Bathurst MP confident second track will be built at Mount Panorama

KEEP THE MOMENTUM GOING: Members of the Second Circuit Action Group Bruce Morgan, Lachlan Sullivan, Geoff Fry and Robert “Stumpy” Taylor at the proposed location of the second circuit on Mount Panorama. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK	 061814c2ndtrac
KEEP THE MOMENTUM GOING: Members of the Second Circuit Action Group Bruce Morgan, Lachlan Sullivan, Geoff Fry and Robert “Stumpy” Taylor at the proposed location of the second circuit on Mount Panorama. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 061814c2ndtrac

Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said he wants to see progress on a second track at Mount Panorama this year to allow motorcycle racing to return to the mountain. 

He will be meeting with Bathurst mayor Gary Rush and some council staff early in February for an update on council’s position.

Mr Toole said he was aware council was doing a noise study, and he is keen to move to the next level, which would involve environmental studies, followed by the physical design of the track.

“Hopefully by the end of the year we will see some physical work begin on the new circuit,” he said.

“I’m confident this track is going to happen. 

“I have been lobbying Mike Baird, who is a strong supporter of motor racing and the concept of a second track.

“He has stood on Mount Panorama and seen the potential. 

“This is the motor racing capital of Australia and all the drivers and teams want to come here and race.”

Mr Toole said a second track would be designed for motorcycles and would provide an opportunity to bring the bikes back to Mount Panorama.

However, he said it could also be used for driver training and go-karts. It would be a true multi-purpose facility. 

“The government has already committed $5 million in this year’s budget for the second circuit, which shows it clearly wants this to happen,” Mr Toole said.

“I am determined to work with Bathurst Regional Council to give this project some real traction and end the talkfest that’s been going on for years.”

He said Bathurst would be the big winner because a second circuit had the potential to create more than 200 jobs and provide a huge boost to the local economy. 

“We’ve seen tracks in other parts of the nation and are well aware of the benefits they bring to their communities,” Mr Toole said.

“That’s why it is important to keep the momentum going. These additional jobs are what it’s all about.”

Passionate second track advocate Robert Stumpy Taylor said there were endless opportunities for the use of a second circuit, adding that it would in no way be restricted to motorsport.

He said the Second Circuit Group held a number of private meetings late last year to make sure plans for a second track at Mt Panorama were still on the agenda.

“Time is marching on and we need to keep the pressure on to make sure everyone is moving in the right direction,” he said.

Mr Taylor said it looked like the project had the support of mayor Gary Rush, which was exactly what was needed.

He added he would like to see a driver training school at the proposed second track to help combat the number of fatalities on country roads.

“That would be a great asset to the Central West,” he said.

Mr Taylor said he believed the second circuit would be a controlled environment perfect for cycling, marathon running, and rider training schools for motorcyclists.

He said we need to think outside the square.

“We are limited only by our imagination,” he said.

“We want to pursue the idea of building a grade one track. There are no grade one tracks in Australia where a Formula 1 can be held.

“But it’s got to be done right.”

He said the second track would be between 3.5 and four kilometres in length.

It should be incorporated into the bottom of Mount Panorama to create a genuine Moto GP circuit.

“The facilities are already there,” he said.

Mr Taylor said the benefits a second track would bring to the city were astronomical. 

He said people from all the surrounding regions would be enticed to come to Bathurst and stay overnight.

“It’s four hours to Newcastle and to Wollongong, two of the most populous areas in Australia,” Mr Taylor said.

“Imagine how many people we would drawn in if we had a second circuit.”

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