Mountain biking has been removed from Wollongong City Council's plans for the Mt Keira Summit Park in a move which has advocates worried about the impact on their larger-scale ambitions for bike trails across the escarpment.
Monday night's council meeting will consider a new version of the plan of management (POM), one which elevates the area's Aboriginal heritage as a vital feature.
A beginner's track for bikes once considered has been deleted.
"Due to the the cultural sensitivity of the site to Aboriginal communities, it has been removed from the concept plan," council consultation documents stated.
"Consideration will be given to integration between the park and the surrounding trail network to enable access."
Destination Wollongong general manager Mark Sleigh said he was "surprised" by the council's position, but said it would not prevent the push for an escarpment mountain bike park going ahead.
"It's business as usual as far as we're concerned," he said.
Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said the 9.3 hectares of summit park was "only a limited area", and should not have a large impact on the Illawarra Escarpment Mountain Bike Strategy.
"It is respecting the Aboriginal heritage of the site, but not so much that it is at the expense of mountain biking," he said.
"The main mountain biking issue is on the rest of the mountain."
A statement from the Illawarra Local Aboriginal Land Council described it thus:
"Aboriginal creation stories express deep cultural and physical connections between the people and their environment," it said.
"Along with the Five Islands, the creation stories associated with Djera [Mr Keira] and Djembla [Mt Kembla] are fundamental to the values and beliefs of the traditional Aboriginal families living in and from this area.
"As custodians of these stories, we preserve the knowledge and share with all Aboriginal people residing within our boundaries. These stories are who we are."
The escarpment strategy proposes a network of existing (30km) and new (52km) trails from Balgownie to Mt Kembla via Mt Keira.
A proposal for a "high ropes" attraction was also dropped as incompatible with heritage values.
Other proposals for the Summit Park which emerged during consultation included a large "Hollywood"-style sign on the mountain, a mobile zoo, and a giant statue of Christ.