As many in Albany will know, Local Government elections are underway. This is your opportunity to ensure the Albany Council remains supportive of the Trails Hub Strategy and Albany Heritage Park Trails Plan – with all the social, health, and environmental benefits these plans will bring!

Nominations can be found here, including links to candidate profiles and ward boundaries.

We will do our best to update this post with any information we have about each candidate’s opinion or voting history on this project.  We encourage all candidates to contact us directly so we can let our members know where you stand.

Matt Benson-Lidholm

Matt approached the Club directly, asking for a brief on the trails project. He is very supportive of this kind of development in Albany.

Raymond Hammond

Voted AGAINST adopting the Albany Heritage Park Trails Concept Plan in December 2016

Janelle Price

Voted AGAINST adopting the Albany Heritage Park Trails Concept Plan in December 2016

Dr Peter Ratnik

I am in support of the trails and their development not only from a sporting and recreational point of view, but also from a tourism point. The natural beauty of Albany’s landscape and the associated actives have been identified by the state government, as a development and marking/tourism facilitator for Albany. I whole heartedly support the plans and if elected will champion their implementation and shall also advocate for continued funding for the trails over the years to come. This is an extremely important part of the future development and promotion of Albany, its Eco tourism and recreational tourism.

Rebecca Stephens

You have my support if elected in regard to the City of Albany Trails Hub Strategy 2015 – 2025 and the Albany Heritage Parks Trails Plan . The Southern MTB on the weekend is a spectacular event for both locals and visitors. My children and I actively patriciate in the Albany TravelSmart Walk/Ride to School Days at Great Southern Grammar and am passionate one day in that they will be able to ride to school unassisted.

Emma Doughty

If elected to the Kalgan Ward, I will continue to support the City of Albany Trails Hub Strategy and the Albany Heritage Parks Trail Plan. The community engagement is evident in these documents and the community and CoA should be proud of them. Albany is becoming a “go to” place, as seen on the weekend with Southern MTB – what an awesome event! The tourism that the trails will attract will provide immense opportunities to show case other highlights of Albany, but more importantly support our local businesses.

Tony Demarteau

I support the Trails events continuing in the Albany Region. I have no doubt proper processes are always put in place, and the events would not be possible if they were going to create harm to our environment. These events promote healthy lifestyle, draw crowds to the region, which is great for tourism – something I am very passionate about. The City needs to work with the various groups to ensure these events can be conducted and that appropriate trails are put in place. Providing the environment is considered then you have my support. If elected, I would like to personally meet with you and go through the process more thoroughly, so I have an ongoing understanding and I can make informed decisions

Graeme McBeath

You have my support for the Strategy.
I believe this is a project that will require first-class management to deliver broad community benefits and economic opportunity, along with an improvement in the trails environment and infrastructure. This will bring greater amenity to the area as it has already done on the Port to Point tracks. I also note that it is not just a mountain bike track strategy but one that must integrate broadly supported community outcomes.
My sons have grown up mountain biking in Albany with Nick (still competing in Statewide events and now working in the bicycle industry that is springing to life in the Margaret River area currently.
Albany’s Munda Biddi Trail connection and the continuing success of Mountain Biking events in recent years illustrate the opportunities that the increasingly popular cycling tourism trend can offer Albany.
This is a worldwide phenomenon and we should learn from the experiences of Scotland and Wales who have been so successful at this. We need to make sure that trails are well planned, well signposted, constructed so as to improve the trail environment and that also minimize trail use conflict. They should connect in with hospitality locations and offer a range of options to arrive at convergent destinations in diverse ways for different users.
Design will be the key to the success of the plan and a key part of that must be genuine community engagement at the start of the design process so that opportunities are explored and concerns are adequately addressed.
Developing a culture among trail users that promotes safe and respectful usage of the shared natural heritage of the Mounts around Albany will be crucial. It may be as simple as continuing the old Albany tradition of saying “G’day” to whoever you might encounter. But I also see the Cycling fraternity playing a key stakeholder role in educating and supervising correct usage so that any conflicts are minimized and resolved through community involvement rather than policing.
Door knocking clearly indicates both broad support and some specific concerns that this project be well managed and implemented with continuing consultation and information both wanted.
Developing a sustainable business case to obtain funding will be a key milestone for the project and will rely on councillor support and engagement with all stakeholders – something that I see as essential if elected.

Tracy Sleeman

You have my full support whether elected or not. Fantastic trails that my 15 year old son and mates use regularly. They come back to our house exhilarated, exhausted and happy after a good day out. My son also films and converts it onto YouTube. Love that they are all out there enjoying the moment.
In January my son and a mate did a charity ride from Albany to Denmark and return in one day. 150km on the Munda biddy trail.
Yes yes yes my full support.