Given a stay of execution, members of the Illawarra mountain biking community are now working frantically to save their beloved possums dirt track for good.
National Parks and Wildlife NSW were set to start flattening the dirt jumps near Balgownie on Monday before Keira MP Ryan Park intervened on Friday.
NPWS have agreed to Mr Park's requests to halt work and meet with representatives of the mountain biking community.
"We are in the process of organising that meeting," Mr Park said.
"Once we work out all the details we will all go on site and have a look at what areas may need to be removed or fixed or avoided and then what areas can sort of stay.
"We will also look at issues around signage around private landholders and other concerns that should have been addressed before the original decision was taken, to be honest."
This view was backed by long-time rider Wayne Clarke.
But the 20-year-old from Russell Vale was nevertheless ecstatic NPWS had agreed to meet with local riders.
"It was very disappointing that National Parks rushed in on a decision like that without any genuine consultation," Clarke said.
It is not a good look really especially considering Wollongong was labelled a bike city by renowned international body UCI."
"While it was disappointing we are happy now to move on and work together with NPWS. At the end of the day we all want to protect our environment and bushland."
In fact Clarke and fellow members of the Wollongong MTB Trails Facebook page have been maintaining bushland tracks around the Illawarra for years.
They also do regular dig days and dedicated days collecting rubbish along tracks at Mount Keira, Bulli and Possums' networks of trails.
"Everyone cares for our tracks, especially at Possums. It has involved a big community effort to maintain it but it has been worth it," Clarke said.
"Hopefully we can discuss with NPWS what we do and are willing to do to ensure we look after our bushland properly.
"We also want to talk to them about the lack of signage. Mount Keira and Bulli tracks aren't too bad but there is hardly any signs at Possums.
"On Saturday there were around 100 riders at Possums, which is great. The only issue is that there are novice and professional trails and unfortunately some visitors don't know which is which.
"Us riders are happy to come up with the signs if need be but are also happy to talk this through with National Parks."
Clarke's mother Robyn Shead added lots of families dropped by Possums either to ride or go on bushwalks.
"I think the National Parks had no idea how much of the Illawarra community actually use that area which was a really untidy area until everyone started going there," she said.
"It was old mine land. The kids have cleaned it up. It was a real mess.
"The kids have planted plants and cleaned up trails and picked up rubbish and they've really done a nice little job.
"I'm so impressed with what they've done. I'm a local landscaper and they've done a good job up there.
"They're a great bunch of kids who are supported by adults.
"Hopefully National Parks takes note and work with them to protect and enhance the wonderful job maintaining Possums they have already done."
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