Australian News

FIFA begins process of selecting Australian, New Zealand host cities for 2023 Women’s World Cup

FIFA has began conducting virtual workshops with the 12 Australian and New Zealand candidate cities hoping to host matches at the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

Football Federation Australia (FFA) has described the workshops, which will be held over the next two weeks, as a “significant milestone” following FIFA’s decision to award Australia and New Zealand hosting rights for the tournament.

FIFA, along with FFA and New Zealand Football, will detail the selection process, with bid cities to have the opportunity to present their latest legacy and logistical plans.

The Australian cities hoping to be selected are Adelaide, Brisbane, Launceston, Melbourne, Newcastle, Perth and Sydney.

New Zealand cities in the running are Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton and Wellington.

The last Women’s World Cup, held in France in 2019, was staged across nine cities, although since that tournament the number of competing nations has expanded from 24 to 32.

US women's soccer team celebrate winning 2019 world cup
The 2023 Women’s World Cup will host more nations than the 2019 edition, won by the US.(AP: Alessandra Tarantino)

FFA’s Women’s World Cup 2023 head Jane Fernandez said FIFA would be looking closely at several items in the selection process.

“They’ll make the decision based on all the work that is being done now, to analyse all of the stadiums, all of the infrastructure, the costs, and things like this, and that will determine the (final) number of stadiums,” she told The Ticket.

“The virtual workshops will include not only each city telling their story about the infrastructure, but definitely they also need to explain what the legacy will be to their city by hosting the Women’s World Cup in 2023.

FFA head of game development and retired Australian international, Sarah Walsh, said participation was at the foundation of the legacy framework.

“It’s fair to say it’s (participation) one of the most supported (legacy components) by FIFA,” she said.

“They’re really keen to see how we’re going to boost participation, which means building capabilities in the current system and the 2,000-plus clubs … and on top of that it’s delivering modified products like ‘soccer mums’ and social programs that create more flexibility in the offering for women of all ages.”

FFA wants to cater for women ‘of all backgrounds’

FFA also hopes the removal of barriers for women in other areas of the game will be one of the lasting positives.

Walsh said creating pathways for women to take up roles in areas such as communications, media, coaching, refereeing, and administration — particularly in decision-making roles — was crucial.

She said it was important to build support programs, and mentoring and leadership programs, and to also “think about whether we look at quotas and putting that into our coaching courses”.

“We want to make sure our game is accessible to women of all backgrounds,” Walsh said.

“So there’s an Indigenous element in there, there’s CALD (culturally and linguistically diverse) communities and [people of] all abilities.”

FIFA is hoping the 2023 Women’s World Cup — the first to be co-hosted by two confederations (Asia and Oceania) — will drive growth in the South Pacific and in the world’s most populous countries, China and India.

“This is something that FIFA are very interested in,” Walsh said.

“Because obviously hosting a World Cup between Australia and New Zealand is great for our two countries but how can we utilise this to build a platform for other countries and deliver some of our programs into Asia and Oceania?”

Fernandez said the final cost of the World Cup would be determined once decisions were made around the number of stadiums and host cities.

“Whilst I’m sure FIFA has a number of different budgets being prepared, the final number won’t be known until the selection has been completed,” she said.

“But we know that the Australian (federal and state) governments have committed up to $94.4 million … a significant investment, and it shows the value governments place on hosting the tournament.”

FFA chief executive James Johnson said the Women’s World Cup was a key component of his organisation’s “XI Principles”, the title given to its plan for the future of the game in Australia.

“Australia’s co-hosting of the next FIFA Women’s World Cup ensures that we continue to be a globally-minded organisation, and will play a significant role in ensuring Australia becomes the centre of women’s football in the Asia-Pacific region,” he said in an FFA statement.

FIFA delegates will visit each of the candidate cities once COVID-19 restrictions have eased. The successful bid cities are expected to be announced by March next year.

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World Trade Organisation to be led by a woman for first time

“Deeply grateful and honoured to be selected for the final round in the selection process of the next @WTO Director General!” tweeted Yoo, who has a law degree from Vanderbilt University. “We need a capable & experienced new leader who can rebuild trust and restore relevance of the @WTO. I look forward to your continued support! Thank you!!!”


