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Council endorses amended Eastern Hill master plan

Tuesday 28 November 2023

AlburyCity Council endorsed the final Eastern Hill Activation Master Plan at its meeting last night.

AlburyCity Council endorsed the final Eastern Hill Activation Master Plan at its meeting last night.

The plan aims to enhance community access to the Eastern Hill area, improving traffic and pedestrian safety, and upgrading car parks, walking trails and lookout areas.

It also includes the establishment of a small shared-use trail network for walking, running and bike riding, along with revegetation works.

Councillors voted to add two clauses, requiring officers to undertake a biodiversity assessment and full Aboriginal cultural heritage assessment prior to detailed design, along with further community consultation, including with the newly formed Aboriginal Advisory Committee.

Council’s endorsement of the plan follows a two-month review by a community advisory committee comprising representatives from interested community groups, including the Friends of Eastern Hill group and Albury Wodonga Mountain Bikers Club, along with two councillors.

Accessibility underpinned much of the committee’s discussion, with panel members emphasising the importance of the reserve being accessible to all community members.

The committee supported four of the five elements of the plan, with some amendments.

While it didn’t reach consensus on the provision of mountain biking trails and facilities, the majority of panel members supported provision for mountain biking to some degree.

As a result, the final plan includes three shared-use trails, reduced from the original five proposed dedicated mountain bike trails, which will be designed to cater for multiple users, including walkers, runners and riders, and do so safely.

Overall, Council included 14 amendments to the plan based on feedback from the community.

The plan will now undergo a range of environmental and heritage assessments before being implemented in stages over the next 5+ years.

AlburyCity Mayor, Cr Kylie King, said, “The plan is designed to enhance accessibility, while preserving the natural beauty that Eastern Hill is treasured for.

“We acknowledge that there are elements of this plan that not everyone has agreed with. I want to thank all the members of the community advisory committee for their input into the plan.

“Your contributions have been invaluable in shaping the final document and helping to ensure that community views were heard and considered.”