Wollongong's cycling community has thrown its support behind possible plans to establish a dedicated mountain bike park in the Illawarra.
Wollongong city councillors Michelle Blicavs and George Takacs will bring a motion to tonight's council meeting seeking to have staff investigate the feasibility of setting up a park in the region.
The report would consider the land available for such a venture, preferred operating models, and key features of similar parks in Australia and New Zealand.
Wollongong Mountain Bike Club member Scott Carson said the club whole-heartedly supported the proposal, and would even help the council pay for the study.
"The Illawarra escarpment has the potential to be a world-class destination for cyclists with its unique natural terrain and unrivalled ocean views," he said.
"A trail network does currently exist from The Royal National Park through to Robertson, but unfortunately the multiple land owners and stakeholders currently don't allow continual access to these trails.
"The club supports Cr Blicavs and Takacs' motion and we intend to offer financial support to the council for both a study and, hopefully, the development of the sport locally."
Mr Carson said Wollongong stood to benefit socially and economically if such a venue was set up in the region.
"There are many mountain bike events held throughout NSW and Australia and mountain bike tourism is growing rapidly," he said.
"The Illawarra has the advantage of fantastic terrain close to a major centre."
Wollongong Mountain Bike Club had been based at Appin for more than 10 years but late last year the group found itself homeless after the Tharawal Local Aboriginal Land Council denied riders permission for continuing use of the land.
Mr Carson said surrounding local government areas including Sutherland, Shoalhaven, Wingecarribee and Wollondilly had dedicated mountain biking facilities and several ran high profile social events and marathons.
These included Bundanoon's Highland Fling and the Husky Marathon in the Shoalhaven.
He said both rides attracted at least 2000 riders.
Councillors will consider the motion this evening.