I WRITE in response to Allan Brown's letter which supports locating the go-kart track in McPhillamy Park (September 22).
All the good things he wants to happen can happen if the circuit is located elsewhere, lower down around the Mountain.
I hope council staff and councillors are working on finding another site.
Mr Brown unfortunately has got it wrong, as have many others who for years have been touting the proposed kart facility as international, when he says ... "to have a go-kart track on top of Mount Panorama will attract the world's top professional go-kart drivers along with their support teams and fans from all around the world".
A nice thought, but, no.
Bathurst Council on December 19, 2018 minuted ... "the facility itself would require additional facilities and works in order for it to attract licensing by CIK/FIA (referred to as homologation). Those additional facilities are beyond the scope of this application. References to the facility being an "international" facility have been removed."
Therefore, a Bathurst kart facility on top of Mount Panorama will not meet international licensing standards, and so will be unable to hold internationally sanctioned events.
Those international drivers, teams and fans will not come.
Mr Brown also asserts "both parkland and go-karts could live in harmony".
The track is licensed for 9 to 5 seven days a week and even the official (but flawed) acoustic report confirms the whole of the park will be awash with sound from the karts when they operate, thus rendering passive activities in the park quite unpleasant.
Another popular misconception is that the go-karts will be something everyone can use - an entertainment facility; a tourist facility. No, they won't.
Council's reports say "The Go Kart complex will restrict public access to part of the site", and "the site will not be open to the public".
So, contrary to what you might believe, the general public and tourists alike will not be able to turn up, buy a ticket, and get a ride.
Mr Brown also asserts "to move the site would have a tremendous financial shock upon council's expenditure and forward budgets and ultimately impact on ratepayers". Not so.
The fact is that council has budgeted the amount of $4.5 million to build the track in 2020/21 and has stated this money must not come from ratepayers, but from grants.
So it would not impact forward budgets or ratepayers at all. Moving the location of the track to a more suitable site ought to save a big part of this eye-watering amount.
While I am at it, let's correct the record about public consultation.
Commentators, including one councillor who should know better, have asserted the go-kart proposal has been publicly exhibited for 28 days on two occasions, and as a consequence there has been plenty of opportunity for the public to consider it and make submissions, and we shouldn't be complaining now.
This is false and misleading. There has been no public exhibition and no public advertising by council of the proposals.
The only real consultation has been for council to write to 41 Mount Panorama residents on the first DA and five other parties subsequently, and to include the karts DA as items in its meeting agendas - this has been confirmed by the general manager.
Clearly this is inadequate by any measure, certainly when measured against the recent outcry from a significant part of this 43,000 strong community.
Let's also not forget that the cost of this project has grown tenfold - from $250,000/$350,000 in 2013, to $450,000 in 2015, to $1.5 million in 2016, then to $4.5 million in 2020.
How did that ever happen? Have hubris and ego overtaken common sense? Where will it end?