Our say | New Mount events a tale of two negotiations

THE good news for the Australian Skateboard Racing Association is that Bathurst Regional Council is in negotiations to bring a new event to Mount Panorama.

The bad news, it won’t be theirs.

Council has consistently rejected overtures from ASRA to bring a round of the skateboarding World Cup to Mount Panorama next February, citing a raft of concerns.

First, councillors were warned that council’s relationship with the organisation had proved difficult during the running of the short-lived Newton’s Nation events on the Mount around a decade ago and then there were queries over just how much in-kind financial support the World Cup organisers were seeking from council.

Now, a report to go to council on Wednesday night recommends councillors not only refuse to financially support the event but also refuse to make Mount Panorama available for the event at all.

That report states councillors need to be mindful of the concerns of residents living on the Mount about any new events being added to a busy calendar on the the circuit.

So it would probably comes as something of a surprise to ASRA to learn that a separate item to be discussed on Wednesday – behind doors during a confidential meeting of council – proposes doing just that.

While few details have so far been released to the public, the item concerning “a proposal for a new motor racing event proposed to be held at the Mount Panorama Motor Racing Circuit” has already been before council a number of times and – clearly – has not been rejected just yet.

So maybe the problem for ASRA is not that council does not want to subject Mount residents to the inconvenience of a new event but, rather, that council does not want to subject residents to the inconvenience of a skateboarding event. And that decision is likely to be one of simple dollars and cents.

The simple nature of the events means a new motor racing event would be worth far more to the city than a skateboarding event, and that’s probably where the discussion ended.

If Mount residents were going to cop a new event, council was always going to ensure it was the most lucrative.

Of course, if council was genuinely concerned about keeping Mount residents happy then it would reject the motor racing event as well – and may yet do so.

Until the item is discussed in open council, though, we just won’t know.