Awaba Mountain Bike Park will be extended after Hunter Mountain Bike Club received a $450,000 state government grant, announced as part of $3.5 million in funding for Lake Macquarie community projects on Monday.
Lake Macquarie MP Greg Piper was joined by mayor Kay Fraser at Awaba Mountain Bike Park to reveal 10 projects would receive backing from the state’s Stronger Country Communities Fund.
Among the grants was $620,000 to extend Morisset Peninsula cycleway at Brightwaters, more than $600,000 to build a new playground at Bernie Goodwin Memorial Park at Morisset, and $231,000 for lighting upgrades at Walters Park sports fields in Speers Point.
“This is great news for Lake Macquarie communities,” Mr Piper said.
“I’m particularly pleased that we’ve received funds to extend the cycleway at Brightwaters, and the money for Awaba Mountain Bike Park will make the park one of the best in the country.
“It’s already attracting loads of mountain bike enthusiasts from Sydney and other areas so it’s becoming a bigger and bigger tourist drawcard.”
Hunter Mountain Bike Club vice president Dallas Barham said the funding would help the club significantly improve riding trails to cater for all skill levels.
“The grant that we applied for is predominately for specific trails to be developed which will then gives us more diversity,” he said.
“It also brings in different levels of riders and part of the trail development is for expanding our beginner trails.
“It’s more about the complete picture to turn this into a mountain bike park and a proper destination.”
Mr Barham said the club had built about 20km of trails on its Awaba land – used in agreement with the Forestry Corporation of NSW – over the past 11 years
He said the expansion would include an extra 15km of trails linking the existing downhill and cross-country tracks. Signage and parking will also be upgraded.
Lake Macquarie mayor Kay Fraser said the grants would help the council move forward on a number of infrastructure projects.
“These projects continue to promote an active lifestyle and enhance our vibrant Lake Macquarie community.
“This is a successful example of how funding projects in partnership with different levels of government can bring significant benefits to the community, generate local jobs and drive economic growth,” she said.
Other grants included: infrastructure at Lake Macquarie swim centres ($684,366); roof replacement at Hunter Life Education Centre, Edgeworth ($219,133); new bushwalking tracks at Lake Macquarie Outdoor Recreation Centre, Balcolyn ($200,000); heating/cooling at PCYC Morisset ($140,312).