Plans for a state-of-the-art bike trail on Mount Canobolas are facing new calls to be scrapped, amid concerns about the environmental and cultural impacts of development. Wiradjuri elders Uncle Neil Ingram and Aunty Alice Williams spoke out against the project at Tuesday's NAIDOC Week opening ceremony, alongside NSW Greens MLC Sue Higginson. A lack of indigenous consultation during planning, impact on native flora an fauna, potential damage to culturally significant sites and funding shortfalls were flagged as the primary concerns. A network of mountain bike trails was proposed to council in 2014, with projections showing tens-of-millions-of-dollars could be attracted through related tourism. Extensive planning has been carried out by Orange City Council in the years since, but construction of the multi-million-dollar project is yet to be voted on by councillors. "We were not consulted in any way ... we as elders oppose it in its entirety," Uncle Neil Ingram said. "We need to protect, preserve and respect this special place." Aunty Alice Williams said she is concerned by a lack of discussion with indigenous women: "We never got the opportunity to talk about the cultural values that we have within that landscape." Newly-appointed NSW Greens MLC Sue Higginson attended the event in her capacity as a party spokesperson for the environment and first nations' heritage. "This is a place that offers so much for all of Australia ... this conversation needs to start with sitting down with the elders. It's time to engage in a proper process of reconciliation," she said. The group did not rule out the possibly of trails being built in the future, but requested the existing plan be thrown-out and restarted with a greater focus on the environment and indigenous concerns. Greens Councillor David Mallard told the Central Western Daily he empathises with the issues raised, and believes there are other Orange projects more worthy of resources. "When we are needing more funding to deliver the sporting precinct - when we've got the conservatorium and planetarium to deliver as well - I really think council has other priorities," Cr. Mallard said. The project has attracted controversy for some time. Proponents argue a mountain bike trail would attract significant investment through tourism and have minimal environmental impact. A statement from Orange Mayor Jason Hamling said, in part: "[We have] done a lot of work to date to explore the proposal for mountain bike tracks ... but there is more work to do. "This includes continuing the important discussions with the traditional owners. I know we are dealing with a very special, culturally and environmentally important area on Mount Canobolas. "If we can't adequately protect those important values the mountain bike project shouldn't go ahead." WHAT DO YOU THINK? We've made it a whole lot easier for you to have your say. Our new comment platform requires only one log-in to access articles and to join the discussion on the Central Western Daily website. Find out how to register so you can enjoy civil, friendly and engaging discussions. Sign up for a subscription here.