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Build it and they will come!

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Mountain Bike Champs Jordan Prochyra, Sam Hill with Paul Neve from Three Chillis Design

The guys behind Three Chillies Mountain Bike Design joined community members in showing their enthusiasm for the Shire of Chittering’s Bindoon Mountain Bike and and Adventure park proposal on Thursday 30 July. The group, who are responsible for WA’s best mountain bike tracks, set up a pop-up pump track on Chinkabee Oval to give locals a taste of what may be to come! 

A couple of pretty well-known mountain bike racers joined the Three Chillies team to show support for the ambitious project which promises high economic potential for the region.

Professional enduro mountain biker and former professional downhill racer Sam Hill was pretty impressed with the potential site — and if anyone knows a good hill, it’s Sam. The home-grown hero has several World Championship titles to his name and has raced all over the world garnering prestigious Mountain Bike racing titles in Canada, Switzerland Spain and France. 

Australian world champs team member Jordan Prochyra was also enthusiastic about the location of Chinkabee Hill, right behind the Chinkabee Sports complex. “We’d just love to build something up there — it’s an awesome spot,” he said.

The sizeable 87 ha site, currently part of a rural holding, has been identified as ideal for mountain biking due to its rugged topography, steep inclines and impressive views, and the Shire of Chittering have the opportunity to purchase the land from the current owners, with a view to developing the area into a world-class facility for everyone to enjoy.

A feasibility study undertaken by Breakaway Tourism estimated the Park would bring an additional 17,200 visitors to Bindoon and surrounds annually — along with a projected flux in income to local business of over $1.5m. With the economic decline of up to 40% predicted to follow when the Bindoon Bypass cuts the traffic artery to the townsite in 2024, this potential economic boost could be the lifeline local business owners are looking for. 

Locals got a taste of what could be Chittering’s flagship attraction if the Mountain Bike Park is built.

Paul Neve from Three Chillies said he could easily see a huge flow-on effect for the town. 

“The beauty of this spot is that so much of it is already here, it would just be amazing! The Stonehouse trail is just over there, and is a fantastic easy level trail for Mum and the younger kids while Dad and the older kids smash out the big tracks,” Paul said, adding that demand for good food and accommodation is really important in the places they visit for serious biking weekends and competitions. “And then there’s demand for other services like bike repairs, shopping, hardware – everything!”

Mountain Biking is an increasingly popular recreation, and similar mountain bike parks and trails have provided a huge economic stimulus to struggling regions elsewhere in Australia, including the town of Derby in Tasmania and Dungog in the Hunter Valley.

There just isn’t another serious Mountain Bike Track within an hours drive of Perth, with most professionals and enthusists trekking all the way down south to Pemberton for serious practice trails.

The sport has undergone a revival of late with COVID-19 restrictions seeing more families taking up the sport together. Paul Neve couldn’t be happier, “It’s great to see families out in the bush together, being active and getting off the screens!”

The Shire of Chittering are seeking feedback from the community to progress the project and further sessions are planned. You can also email edc@chittering.wa.gov.au or phone 9576 4600 to have your say.