Okonjo-Iweala on Twitter thanked WTO members for their support and wrote that she was “happy to be in the final round.”

A previous round had cut the list of candidates from eight to five. The winner is expected to be announced no later than early November.

The previous WTO director-general, Roberto Azevedo of Brazil, made a surprise announcement in May that he would leave the job a year early, citing a “personal decision.” He left without a successor on August 31.

Azevedo’s seven-year tenure was marked by intense pressure from US President Donald Trump, who repeatedly accused the WTO of “unfair” treatment of the U.S. and started a trade war with China in defiance of the WTO system. In the past, Trump has threatened to pull the United States out of the trade body altogether.

Former WTO director-general Roberto Azevedo made a surprise announcement in May that he would leave the job a year early.

Former WTO director-general Roberto Azevedo made a surprise announcement in May that he would leave the job a year early.Credit:Bloomberg

The WTO’s dispute settlement system is perhaps the world’s best-known venue for resolving international trade disputes – such as those pitting plane-makers Boeing and Airbus in recent decades. But the United States has clogged up the dispute settlement machinery by blocking any new members for its highest court, the Appellate Body, which has unable to address new disputes since last year.

The next director-general will face the daunting task of keeping the United States on board if Trump wins a second term, amid Washington’s allegations that China is engaged in unfair practices such as excessively subsidising industries and stealing intellectual property — notably at the expense of Western businesses hoping to tap the expanding Chinese market. China rejects the allegations.

The WTO, which was created in 1995 out of the former General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, has never had a woman director-general or national from Africa as its leader. It operates by consensus, meaning that any single member country can block decisions.

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Australian News

Joshua Cheptegei’s incredible year continues as Ugandan destroys 10,000 metres world record by 6 seconds

Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei smashed the men’s 10,000 metres world record, while Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey demolished the women’s 5,000m mark, as the Valencia World Record Day event lived up to its name.

Cheptegei crossed the line at a near-empty Turia stadium in a stunning 26 minutes 11.02 seconds to beat the time of 26:17.53 set in 2005 by Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele by over 6 seconds.

The achievement capped an outstanding 12 months for Cheptegei, 24, who won the gold medal in the 10,000m at last year’s World Championships in Doha, and in August took Bekele’s 5,000m record at the Diamond League meeting in Monaco.

Last December, also in Valencia, Cheptegei smashed a decade-long record in 10km road racing by 6 seconds.

Only 400 people including sponsors, journalists and staff were allowed into the event due to strict coronavirus measures in Spain, but Cheptegei still savoured the moment with a lap of honour, wrapped in the Ugandan flag and wearing a crown.


Cheptegei’s outstanding display finished off a perfect event from the organisers’ point of view after Gidey, 22, broke the women’s 5,000m world record by more than 4 seconds, crossing the line in 14:06.62.

Gidey easily beat the previous record of 14:11.15 set by her compatriot Tirunesh Dibaba in Oslo in 2008.

“This is a longtime dream for me, I’m very happy, this is very big for me,” said Gidey.

The event was organised by Cheptegei’s NN Running Team of the Netherlands, and he and Gidey were helped to the finish line by pacers as well as Wavelight technology, which flashes lights on the inside of the track to indicate a specific pace.


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Australian News

Sunshine State could be clean energy world leader and create 20,000 jobs

As young Queenslanders struggle with unemployment in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, a new report from a leading independent body reveals the state could be sitting on a bonanza with the potential to create tens of thousands of new jobs.

The Sunshine State has a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity to become a world leader in renewable energy industries, create about 25,000 new roles and contribute $500 billion to the national economy, according to a new study from the Climate Council.

The report, Leaders and Legends: Thousands of Clean Jobs for Queenslanders, has outlined how the state has a unique advantage to capitalise on the energy industry and export opportunities.

The council proposes the investment to come from both the public and private sector to unlock the benefits for the economy.

“There are so many reasons to be optimistic about Queensland’s economic future as it rebuilds from COVID-19,” Climate Council chief executive Amanda McKenzie said.

RELATED: Palaszczuk heads into her toughest seat

RELATED: Pressure mounting for major green energy policy

“The Queensland Government can seize this moment to create jobs that get people back to work now, and turn Queensland into a clean industry superpower.

“Generations of Queenslanders could work in these clean industries.”

