Blue Derby Trails Win National Award

Dorset Council Logo


EDA National Award 2015


Wednesday, 9 September 2015


Dorset Council has won a national Award for Excellence in Economic Development for the Blue Derby Mountain Bike Trails. The project was presented as the winner of the Community Economic Development Award at the Economic Development Australia (EDA) Conference in Moreton Bay, Queensland, this evening.

This announcement comes after the same project won the Delivering Excellence – Smaller Council’s Award at the Local Government Association of Tasmania’s Awards for Excellence in July this year.

The Blue Derby Trails project is led by Dorset Council, and was made possible with funding through the Australian Government’s Regional Development Australia Fund. Project partners include Break O’Day Council, Forestry Tasmania, Parks & Wildlife, and public, private and community sectors.

Dorset Council Mayor, Greg Howard, indicated support from the local community has greatly contributed to the success of the project.
“It’s fitting we won the community award, as the level of engagement by the local community in Derby has been tremendous.
Even before the project was confirmed, they chose a mountain bike to go on town entrance signage. They have organised a mural and bike sculptures for the main street, and bike-themed merchandise and memorabilia can be seen in the local shops” he said.

The strong positive impacts of the project can already be seen in Derby, with a great lifting of community morale, as well as increased property investment, revival of existing enterprises and new business.

The $3.1 million project is the largest single mountain bike project undertaken in Australia, and plays a key role in the work of Dorset Council to transition a regional economy from heavy reliance on forestry and agricultural employment, to a more diversified platform.

General Manager, Tim Watson, accepted the award this evening on behalf of Dorset Council.
“This is a great win for Dorset. It justifies all the hard work that’s gone into the project” he said.
“Before investing in a project like this, there’s a lot of research and planning that has to happen. To make sure it’s the right investment – which will have the economic benefits we really need.”

As the region is increasing recognised as a sport and recreation destination, sustainable investment and economic growth is expected in the longer term. Reinvigoration of north-eastern Tasmania is underway!

For more information contact:
Tim Watson, General Manager, Dorset Council 0438 507 168 or
Greg Howard, Mayor, Dorset Council 0409 546 247 or