Bike Jumps and Ad Hoc Play in Local Parks

Unauthorised bike track construction has increased significantly during 2020, resulting in more complaints from the community about the impact of this activity on our shared environment and potential risks to public safety.

Some bike jumps and tracks are small and pose little risk to the public and create minimal environmental impact, while others are extensive, can be dangerous or result in significant damage to the environment.  Bike jumps are monitored to determine what action should be taken to prevent any risk to public safety or further environmental damage.

Ad hoc play items, such as tree swings, can create an unacceptable public safety risk to park users.  Where the risk is unacceptable, they are removed. 

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Sutherland Shire Council continues to work towards developing a balanced response in addressing unauthorised bike track construction, drawing on a range of feedback from members of our community in response to this issue.

The following FAQs provide more information on the matter:

Frequently Asked Questions

The construction of bike jumps and tracks is not authorised by Council and these features are not built to any standard, nor are they regularly inspected for safety. Holes and jumps can create a safety hazard to other members of the community and are often a source of complaint.

Our parks and reserves are for everyone to enjoy but bike jumps may reduce the use of our open spaces for families with young children, and those who use them for peace and passive recreation. 

Ad hoc play items, such as tree swings, can create an unacceptable public safety risk to park users.  Where the risk is unacceptable, they are removed.

Construction of tracks may also result in damage to bushland including areas with endangered ecological communities, threatened species or Aboriginal heritage value.

Just because “no one was using the bush” does not mean its biodiversity and intrinsic environmental value are not important to the community.

At some reserves, trees have been cut down or branches snapped off.  Bike jump activity has also caused erosion at previously turfed areas. 

Holes and bike jumps pose a risk to other users of our parks and reserves. 

These open spaces are specifically set aside by Council in order to meet community need for passive recreation or outdoor exercise opportunities.  Unfortunately, some of these bike jump holes are so deep that they pose a serious trip hazard to those using our parks and reserves for the purposes they were intended. 

Bike jumps are also a trip hazard, as are rocks that have been dug up and left lying around.

Bike jumps are monitored by Council to determine what action should be taken to mitigrate risk to public safety or further environmental damage.

Sutherland Shire has significant areas of bushland which is a highly valued environmental resource and an important part of our natural heritage.  Our bushland creates a unique sense of place and identity. Community surveys have established that residents have a strong connection with the natural environment and place high importance on the protection and enhancement of the Sutherland Shire’s natural environment.

Council has a responsibility to protect the environmental values and biodiversity of bushland in our public reserves. Bushland is a valuable community resource and is protected under our Urban Tree and Bushland Policy.

Tree removal, clearing, creating increasing number of tracks, excavating and mounding of soil for BMX riding are not a sustainable use of small bushland reserves.

Bike jumps and tracks will be removed under the following circumstances:

  • Damage to Endangered Ecological Communities, threatened species or environmentally sensitive areas
  • Extensive damage of native vegetation
  • Damage to bushcare sites
  • Damage to sporting facilities
  • Damage to Aboriginal heritage
  • Serious erosion issues
  • Unsuitable location that creates safety concerns for other reserve users (i.e. small playground reserves aimed at young children, pedestrian thoroughfares)

In some cases, bike jumps may be tolerated where the jumps are having a low impact and offering a level of recreational value to the community. Bike jumps and tracks may be tolerated where:

  • Jumps and holes are deemed to be a minimal safety risk and do not impact on public amenity in high-use parks.
  • Jumps and holes are not located near playgrounds and do not pose a safety risk to children and carers.
  • There is minimal impact to vegetation and plants and trees are not damaged or removed.

In all cases of unauthorised bike jump in our parks and reserve, Council advises that:

  • Pedestrians and park users are advised to keep clear of riders, jumps and tracks.
  • Bike riding is a dangerous recreational activity and riders use bike jumps at their own risk
  • Council is monitoring sites to determine if an unacceptable public safety risk is occurring.

Rehabilitation works undertaken by Council may include:

  • Filling in holes to make the activity safe for riders and other members of the community;
  • Installing signage to notify the community that creating bike jumps and tracks is unauthorised;
  • Removing jumps, rocks, debris and rubbish;
  • Installing temporary fencing to block future access;
  • Using logs and branches to block tracks and cleared areas to allow the bush to regenerate;
  • Planting and mulching to mitigate environmental impacts.

Council has provided extensive mountain bike trails at Mill Creek Mountain Bike Facilites and a BMX Pump Track at Barden Ridge for the community to pursue adventurous styles of bike riding.  Waratah Cycling Track in Sutherland also has its own BMX track.  Head to our BMX and Mountain Bike Facilities page for more information about BMX and mountain bike riding in the Sutherland Shire.

Other opportunities for bike riding are available in the Sutherland Shire in national parks and on fire trails.

Check out all our cycling news and events, cycling routes and links to our cycling facilities across the Shire here.

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