Young Queenslanders in smaller communities outside the southeast corner of the state have been disproportionately impacted by job losses during the pandemic, presenting a rare opportunity for an industry revolution, Ms McKenzie said.

She noted cities such as Townsville, Gladstone and Mackay where youth unemployment in July was 15.8, 13.7 and 10.5 per cent respectively.

Ms McKenzie says these areas are prime for capturing renewable energy because of the strong wind and sun elements, while also having existing industrial infrastructure.

The Climate Council’s recent Clean Jobs Plan could create up to 20,000 jobs focusing on 12 policy areas.

These include large-scale renewable energy projects, ecosystem restoration, collection and processing of organic waste, electric car network expansion, and retrofitting inefficient public buildings and homes with sustainable energy alternatives.

The Climate Council claims the Copperstring 2.0 project — the connection of industrial power between Mt Isa and Townsville — will unlock wind and solar plants and increase demand for resources such as copper.

RELATED: Climate change plan to create 76,000 jobs

The report says this will create more than 4000 direct and indirect jobs and contribute to slashing power prices by 20 per cent in Brisbane.

The mining of materials used for the construction of solar panels, wind turbines and batteries could contribute $500 billion to the economy, the council’s head of research Martin Rice said.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for governments to invest in programs that will deliver secure, skilled and long-term jobs now and into the future for Queenslanders,” he said.

“It’s a win-win-win, for the economy, for jobs and for our climate.”

On Wednesday, the major party leaders vying for power in the upcoming state election presented their green energy projects.

In Brisbane, Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said the Liberal-National Party would invest nearly $500 million into the government-owned corporation Energy Queensland to help bring down the cost of electricity.

“This investment will secure the jobs of Queensland’s 163,000 manufacturing workers and create new jobs in the future,” she said.

“Cheaper electricity will make Queensland Australia’s manufacturing powerhouse and secure thousands of additional jobs by bringing more investment into our state.”

Meanwhile, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk headed northwest earlier in the day to spruik the Copperstring 2.0 project from Mt Isa.

“Our economic strategy is underpinned by traditional strengths like the resources industry,” she told reporters.

“It’s going to mean cheaper power prices for the industries to establish here. We want a competitive price for industries to come here, to set-up, and to manufacture here.

“That will eventually drive down power prices when you have it connected to the national electricity market.”

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Australian News

Australia beats New Zealand to equal ODI world record for most consecutive wins

The Australian women’s cricket team has equalled the world record for most consecutive ODI wins following a 232-run victory over New Zealand at Allan Border Field in Brisbane.

Despite being without injured captain Meg Lanning, Australia matched the ODI record of 21 consecutive victories set by Ricky Ponting’s men’s side in 2003.

The result completed a whitewash in the trans-Tasman Rose Bowl ODI series and marked Australia’s biggest win over the White Ferns in the women’s 50-over game.

After being sent in, stand-in skipper Rachael Haynes (96 off 104 balls) and fellow opener Alyssa Healy (87 off 87) helped steer Australia to a daunting total of 5-325.


The White Ferns were bowled out for 93 in 27 overs as Australia marched to its ninth straight win over the visitors.

New Zealand was asked to pull off a record run chase after the hosts posted their highest ODI total against the White Ferns, their second biggest on Australian soil and fourth best overall.

Instead, the White Ferns slumped to their ninth lowest total in ODI history and worst since they were dismissed for 80 by India in 1982.

The wicket-taking duties were shared around by the Australians, with Sophie Molineux, Ashleigh Gardner, Jess Jonassen and Megan Schutt taking two wickets each.

Australia had big shoes to fill without Lanning, who had not been dismissed this series after scores of 62 not out and an unbeaten 101.

Lanning suffered a hamstring tweak compiling a century in the second match of the series on Monday.

Haynes stepped up in Lanning’s absence, hitting 10 fours and two sixes to just fall short of her second ODI century.

She shared a 144-run opening stand with Healy, who hit 13 fours and a six.

Healy posted her highest ODI score against the White Ferns after being dropped on 61 and 67.

Leg spinner Amelia Kerr was the best of the White Ferns’ bowlers with figures of 3-50 from 10 overs.


