Oxfam Australia has made the decision to re-route the first 20km of this year’s Trailwalker Melbourne 100km event.
Last year, Oxfam launched a fresh new trail for Trailwalker Melbourne (to be held on 29 and 30 March), with the first part of the trail to start in Emerald before running up through Menzies Creek along a single trail towards Olinda.
However, Oxfam Australia Director of Public Engagement Pam Anders said that despite holding permissions to host the event on this trail and working with Parks Victoria on a suite of measures to minimise the risk of environmental impact, Oxfam had listened to community concerns that holding the event in this area might cause damage to flora and fauna.
“After working together with local communities and hearing concerns related to potential damage to the single trail, Oxfam has made the decision to start the 100km trail in Lysterfield Lake, after which it will wind its way through Upwey and Ferntree Gully en route to Olinda,” Ms Anders said.
“While we recognise it’s not ideal to be re-routing even a small part of the trail so close to the event, we want to assure all Oxfam Trailwalker participants this decision has been made out of respect for the environment and for the communities along the trail.”
Ms Anders said that as an organisation working to tackle global poverty, environmental stewardship and community consultation were part of Oxfam’s core values.
“Oxfam takes seriously its commitment to listening to the communities with whom we work, and we thank the Friends groups for bringing this issue to our attention, as well as Parks Victoria for all its support,” she said.
The new 100km Melbourne trail for 2019 has plenty to offer all participants, with the path after Olinda winding through Melbourne’s eastern suburbs including Lilydale, Croydon, Donvale, Templestowe and Heidelberg, before finishing up through Yarra Bend Park to Fairfield.
“We think the trail will appeal to returning Oxfam Trailwalker participants who want something fresh but challenging, as well as new participants keen on tackling a new run or walk that finishes just a stone’s throw from Melbourne’s CBD,” Ms Anders said.
Trailwalker raises money towards Oxfam’s work tackling poverty around the world.
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