and outstanding contributions to the association.

Ian offered to take on the role of president until the next AGM in February next year.

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BMCAI is investigating the possibility of a establishing a Community Centre on the Bunya Mountains.

The association has prepared a document which has been distributed to members, local, State and Federal representatives and is being distributed to potential corporate sponsors.

The first hurdle would be locating a suitable piece of land upon which to build the facility.

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BMCAI has received a South Burnett Regional Council community grant to buy a new laptop, printer and data projector.

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The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service has installed foot-washing stations at all track entrances in the Bunya Mountains National Park.

Contractors are also currently replacing old bitumen paths near the QPWS office and campground.

QPWS are in the early stages of planning a two-year capital works program to upgrade the major visitor areas in the park. Burtons Well and Cherry Plain will be upgraded this year with Dandabah and Westcott in 2022-23.

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The new Community Landing Site (helipad) was used twice during the one week in July.

The helipad is behind a locked gate which is maintained by the Bunya Mountains Rural Fire Brigade.

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The Bunya Mountains RFB is continuing to lobby to have toilet facilities installed at their fire shed.

This follows the successful installation of a new water tank in June which has provided improved water storage on site.

Automatic openers will be installed on the heavy roller doors at the fire shed thanks to a grant from Heritage Nanango Community Branch.

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The Bunya Mountains Natural History Association held its AGM recently.

Elected were Lynn England (president), Bernice Seaton and Ron Sampson (vice-presidents), Sandy Learmont  (secretary) and Ruth Humphries (minutes secretary).

The NHA, which runs the Cedarvale Museum, is keen to attract new members.

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The Bunya People’s Aboriginal Corporation is planning a weed clean-up day on Mt Mowbullan on September 27.

There has been massive weed infestation this season, including wattle regrowth.

The working bee will involve BPAC Rangers and Emergency Services work experience cadets but the Bunya Mountains community have also been invited to don their gardening gloves and help out.

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