HERITAGE protection requests are presenting challenges to another small community club trying to add to the motor sport facilities on Mount Panorama.
The Panorama Motorcycle Club has, for years, been planning a juniors motocross track to enhance the facilities it already has on top of the Mount in Sulman Park.
The plans even had the support of the NSW Government, which granted the club $10,000 for the track under the Community Building Partnership Program in January, 2019.
But as the fight over a proposed go-kart track on land at the back of McPhillamy Park heated up, the club put its plans on hold.
"With the politics behind the go-kart track, we sort of pulled our head in until all that mess was out of the road. We didn't want to get involved," club president Bruce Morgan said.
In May, Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley made a declaration under Section 10 of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act, protecting the site from any construction and bulk earthworks.
There are also other applications for protection under the act that take in a greater area of Mount Panorama.
The motorcycle club has written to the Federal Government seeking clarification over whether or not it can proceed with its juniors track, but has not found the response helpful.
A frustrated councillor Warren Aubin said all of these issues are making it difficult for the motorcycle club to move forward.
"The problem is, if they put in a DA to council, then council is going to have to, because of the area, get the Panorama Motorcycle Club to do a Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Study, so that's going to cost them minimum $50,000, and then deal with all the same stuff as council went through with the go-kart track," he said.
"It just becomes unviable. That motocross track has been there for over 40 years in that same area and they're not even going to allow them, without spending a load of money, to grade a track for these four to seven-year-olds to ride on. It's not major earthworks, it's just a grader going in and doing a little bit of work."
He said that small clubs haven't got the money to do these kinds of studies.
Additionally, the state government money the club received had to be redirected to another project, otherwise the grant would have lapsed.
The club plans to look for other grants to help pay for the project, which Mr Morgan said is all about providing a better facility for kids.
"We've got to look after the kids in town, give them a facility so that they can socialise. That's what the club's all about. That's why I've been president for eight years, to see the smiles on the kids' faces, and when you get bureaucratic decisions thrown in front of you it just makes it harder," he said.
He said council has been very supportive, but the federal government isn't giving the club enough guidance.
The club has no intention of scrapping the project at this stage.
"We're just going to go ahead until we're stopped. We're going to put the facts forward. It's not a go-kart track. We could run the track in the car park with witches hats, but we just want to put something permanent, and to make a permanent track it's got to meet certain safety regulations with Motorcycling Australia and that's the avenue we are going to take," Mr Morgan said.
The Western Advocate approached the Traditional Owners to find out their thoughts on the club's plans, but a representative for the group declined to comment at this time.
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