BATHURST Regional Council is not ready to fully accept a decision to place a permanent protection order on the site for the proposed go-kart track.
Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley quashed plans to build a go-kart track on top of Mount Panorama after announcing a Section 10 declaration late Monday afternoon.
The declaration under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act (ATSIHP) protects the site from the proposed construction of buildings and significant earthworks, while also protecting the existing public use of the land for recreation, camping and as open space.
The order, which will take effect on May 5, 2021, is only for a period of 10 years.
Bathurst Regional Council general manager David Sherley said council did not agree with the minister's decision.
"Council has received a copy of the minister's decision in relation to a Section 10 being placed on the area identified as being for the go-kart track project on Mount Panorama/Wahluu," he said.
"Council is seeking advice to investigate the full ramifications of a Section 10. While council is disappointed in the decision, we will abide by that ruling at this time.
"Council notes that neither our own commissioned reports or the minister's commissioned report indicated that a Section 10 should be placed on the site."
The Section 10 application for this site was made around two years ago.
The independent report commissioned for Ms Ley was provided to her on May 1, 2020. It recommended a declaration under Section 10 not be made.
Despite the findings, she said on Monday that she was "satisfied" that the site needed protection.
"I am satisfied that the area identified at the top of Mount Panorama/Wahluu, one that helps define the iconic shape of the mountain top, is culturally significant and should be protected under the ATSIHP Act," Ms Ley said.
"In making this declaration, it is important to also address some of the issues that have been raised in a passionate community debate.
"The declaration covers a reduced area than that previously sought. It does not, and nor did the applicant seek to, prevent existing motor racing, existing sporting and recreational activities or other public activities on the mountain.
"It acknowledges the cultural significance Mount Panorama/Wahluu has for the Wiradyuri people, in contributing to local Aboriginal narratives, songlines, ceremonies and cultural heritage."
The minister indicated in a statement on March 31 that this would be her ultimate ruling, saying at the time that she had drafted a potential declaration under Section 10 of the ATSIHP act.
Despite the foreshadowing of her decision, council has not been actively looking for alternate sites for the go-kart track.
"At this time, the council's adopted position is the go-kart track to be placed at the top of Mount Panorama," Mr Sherley said.
"No other locations are being examined, however, there were a number of locations previously examined prior to the decision to site the go-kart track up the top of Mount Panorama.
"All these prior sites proved to be unsuitable for the development. This included Alec Lamberton oval, the old Appleton Orchard and the old drive-in site at Mount Panorama."
While the matter of the Section 10 on the site proposed for the go-kart track has now been decided, there is a second Section 10 application for a larger area, inclusive of Mount Panorama, that has yet to be determined.
Mr Sherley said council has so far been "refused" the documentation related to this, despite its requests.
"With respect to the future section 10, council has not been provided with the documentation that bought the claim that we are aware of," he said.
"To date, we have been refused access to the application."
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content: