INDIGENOUS and environmental groups have joined forces in the latest bid to convince Bathurst Regional Council to dump plans to build a go kart track at the top of Mount Panorama.
A coalition of concerned citizens and organisations, led by acclaimed ecologist Dr David Goldney, has used Saturday's National Threatened Species Day to highlight the risks to a number of plants and animals if the track goes ahead.
They say threatened species habitats that will be impacted by the development include the koala, microbats and native birds as well as Australian yellow box trees and Blakely's red gums.
Dr Goldney echoed the thoughts of many in the group when he said he was not opposed to the go kart track but did not want to see it built at the top of Mount Panorama.
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"In the Central Western region of NSW, including Mount Panorama, we have the worst record of species extinctions since 1815 and also the number of threatened species in danger of becoming extinct [is more] than any other region in Australia," Dr Goldney said.
About 50 local citizens and half a dozen organisations - including Bathurst Wiradyuri and Aboriginal Community Elders, Gunhigal Mayiny Wiradyuri Dyilang Enterprise and Bathurst Kangaroo Project - have signed an open letter calling on council to relocate the go kart track.
Councillors John Fry and Monica Morse are also among the signatories.
Bathurst Community Climate Action Network president Jack Fry told the Western Advocate it was still not too late to protest even nine months after plans for the track were approved by council.
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"The track's not been built so there's still a chance to put it in a better location," Mr Fry said.
"We already have two councillors [Monica Morse and John Fry] who are strongly against it and say it's not in the right place and local ecologists who say it's not in the right place.
"We have areas that have already been heavily impacted, let's not create another area that will be off limits to the community."
Council was made aware of potential impacts on the environment before they approved the development application by a vote of seven-two last December.
Protesters battle a windy day on Mount Panorama ...
The Statement of Environmental Effects presented to councillors noted the track development would require the removal of 0.79 hectares of yellow box and red gum woodland listed as an Endangered Ecological Community; the removal of 3.57 hectares of exotic and planted vegetation; reduction of 0.79 hectares of woodland habitat for koalas; and indirect impact on the yellow box and red gum woodland.
In addition to ecological concerns, Bathurst Wiradyuri and Aboriginal Community Elders remain opposed to the track location, saying it is an important local site for ceremony and culture.
Bathurst Regional Council was contacted for comment on the potential impacts to threatened species but had not responded at the time of publication.