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Local News - Victoria

Melbourne felt like the most exciting place in the world. It will again


But it seemed some of the gloss was wearing off my city. The traffic was becoming intolerable, the weather more extreme and unpredictable and underground train works had transformed the CBD into a deafening obstacle course. It was hard to even get to my favourite Indian restaurant. I looked with envy across the Tasman at Wellington, my former home town, once a dreary cultural desert, now a vibrant, exciting food and cultural hub, decreed by Lonely Planet “the coolest little capital”.

Now, we ponder what our post-lockdown city will be. “Never be the same again,” friends wail. I’m sure that’s true. Social distancing is here indefinitely and crammed into those little bars and eateries hardly accommodates personal space. City of Melbourne research paints a gloomy picture of businesses failing and other precincts such as Chapel Street have similar warnings.

An Australian Bureau of Statistics survey found nearly a quarter of businesses on coronavirus life support expect not to reopen when that ends– one in 10. The Restaurant and Catering Association reportedly believes around 10 per cent of businesses have already closed because of COVID-19.

It’s easy to feel glum, to lament the passing of the Melbourne we knew and loved. But amid this wallow I’m discovering a few green shoots are appearing; it is possible to be optimistic. We have a chance to remake our city as the city we want. The NGV is planning fantastic exhibitions, Myer’s Christmas windows have been saved, artists and musicians are working on bringing us socially distanced live culture. As for closing streets and laneways for outdoor dining, how good will that be? To the former food critic who says, “that’s not Melbourne”, I say: it is now.

Sure, I’ll be off to Wellington first chance I get. But when I return to Melbourne, as I always do, I’m hopeful that once again I will step off the plane with a sense of anticipation, that one day Melbourne will again seem like the most exciting place in the world.

Sue Green is a Melbourne writer.

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Australian News

Stan Wawrinka stunned by world number 239 at French Open, Sebastian Korda to face Rafael Nadal

Defending champion Rafael Nadal has fired an ominous warning to his French Open rivals with a ruthless win over Italy’s Stefano Travaglia in the third round, while 2015 winner Stan Wawrinka suffered a shock exit.

Nadal, chasing a record-extending 13th Roland Garros title, cruised to a 6-1, 6-4, 6-0 victory over Travaglia on Court Philippe Chatrier.

The 34-year-old Spaniard will next face American 20-year-old Sebastian Korda, who became the first qualifier in nine years to reach the fourth round when he beat Spain’s Pedro Martinez 6-4, 6-3, 6-1.

Korda is the youngest American man in the fourth round in Paris since Michael Chang was 19 in 1991.

The 213th-ranked American was thrilled at the prospect of facing his “biggest idol” Nadal.

Rafael Nadal clenches his fist with his mouth closed
Rafael Nadal is looking for a 13th French Open title.(AP: Michel Euler)


“I’m praying that he wins,” Korda said when interviewed as Nadal was in the closing stages of his match against Travaglia.

“Whenever I’m on court, I try to be like him,” said Korda, whose tour-level record was 0-3 until this ground-breaking week, which included a win over number 21 seed John Isner.

“Growing up, I named my cat ‘Rafa’ after him. That says a lot about how much I love the guy.”

Korda is one of two players ranked outside the top 200 to progress in the men’s draw after three-time grand slam winner Wawrinka was stunned 2-6, 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-0 by French wildcard Hugo Gaston.

Gaston, ranked 239 in the world, cried in his chair after completing his epic five-set victory over the 2015 French Open winner as the crowd chanted his name.


US Open champion Dominic Thiem faced eight break points against Norwegian Casper Ruud but did enough to reach the fourth round with a 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 victory.

‘Relaxed’ Halep cruises into next round

In the women’s draw, top seed Simona Halep underlined her title credentials with a 6-0, 6-1 win over American teenager Amanda Anisimova.

Simona Halep puts her thumbs up and half-smiles
Simona Halep dropped just one game in her emphatic victory over Amanda Anisimova.(AP: Michel Euler)

Halep is among several players who say they’ve returned reinvigorated, rested and with a new mindset from the pandemic-forced break that shut down the tennis tour for much of the year.

Others have said the months-long hiatus was bad for their games.

“I became very relaxed,” Halep said.

Halep, riding a career-best winning streak of 17 matches, will next face a rematch against another teenager: Iga Swiatek.

