I would like to use Sydney Cyclist to highlight the illogical and selfish Quarry Road Firetrail 'Safety Management Plan' which has succeeded in shutting down all public access to the vital and historical bushland link of Hornsby to Dural.
This trail closure is an utter PR disaster for both the Berowra National Park and legal gun ownership in New South Wales. Both North Shore Regional Target Shooting Association, and BVNP have literally had years to consult with affected local communities and trail users, with plenty of time to build two new detour trails around their supposed rifle range 'danger zone.' Yet they did nothing, except what was easiest- deny all public access. Indeed, my phone call to the 0417 201 606 number on the sign at the gate regarding 'doing the right thing' and asking for authorised access to the Quarry Road firetrail for a social bicycle ride, yielded a sanctimonious answer of "No access to any bicycles ever," by the respondent. When I asked if there was an alternate route available, I was told to carry my bicycle up and down the steep sided, unrideable Pogson's Trig Trail.
"Lack of funding'" is always the excuse given to us for there being no new trails, or the poor maintenance and rotting, outdated markings of existing bush trails and paths which are a disgrace to the vast, and exquisite National Parks of Sydney. Had either organisation simply asked, they would have had an army of passionate local volunteers to help them build two new detour trails. I note, however, that plenty of funds have been found for the purchase and installation of four big new silver padlocked gates to shut down the Quarry Road trail, accessorised by lots of glossy new 'keep out' and 'danger' signs...
This lockout is a remarkable example of exceptionally poor management, exhibiting a callous disregard of all those who, for decades, have run, walked or cycled along the Quarry Road Firetrail. All those who have appreciated its breathtaking natural beauty, used its heritage bridge to cross Berowra Creek easily and safely, or the hundreds of offroad cyclists who have used it as a safe training route or alternative cycle commuting link between Hornsby and Dural instead of the busy, dangerous Galston Gorge Road, which is now the only bridge across Berowra Creek. 
While other famous cities of the world have built and continue to build extensive networks of groomed walking paths and cycling trails for the enjoyment their citizens (thereby reaping major health, transport and tourism benefits) those whom we have in charge of open spaces and recreation in our city exhibit very little political will to do much for active living. Unless it is the contribution to arts and culture of lockout laws, building yet another billion dollar toll road, or bending over backwards to accommodate guns and revolting cathedrals of gambling. 
So we thank BVNP, North Shore Regional Target Shooting Association and the posse of 'safety experts' no doubt consulted over the years to implement their bulletproof plan to keep us all safe and sedentary. The truth is, you are only interested in keeping yourselves safe, using your authority to justify locking the local community & visitors out of a key asset of the Berowra Valley National Park, whilst making a unique contribution towards Sydney becoming a more undesirable place to live in or visit, than it already is.

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The objectives of NSW NPs are conservation and recreation.

WTF is this??

Good question.

While I get that legal gun owners need a place to practise, and have been doing so here for years, to deny public access to a critical and historic link without community consultation and without building any detour trails, is outrageous.

I don't get why NP is the place.

Yes, the lack of consultation or detour smells. I guess authorities are reluctant to shut down shooting so are making every effort to shift responsibility for risk on to walkers etc.

Too piss-weak to remove the risk, i.e. the shooting.

This range is licensed to be on crown land, surrounded by BV national park. Precisely where the Crown Land borders are, would involve mining for documentation, both Legal and maps. What is extraordinary is the fact that all land use & access conflict regarding this closure could be easily avoided by building new detour trails off Quarry Rd. firetrail for cyclists, runners and bushwalkers.

The 'Safety Management Plan' smacks of self-interest as it has no management and no plan, unless you own a gun.

Precisely where the Crown Land borders are, would involve mining for documentation, both Legal and maps

Really ?  How about that chunk outlined in green.

There's been zero consultation or transparency toward other user groups, so I don't trust this. We have to know exactly who to contact and where the borders are if there is to be a remote win/win outcome between the Shooting Range's safety paranoia and Trail User Groups getting better, new 'bulletproof' detour/permanent trails built into BVNP.

Any inkling of just who to contact, would be appreciated.

Susanna,

its not about consultation or trust. The map is from the government cadastral data service (six maps) -- the green line is the boundary between national park and anything else (crown land, private, etc). It is the government's official land management instrument.

Try here: http://maps.six.nsw.gov.au/

There are two lots involved: 932/DP75253 and 232/DP752048 on the far side of Tunks Creek.

Here's an alternative view of the lot boundaries

Details are in (as expected..) the Hornsby LEP.

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_reg/hlep2013320/sch5....

Hornsby Hornsby Rifle Range 64 and 64X Rosamond Street Lot 932, DP 75253; Lot 232, DP 752048

It's a pity the quarry trail runs along that ridge line. If it followed a contour line about 50 metres further west it would likely be sufficiently below the ridge line that there would be no issues from stray bullets.

Yes, and no.

The Benowie track is well below line of sight from the range, and used to be open to walkers, but is now closed, AFAIK.

The only risk is if someone shot up at an angle of 85deg or so.. ie: effectively zero, but it is closed, nonetheless.

Below the Quarry trail ridge would have the same issue.

I'm sure there are many reasons they want these trails closed, but it's so much easier for the gun range and associated folks to just shout "Because, SAFETY!" and walk away from any sensible discussion.

I think you'll find the gun folks were quite happy with the previous arrangement.  The police safety audit is what triggered all the changes.

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/the-hills/great-north-wa...

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