BATHURST Wiradyuri elders have moved to allay fears over the long-term impact of the Section 9 and 10 applications they're seeking at the top of Mount Panorama.
As councillors and senior staff at Bathurst Regional Council have spoken of their concerns over the impact the applications before Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley could have on future development across a large area of the Mount - and beyond - representatives from the Wiradyuri Traditional Owners have written to all councillors and the Bathurst Kart Club offering to work with them to find a new site for the go-kart track planned in McPhillamy Park.
"We recognise the place of the motor racing industry as a key component in the economic and social life of Bathurst, and a go kart track in an appropriate location would only serve to enhance this," the letter to councillors says.
In the letter to councillors, the elders say they want to see McPhillamy Park returned to the community and want to see a fence that was erected six years ago around the proposed go-kart track site taken down.
"We are not seeking (and never have sought) exclusive access. We do not want to shut out the community or stop people from using McPhillamy Park, including camping during racing events or otherwise as a public park," the letter states.
"It is our strong view that McPhillamy Park should be preserved as a park for the use of all Bathurst residents and visitors.
"We are not demanding payment (raised from ticket sales or otherwise) from park or racegoers for the use of the park."
The elders' letter says they are pursuing action under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act because "we cannot in good conscience sit by and allow our heritage to be destroyed by council. It is too painful."
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In their letter to the kart club, the elders describe the role of Wahluu Mount Panorama in the Wiradyuri's creation story and say "Wahluu is the Wiradyuri equivalent of Uluru".
"For the avoidance of doubt, the sacredness of Wahluu is not based on the presence or number of artefacts that may be found or remaining on top of Wahluu," the letter states.
"Rather, its unique topography and its place in the Dreamtime and songlines."
Both letters suggested the proposed second circuit site as, potentially, a suitable site for the go-kart track.
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