THE 30-day protection order issued by Environment Minister Sussan Ley to prevent work starting on the go-kart track on Monday is the biggest victory so far for those seeking to have the track moved, but the war is not over.
Ms Ley granted the Section 9 order about noon on Friday, less than 72 hours before work on the track was scheduled to start.
Naturally, the decision was warmly welcomed by the many people in Bathurst opposed to a go-kart track being built at the top of Mount Panorama - particularly the Bathurst Wiradyuri elders and Friends of McPhillamy Park - and a protest picnic that had been organised for Sunday evening will now go ahead as a celebration instead.
In truth, though, this is neither a stunning victory nor crushing loss for either side of the track debate.
But what it is, hopefully, is a chance for all stakeholders to step back from the battlements and draw breath on an issue that has far too many people far too riled. Because there is still some way for this debate to go.
Ms Ley has not yet said anything that would indicate whether she favours the go-kart track going ahead in McPhillamy Park or being moved to another site.
Her planned visit to Bathurst next Friday might go a long way towards swaying her either way.
If she can be convinced the area is a culturally-significant site for the local Indigenous community then you would think she would certainly stop the track being built there. One thing this federal government does not need is another Juukan Gorge.
But if Ms Ley is convinced by the heritage reports prepared by council and by the Bathurst Local Aboriginal Lands Council's support for a track in McPhillamy Park, then perhaps we can expect her final decision to go the other way.
Either way, there will be many people in Bathurst unhappy with the result. No wonder ministers are paid good money.
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