Launceston cyclists jump on the election trail

CYCLISTS: Launceston mayor Albert van Zetten, Tamar Bicycle Users Group vice president Malcolm Cowan, Labor sport and recreation spokeswoman Michelle O’Byrne, Meander Valley mayor Craig Perkins. Picture: Neil Richardson
CYCLISTS: Launceston mayor Albert van Zetten, Tamar Bicycle Users Group vice president Malcolm Cowan, Labor sport and recreation spokeswoman Michelle O’Byrne, Meander Valley mayor Craig Perkins. Picture: Neil Richardson

A potential $4 million worth of trails across Tasmania could better connect Launceston for cyclists. 

The funds, announced by Labor sport and recreation spokeswoman Michelle O’Byrne, would be a part of the Tracks and Trails Community Grants Program.

The program would match, dollar-for-dollar, any council or community group project to build new cycling tracks.

The limit for funding would be $100,000. 

A number of bike tracks already exist around Launceston, including tracks running through Invermay, Kings Meadows and South Launceston. 

The state government also introduced a Tasmanian Cycle Tourism Strategy in September to commit $6 million of funding to councils and community groups for bike trail development.

Tamar Bicycle Users Group vice president Malcolm Cowan said the group already had plans to use the fund to help create a more interconnected network of trails. 

“The area around the Tasmanian Turf Club is an area we’ve prioritised and that’ll connect the existing trail network to the Inveresk rail trail that goes up through to Rocherlea,” he said.

Launceston mayor Albert van Zetten said he would like to see tracks connecting Launceston to Prospect. 

“The more we can encourage younger cyclists to go off the road, and remain safe, is also important,” Ald van Zetten said.

Ms O’Byrne said Labor wanted to “see connectivity, especially around the Tamar Valley region, and it is all about connecting communities who want to use walking and cycling as a way to get around”.