In the fourth round last year, Halep routed Swiatek 6-1, 6-0, ending the Polish player’s Roland Garros debut.

Swiatek is a tougher prospect this time. She has lost only 13 games, not dropped a set and beat Canadian wildcard Eugenie Bouchard 6-3, 6-2 in the third round.

Fifth seed Kiki Bertens, who left the court on a wheelchair after her second-round victory because of cramps, looked in total control as she raced past Czech Katerina Siniakova 6-2, 6-2.

Strasbourg champion Elina Svitolina also progressed to the last 16 with a clinical 6-4, 7-5 win over Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova.

Svitolina, the third seed in the women’s draw, will face 45th-ranked French player Caroline Garcia, who beat 16th seed Elise Mertens 1-6, 6-4, 7-5, much to the delight of the 1,000 spectators inside the 15,000-capacity Court Philippe Chatrier.


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Local News - Victoria

The best photos from around the world


Student activists shout slogans while burning an effigy of Uttar Pradesh state Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath during a protest against the gang rape and killing of a teenager, in Hyderabad, India, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020. The gang rape and death of a woman from the lowest rung of India’s caste system sparked outrage across the country on Wednesday, with several politicians and activists demanding justice and protesters rallying in the streets. The attack of the 19-year-old is the latest gruesome case of sexual violence against women to rile India, where reports of rape are hauntingly familiar. Credit:AP

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Australian News

World champions Australia defeat New Zealand by 17 runs in T20 international in Brisbane

Australia has defeated New Zealand by 17 runs in the T20 series opener in Brisbane, with Ashleigh Gardner scoring a half-century in the home side’s first match since winning the T20 World Cup final in March.

Gardner made 61 runs from 41 deliveries to help Australia post a total of 6-138 from its 20 overs at Allan Border Field.

New Zealand managed to make 7-121 in reply to fall short in the first of three T20 internationals in Brisbane.

The two sides will face off again in Brisbane on Sunday and Wednesday.

Making their first appearance since playing in front of more than 80,000 spectators in the T20 World Cup final at the MCG, the Australians held their nerve in front of a restricted attendance of just 380 fans.

Gardner smashed three sixes and six fours to help pull the hosts clear after a shaky start on a two-paced wicket.

Openers Beth Mooney and Alyssa Healy both fell trying to drive on the up before Rachael Haynes (23 from 18) and Sophie Molineux (duck) were guilty of the same.

Meg Lanning (24 from 28) was dismissed just as she was hitting her straps and it could have been 6-83 when Nicola Carey survived what appeared to be an edge behind from the first ball she faced off Sophie Devine.

Australia rode its luck, with Gardner fuelling their final overs with three well-struck sixes over midwicket and a crisp off-drive to bring up her 50 off 37 balls.

New Zealand skipper Devine mixed her pace nicely, going for 10 runs in her final over to finish with 3-18 from four overs.

She then did her best with the bat before Healy produced a match-changing legside stumping off the bowling of Delissa Kimmince.

Devine was ruled out of her crease by the third umpire as Healy whipped off the bails, the New Zealander out for 29.

Suzie Bates produced the top score for New Zealand with 33 from 38 deliveries.

Megan Schutt was the best of the Australian bowlers with 4-23 and Kimmince contributed figures of 2-24.

Both teams wore black armbands and shared a minute’s silence before the match in memory of Dean Jones.

Jones, who played 52 Tests and 164 ODIs for Australia, died of a heart attack in India on Thursday, aged 59.


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Australian News

Cycling groups hope for WA to become world famous for mountain bike trails

Cycling groups are hoping a multi-million-dollar injection of Government funding will help turn Western Australia into a premier mountain bike destination and help lure adventure tourists from across the world.

While it may not have Canada’s mountains or Norway’s fjords, it is hoped high-quality mountain bike trails built in WA’s diverse forest, hills and ocean scenery will make the state stand out from the crowd.

The WA Government has allocated almost $20 million to build new mountain bike trails across the state. Some of the promised work has been completed, while other work is in the final planning stages.

The focus is around the state’s south-west and Peel regions, with more than 120 kilometres of new trails to be built near Collie within the next two and a half years alone.

“The trails we have out here are absolutely amazing,” said Erik Mellegers, president of the Collie Mountain Bike Club.

