PLANS for a go-kart track at Mount Panorama will be back before Bathurst Regional Council this week, but not for councillors to make any decisions on.
Instead, a discussion forum will be held to source further feedback on the proposal after varied submission were received during the notification period.
While some submissions noted the benefits the track would bring to the community and how it would further establish Bathurst “as a motor sport mecca”, those in opposition felt the proposed location held too much cultural significance.
Among the objections was that the site is being considered by the Office of Environment and Heritage for gazettal as an Aboriginal place.
With such divided opinions, more people are invited to come forward to speak to councillors at the discussion forum on Wednesday night.
Councillor Warren Aubin, a big supporter of the go-kart track, has grown frustrated with the process, however, saying it has taken years to make very little progress.
“The original DA passed [in 2015] and allowed a go-kart track to be built up there with no interaction up there with people saying ‘No, don’t do it there’,” he said.
“Council was talking to the go-kart club and said ‘Why don’t we add 90 metres of track and make it international standard?’.
“Once the amended DA went in, the objectors came out of the woodwork and the council had to follow the due process and make sure there was no Aboriginal artifacts up there, which there weren’t.”
Cr Aubin said that, although it is part of the process, he didn’t expect the discussion forum would uncover any new arguments.
His frustration, he said, was mainly for the members of the Bathurst Kart Club, who were still without a facility.
Not only have they put their own money into the project, but they thought they would have a track to race on by mid to late 2017.
Cr Aubin said Mount Panorama remained the perfect venue for the track, not the second circuit as others had suggested.
“If it went into the second circuit, it would be a for or five year wait to get it up there,” he said.
“And then you would have to submit another DA and do all the studies. The process would have to start all over again.”
He hopes that once the discussion forum is held and a report returned to council, that the track would finally get the green light.
“The kart club will have a home and a place to hold their activities,” Cr Aubin said.