THE top of Mount Panorama remains the chosen location for Bathurst's go-kart track after a notice of motion proposing to relocate the circuit was defeated.
The motion, put forward by councillor John Fry to move the circuit to a site approximately one kilometre west of the approved location in McPhillamy Park, was discussed at length at Wednesday night's council meeting.
Cr Fry argued that adding the track to the Mount Panorama second circuit precinct made more economic sense and would ensure the protection of a site Bathurst Wiradyuri elders consider sacred.
"I'm moving this motion tonight because I believe that the current site for the go-kart track is the second best site and we would have a far better result if we moved it down the hill a bit to a site which doesn't have the same baggage as the current proposed site," he said.
However, his argument, which also touched on the impact on the Grassy Box Woodland, wasn't enough to persuade the majority of councillors to scrap the location that was approved almost five years ago.
He could only gain the support of councillors Monica Morse and Jess Jennings, while mayor Bobby Bourke, deputy mayor Ian North and councillors Warren Aubin, Alex Christian, Graeme Hanger and Jacqui Rudge voted against the proposal.
Those who spoke against the proposal primarily based their arguments around the long list of studies that have been done on the location, including aboriginal cultural heritage assessments, and the amount of money that the project has already cost council, which would only increase if the site was changed.
They also noted that there are opposing views of the significance of the site from two key aboriginal groups.
McPhillamy Park is the most recent location sought to be the home of a go-kart track in Bathurst, but not the first to be considered.
Bathurst Regional Council approved a development application (DA) for a go-kart track in McPhillamy Park, Mount Panorama in September 2015.
In mid 2016, a modification to the original DA was proposed, seeking to extend the length of the circuit.
It was after this proposal was received that the Wiradyuri elders spoke to the media and claimed they weren't consulted about the original DA, which has been a catalyst for ongoing community debate over the site for the track.
While the modification was ultimately approved in December 2018, council could have proceeded to build a circuit regardless as it still had the approval of the original DA. The modification only affected the length of the track, not the chosen site.
It is unknown when the go-kart track will be built, as council does not have the funds at the present time to progress the project.
More to come.