“It’s not just that we’ve got big jumps. It’s not just that we’ve got longer-distance riders.

A man leaning on a blue mountain bike surrounded by trees and shrubs
Erik Mellegers says Collie’s trails, like the one in the newly opened Arklow Forest, are set among a pristine environment.(ABC South West: Kate Stephens)

Once the project is completed, a network of trails will surround the town.

The newest tracks, opened in July, sit just north of Collie in the Arklow Forest, while another 65 km of trails are planned just west in the Wellington National Park.

“That and the other facilities at Wellington National Park, really are going to establish that as sort of the queen piece of the mountain biking strategy for WA.”

Winding through the beach, forest and hills

A bike rider on a mountain bike trail with his back to the camera and the sun peaking through the trees
The trails in Collie will be part of a wider network across the state.(Supplied: Australia’s South West)

A 2017 planning document by cycling body WestCycle found mountain bike trails were underdeveloped despite an almost 40 per cent increase in cycle tourism in the south-west. The Mark McGowan Government soon announced the funds for new trails.

“The investment in those trials will help meet that demand from our local riders,” said Matt Fulton, WestCycle chief executive.

An aerial shot of three mountain bike riders riding along a dirt trail
It’s hoped the trails in Collie will attract a large number of tourists from across the world.(Supplied: Australia’s South West)

Though a large chunk of the funding is being spent in Collie, Mr Fulton said it was the variety of tracks planned across the Peel and south-west region that would attract the adventure tourist.

“So the plan here is whilst we’ve got pockets of projects going on in key locations at the moment, the overall plan is to create Western Australia as the mountain bike mecca of the world.”

A man riding on a mountain bike through the forest
Cycling enthusiasts say the mixture of forest, hills and ocean makes WA a unique destiny for adventure tourists.(Supplied: Australia’s South West)

Build it, and they will come

Mountain biking has grown in popularity in places such as Collie, an area which has been known for decades as a coal mining town.

“The amount of people we see in town on bikes now is phenomenal compared to two or three years ago,” Mr Mellegers from Collie Mountain Bike Club said.

The town is going through a significant change as the local coal mine and power stations wind down and new industries are sought.

Collie Shire president Sarah Stanley said the town was working hard to diversify the town’s economy.

“It’s one of the sectors that we’re really concentrating on.”

A range of bikes sitting out the front of a shop.
Mountain biking is growing in popularity in places like Collie.(ABC South West: Kate Stephens)

Councillor Stanley said high-quality mountain bike trails built close to the town would help attract the interstate and international visitors — once COVID-19 restrictions eased.

“A lot of those travellers are what we call the high-value travellers, so they tend to stay a little bit longer, and they tend to spend a little bit more,” she said.

The Blue Derby effect

While mountain bike tourism could never replace the number of jobs coal mining creates in Collie, it has been known to revitalise a town.

Those planning the Collie trails, which is set to finish within the next two and a half years, speak of Derby as an example of what could be replicated in WA.

The small community in north-east Tasmania was famously transformed from a dying mining town to a thriving tourist destination, thanks to the nearby Blue Derby mountain bike trails.

Councillor Stanley said while there were hopes for a similar result, the impact would be different.

“I think tourism and trials will bring a similar number of people to town, but Derby is a much smaller town than Collie,” she said.

a woman smiling and standing in front of a bike on the wall
Collie Shire president Sarah Stanley says tourism is an important part of the town’s future.(ABC South West: Kate Stephens)

Councils desperate to cash in

Mountain biking is not the only focus for the trail development in WA, with areas such as Dwellingup marketing itself as a multipurpose trail town.

The local council built a $3 million walking, riding and driving trail information centre next to its bike racks, pump park and rider rest area.

A sign near a road saying 'Dwellingup- where trails meet'.
Dwellingup is marketing itself as a multipurpose trail town with walking, riding and driving trails.(ABC South West: Kate Stephens)

Rod Annear, an assistant director at WA’s Parks and Wildlife Service, the Government department planning most of the state’s trails, said trail use was booming.

The rise in popularity may bring an economic benefit, but Mr Annear said it would also give the next generation an appreciation of their backyard.

“Anything that gets them outdoors and creates a relationship with the environment is a fantastic thing,” he said.

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