WHAT an insult to many Hunter Valley residents has come from the Bathurst mayor in his attempt to compare the Mount Panorama racetrack and its benefits with Newcastle's upcoming Supercars finale from November 24-26 (“Bathurst mayor Graeme Hanger urges Newcastle to embrace Supercars”, Newcastle Herald, October 6).
This controversial Newcastle street circuit involved destroying almost half of Newcastle's Foreshore Park.
It also travels through the CBD up Newcastle's oldest street, Watt Street, and passes by numerous heritage homes at a grand distance of three metres from the residents’ living rooms.
It is well-known that Mount Panorama is outside Bathurst, on a purpose-built track.
What is also well-known is Bathurst is Australia's oldest inland city and the historic capital of the Central West.
It has had the foresight to protect its heritage and its wonderful Machattie Park and enhance its historic CBD and, as a result, it attracts tourists year-round.
Sydney, Australia's oldest city, did the same at The Rocks, and Hobart, the second-oldest, also enhanced the Salamanca Bay precinct. All the above places attract sustainable year-round tourism.
Newcastle, Australia's third-oldest and extremely significant city, made a start in the form of plaques and walks around the CBD and throughout the significant State Heritage-listed Coal River Precinct on the foreshore, only to then rip its soul and heart to shreds for a three-day event.
Watt Street now looks cheaper and nastier than ever in my opinion.
Yes, the footpaths needed an overhaul, but to put cheap black tar there instead of pavers or the like, then boast about it, is another insult.
It looks like a rushed experimental subdivision gone wrong. An opportunity to revitalise an historic Australian precinct wasted.
This is not mayor Hanger’s fault, but he should check the site out before opening his mouth.
Mayor Hanger says affected Newcastle residents must "suck it up". He is lucky his historic city never got "sucked in" to the mess Newcastle now faces.
I would doubt very much he would be able to convince his constituents that Bathurst's Machattie Park should be ripped up and that the Bathurst 1000 should run three metres from living rooms and through the CBD, permanently defacing the city's historical character.