SOME of the biggest names in motorsport have thrown their support behind Bathurst Regional Council’s push for a $50 million second track and associated industrial and commercial development at Mount Panorama.
A delegation from council including mayor Gary Rush and city treasurer Bob Roach yesterday played some of their big cards as the drive to establish what could be known as Velocity Park at the iconic circuit stepped into overdrive in Canberra.
Calare MP John Cobb also attended private talks with Liberal heavyweight Senator Arthur Sinodinos and his advisers in a private meeting room at Parliament House.
Producing letters of support from Suzuki, Honda, Yamaha, KTM and V8 Supercars, Cr Rush went well armed to stake a case for the venture.
“We went down the path of outlining to Senator Sinodinos what the project was all about and the opportunities that would be created by what we are calling Velocity Park,” he said.
“Talks centred on economic development, jobs growth and support for a commercial and industrial development and the willingness of key players in the motorsport industry to relocate all or part of their businesses here.
“We noted the fact that Bathurst has 60 educational institutions in the region with eight different pathway choices to reaching the HSC.
“That’s important in supporting these type of companies making decisions to come here because staff know there’s a future for them here.
“Mr Sinodinos liked the three-tier approach to funding this type of development with our proposal including $20 million from federal, $20 million from state and $10 million from council.”
Cr Rush said council was committed to a second track and Velocity Park, as was demonstrated by its extensive land acquisitions to allow for the facility to be built.
“We also spoke about that whole sporting precinct at Mount Panorama with the new harness racing complex, the 60-hectare bike park including the $1.5 million BMX track and the new go-kart track in McPhillamy Park which are all on council- owned land,” he said.
“These enables us to capitalise on the status of the existing circuit as the premier track in Australia and amongst the best in the world.”
Cr Rush said his summation of the meeting was that he found Senator Sinodinos to be very friendly, very engaging in the conversation and very interested in what council was trying to do.
“We want him and Mr Cobb to take that message to the Prime Minister,” he said.
“Our next step is to write a letter of thanks to the senator for his time and confirming the discussions that did take place and his support for the project.
“I think it’s fair to say we left the meeting knowing the federal government is interested and suitably impressed in this project, coming from a progressive regional council wanting to continue the prosperity of the city and Central West.”