Awaited trails plan endorsed

ENDORSED: It is expected there will be new signage installed inline with the new Crater Lakes Trails Plan. Picture: File

Sophie Conlon

The City of Mount Gambier has endorsed the new Crater Lakes Trails Plan, and now hope to gain development approval so trails can be formally recognised and signage in the area can be upgraded.

The plan was created by Open Trails Australia and outlined a list of key recommendations, including upgrades and improvements, maintenance, governance and management.

It also outlined the current and proposed networks which include several new trails in the area.

Mayor Lynette Martin said the trails were important for community members as they provided a space for walking, running and biking.

“The plan aligns closely with the key priorities outlined in the state wide trails strategy 2023-33 recently released by the South Australian government,” she said.

Ms Martin said the plan would offer a clear way forward.

“It also highlighted that there is a clear opportunity to redefine the network of trails within the park to respond to increased demand, improve quality and safety and to reduce conflict between users,” she said.

“The plan notes additional maintenance requirements, which will be met by an additional FTE employee and also a shared responsibility for trail management with skills based interest groups.”

Councillor Sonya Mezinec said the “premier site” had previously not been managed in a coherent way, but the new plan would change this.

“I think this is a great plan to then be able to have a very coherent set of trails, the signage is going to be very important and it’s been built on a very extensive consultation process with all of the different users and gives us a really good plan strategy to go forward,” she said.

“I think it’s a great plan that looks to the future and of course has in place recommendations on maintenance, because it is one thing to having the trails, but when we have them we have to maintain them otherwise they’re potentially unsafe and there’s a lot of people getting frustrated in that area.

“I know there there are a lot of people who can’t wait to really be able to enjoy the trails.”