Trail

North Qld Awareness Rally/Ride Novemeber 12th

Author: Trevor Smith DSMRA Meida

Posted:

Currently in North Queensland there are no legal public areas for access for motorised vehicles, this year saw the problems of the past worsen, so when you see those motorcycles riding close to town illegally, take a second to think about where they can ride, the answer is, no where. The pendulum of restricted access has swung too far one way, as a native Queenslander I am saddened to say that QLD is the worst state in Australia for dealing with this issue and leads need to be taken from the other more progressive states. Regressive policies are forcing locals away from the bush they have traditionally enjoyed so much, but... that's the past, we need to look to the future to make sure the policy and legislative errors of the past are not repeated and that we work with the land owners, Government and land managers to ensure we get a favourable outcome for the future. In years past there were rides areas all round Townsville, these have long since vanished, with nothing to replace them. The DSMRA is a non profit orginisation, privately funded by local riders, trying to raise awareness of the lack of recreational access for motorised vehicles, in particular motorcycles, in state forests. In that respect we are talking about licenses riders on registered trail bikes in a non competitive environment. Motorcyclists are not the only ones facing access issues, 4-WD's, Quad Bikes etc all have access problems. Imagine if all of a sudden you were told you could no longer go to the park to kick the ball around, or no longer go to the beach for a swim, or no longer use the Ross Rv to row in ? This is exactly what has happened to motorcyclists over the years, the result is we have been denied access to all public lands. With the sales of trail bikes exploding in the past 10 years, (9 out of the top 10 selling motorcycles in Australia are off road), this regressive attitude on access has compounded the problem of illegal riding. Remember those going to the park to kick the football around ? maybe some would be resentful of the new rules, still go and then be labelled criminals for doing so. The idea behind the awareness ride is to try to place the problem of increasingly limited access in the front of mind of both the public, politicians and land managers. We would encourage both local and State Government to work with responsible orginisations like the DSMRA to try and develop solutions for our sport. In the past both Ms. Lindy Nelson-Carr MLA and Marc Rowell MLA have recognised there is a problem, that it will only get worse if something is not done and have started to work with us and the pubic land managers in an attempt to provide solutions, we thank them both for being proactive in this area. They recognise the huge importance we play in small rural communities and business, spending thousands of dollars in these areas as well as the rights the public have to access public land. The awareness ride is on 12 November at 9am, leaving from Rising Sun Honda on Bowen Rd and ending at the Strand, we would encourage all like minded members of the public to attend and show their support, all motorcyclists must be on licensed and ride a registered bike, we would also encourage sympathetic members of the public to attend in their Cars and 4-WD's.

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