COUNCILLORS have made a tragic, damaging and short-sighted decision to allow and partly pay for a go-kart track to be built on Mount Panorama.
It is a slap in the face of the Wiradyuri people who continue to lose the little that is left of their heritage. Council is aiding and abetting that loss and damage.
Supporters of the track say there are no artefacts left and so it is not a place of importance any more. That is not surprising given the top of the Mount was quarried to make the streets and buildings of Bathurst. But the sacred Mountain (Wahluu) remains, only now to be brutalised by council.
In a recent survey by TheSydney Morning Herald, key tourism experts were asked to name the top 10 places in Australia. One was Mount Panorama; not for its race track or approved go-kart track, but "for the magnificent view of the region".
It is possible to have 360 degree views of up to 100 kilometres. It is perhaps one of the best views in Australia. It is not only the distant views but also the views along the ridges and shoulders of Wahluu leading to the distant views that are breathtaking.
Has council lost sight of the fact that Bathurst's future is in its tourism - for the next 1000 years? Its future is not in its cluster of tracks around the Mount but in our heritage and the beauty of the landscape.
Yet for generations council has, with good intent but poor logic and lack of foresight, destroyed our heritage.
As an example, try taking a walk around the top of Mount Panorama to admire the view. You will find a race track (which is admittedly now entrenched, though intrusive) and also a shamefully ugly concrete toilet block which blocks the view, a large council machinery shed that is surrounded by ring-lock fences, transmitting towers, and kilometres of high-wire fences that lock out access to the best viewing spots.
It has been a long process of unthinking brutalisation.
Council continues its path of systematic neglect as it has now given permission for the go-kart track to be built and is using ratepayers' money to pay for the track.
So do we have councillors making good long-term strategic decisions based on what is good for Bathurst and, in particular, the generations to come? Or are councillors destroying the foundations of the true potential of our region and are they grabbing short-term gains?
If the answer is the latter, then councillors will be damned by the many generations to come.
Bathurst has a wealth of evidence of good decisions made over the past 200 years. Sadly, it also has a shame list of thoughtless decisions.
Why don't we learn from the past and protect the good that remains for the current and future generations?