JIM Inwood has a vision for developing Bathurst’s Mount Panorama into a motorsport precinct.
With the big news that $25 million will become available in coming years to build a second track at Mount Panorama, the opportunity to further develop the city’s iconic circuit into an even bigger drawcard has never been more pertinent.
While not necessarily a motorsport buff, Mr Inwood is a well-known local farmer from Glanmire who is passionate about anything that can benefit the wider Bathurst region.
“The time to develop our world renowned icon is now,” he said. “When it comes to recognition of Australian icons, Mount Panorama is up there with the likes of the Harbour Bridge, Opera House and Uluru.
“Every year I watch the races at the Mount and think that much more could be done to make the most of this most valuable of assets.
“With this in mind, the announcement of the money for the second track is big news.
“But other initiatives which would help the circuit reach its full potential could include the building of a ‘gallery of metal masterpieces’ at McPhillamy Park on the Skyline.
“It must be an imposing, world class, outstanding building. An icon in itself. It should be a mecca for car and motorbike enthusiasts worldwide.
“It should be large enough to cater for years of collecting with approval and funding for expansion. Our present museum is restricted to racing cars. A new facility could be home for rare and outstanding cars and motor bikes.
“The gallery should incorporate a large area like a great hall for special functions such as vehicle launches as well as events unrelated to motorsport. It could also be a meeting point for car and bike clubs from around Australia. This would allow it to create a revenue stream for the facility.”
Mr Inwood said his vision for the building is to have a five storey building with a main tower featuring 360 degree views.
“The fifth floor tower could have the Wahluu restaurant located there,” he said. “The ground floor could feature tourism, souvenirs and fast floor; second and third floors could be meeting rooms for the benefit of the wider racing community and even some type of theatre and the fourth floor’s use could be a work in progress.”
Mr Inwood said he believes $30-$40 million would build such a facility.
He said this type of iconic development should be mooted in Bathurst’s bicentennial year and that the state government should come to the party.
“The government is keen to spend millions and millions on stadiums and the like in Sydney, millions on the V8 race at Homebush Bay and now there is also a plan to throw $180 million in to steal the F1 Grand Prix from Melbourne,” he said.
“That’s very city centric, so there could be a good case for this type of spending on the other side of the Great Divide in a regional location.
“Now is the time to get the ball rolling. I hope this concept doesn’t fall on deaf ears and that our council and local MPs will consider it carefully because of the enormous benefits it would bring to the region.
“They said we were dreaming about the second track. Well, let’s really live the dream and aim high,” he said.
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