The equine community has an important place within Nillumbik’s Green Wedge. Council needs to work with horse riders to support them to make the most of our beautiful rural landscapes while minimising the environmental impact of horse riding. This way, we can all preserve and love the land that we share in Nillumbik’s Green Wedge.
We all love living in the Green Wedge for a variety of different reasons. Horse riders in Nillumbik are so lucky to have the rolling hills, trails and stunning scenery in our Green Wedge and I want to help them to enjoy this landscape long into the future.
Horse riding is good for Nillumbik and can also be good for our Green Wedge.
Locally, horse riding is an important part of Nillumbik’s economy, bringing money into our shire and creating important jobs for locals. It gives locals a good reason to love our Green Wedge and it is a sport which is particularly popular with women and girls. When women are so under-represented in organised sport, this is all the more reason to support horse riding in Nillumbik.
Protecting the Green Wedge does not mean placing unreasonable restrictions on horse riders; it means setting standards and expectations for all of us so we can share our trails and protect the environment simultaneously.
While the impact of hard-hoofed animals on the local environment is a valid concern, it should not eliminate horse riding altogether. Council’s role is to provide support and set standards to help horse riders do what they love without damaging the land that we love. This means allowing horse riders to have access to local trails but enforcing rules such as not going off-path into areas of sensitive vegetation.
We also need to set expectations for other road and trail users. This includes ensuring that drivers and cyclists are made aware of the need to not make sudden noises around horses and the need to slow down while passing a horse. This way, we can all share our roads and trails and protect the environment while we do it.
Another important way to help horse riders in Nillumbik is to provide incentives for locals to remove barbed wire. Barbed wire fencing is bad for horses and bad for wildlife and Council can do a lot to help landowners deal with this issue.
Indoor Equestrian Centre
The proposal for an indoor equestrian centre is one that could have wide-ranging benefits for horses, riders, the environment and the whole of Nillumbik. There is no guarantee that this can go ahead due to the cost and the difficulty of finding a suitable site for the development but I support a thorough feasibility study to give it the best chance possible.
An indoor equestrian centre is not guaranteed but I will give it the best chance to go ahead.
Having an indoor arena will provide a chance for local horse clubs to grow and for local riders to do what they love in all weathers and at all times of day. It will also be a safe riding space and a fantastic opportunity for the riding community to come together.