ENVIRONMENT Minister Sussan Ley's visit to McPhillamy Park in March gave her the chance to witness first-hand what an important site it was for the Wiradyuri community, says Wiradyuri elder Yanhadarrambal Jade Flynn.
And Yanhadarrambal believes it was the time Ms Ley spent on country that convinced her to reject the findings of an independent report that recommended against placing a section 10 protection when the minister handed down her final determination on Monday.
"The minister had mentioned that the independent reporter had never actually visited the site," he said.
"You can't understand the character of a place without being there; a photo doesn't do it, a video doesn't do it and a sound recording doesn't do it.
"I think if the reporter had visited the site then the report may have been very different."
Yanhadarrambal said the Wiradyuri Traditional Owners who applied two years ago for section 10 protection for the site earmarked for a go-kart track were naturally happy with Ms Ley's decision to grant it but remained wary about what might come next.
"Hopefully now, as a community, we can all move on and we hope the council will do as they have indicated previously and respect the umpire's decision," he said.
"But the community needs to think with their feet come September with regards to what could still happen here.
"The council said it would not use ratepayers' money to pay for the track and then got a loan for $2.25 million and then said they would respect the umpire's decision but are now indicating they're looking at their options.
"Hopefully we can find a solution for the go-kart club because they have been treated very badly and that needs to be made right."
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