THE campaign to build a go kart track in Bathurst has been one of the region's longest running sagas.
The case for a go track is compelling, further cementing Bathurst's reputation as the Australia's motorsport capital.
Karts are often the first rung on a young driver's ladder to a professional driving career and there is already a strong karting community in the city. But just where to build the track has been the constant sticking point.
First there was the suggestion that it could be built on council-owned land at Raglan, but the prospect of noise disturbing homes in the area put an end to that.
Next was the disused Alec Lambert Field but, again, the proximity of homes and The Scots School saw it ruled out.
Finally, to the delight of local karters, room was found at the back of McPhillamy Park on the top of Mount Panorama. Plans were lodged with Bathurst Regional Council (by Bathurst Regional Council) and subsequently approved, and the go kart track finally looked like becoming a reality.
But when a proposal to amend those plans were put on public exhibition in 2016, the waters were quickly muddied.
That was apparently when the proposed track become known to the local Wiradyuri elders who, as they rightly should, raised concerns that the track might disturb traditional Aboriginal sacred grounds.
Council, for its part, engaged a series of consultants to conduct heritage studies on the site – Aboriginal and European – which dramatically slowed the process while increasing the price tag.
But, importantly, council does not begrudge that expense – and nor should the community.
Those reports should be seen as a perfectly justified precaution before carrying out any development on a significant cultural landmark.
But the findings of the reports remain disputed and there have also been suggestions that another alternate site be considered – that is, making the go kart track part of the second track development that is currently at the design stage.
That’s unlikely to happen but, given the history in this saga already, you would be well advised not to stake your home on it.
On Wednesday night another chapter in this saga will be played out when council holds a community forum on the go kart track proposal. As they say, though, good things come to those who wait.