PLANS to build a go-kart track on McPhillamy Park appear almost dead in the water after Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley gave the strongest indication yet that she plans to place a permanent protection order on the site at the top of Mount Panorama.
Ms Ley issued a media statement on Wednesday saying she would extend the existing Section 9 order that prevents any work on the site for another 30 days.
But she also confirmed she has drafted a potential Section 10 declaration that would prevent the future construction of any buildings on the site, nor allow any bulk earthworks.
Ms Ley said the draft Section 10 declaration she had prepared covered a smaller area than had been sought by Traditional Owners and she would now discuss its contents and potential ramifications with stakeholders..
In the meantime, the current declaration under Section 9 of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection (ATSIHP) Act, preventing work on the site, will remain in force.
ALSO MAKING NEWS:
"This debate has raised heartfelt emotions on all sides, and I thank those members of the community who have spoken with and written to me about this issue," Ms Ley said.
"My recent visit to Bathurst allowed me to meet with community groups, Traditional Owners and the Bathurst Regional Council to discuss their concerns.
"I am considering a declaration for protection under Section 10 of the Act and have drafted a potential declaration, the contents of which will be subject to consultation with stakeholders.
"It is one that recognises the significance of the site to Traditional Owners, but which also ensures the current usage of Mount Panorama/Wahluu as a racing venue and as a venue for camping and other activities is preserved.
"The proposed site would cover a smaller area than that originally sought, ensuring protection for current use and for the council's ability to maintain the site.
"I am considering a declaration that would prevent the construction of any buildings, or the undertaking of bulk earthworks."
- Serious concerns raised about new Section 10 application for Mount
- Traditional Owners deny bid for exclusive access to McPhillamy Park
- Environment Minister Sussan Ley in Bathurst to meet go-kart track stakeholders
- 30-day protection order a chance for change, say councillors
- Friends of McPhillamy Park picnic attracts 300 calling to move go-kart track
- Bathurst go-kart track on hold as Supreme Court, Environment Minister order a stop to planned track work
Mayor Bobby Bourke said council had been notified of the latest development.
"I'm glad the minister is taking the time to look at this issue but she hasn't made a final decision yet," he said.
"Council will keep working through the process until that final decision is made and, when it is, we will all have to accept the minister's findings."
Ms Ley will make her determination before May 4, 2021.
MORE TO COME
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
What do you think?
- Why not write us a letter to the editor ...