NEW doubt has been cast over the plans for a second circuit after a fresh Section 10 application was made for areas on and surrounding Mount Panorama/Wahluu.
The Wiradyuri Traditional Owners Central West Aboriginal Corporation made the application under Section 10 of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act (ATSIHP). The application seeks the long-term preservation and protection of land it claims is a significant Aboriginal area.
It comes after Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley made a declaration in May to permanently protect a site in McPhillamy Park earmarked for a go-kart track, stopping it going ahead.
Bathurst Regional Council general manager David Sherley said council was officially advised of the Section 10 application at 7pm on Wednesday. It was advertised in a full-page ad in the Western Advocate on Thursday.
"We are assessing the impact [on plans for Mount Panorama]. We are seeking a full copy of the application and all the supporting documentation," he said.
"... We are concerned about the Section 10 claim, given the content of the issues raised."
The Traditional Owners claim the specified area is under threat from a number of proposals, including the construction of the second circuit and associated facilities; circuit maintenance and preparation proposed by the Panorama Motorcycle Club; remediation works at McPhillamy Park proposed by council; the construction of a dwelling at 428 Conrod Straight by Botham Homes.
The claim also refers to the potential risks posed by geotechnical test pits and boreholes for the construction of the Regis pipeline proposed by GHD.
"It would appear that this would have significant impact on potential growth of car racing in the Mount Panorama precinct and economic impacts to the city, having regarding to the fact that it deals with the second circuit, the Regis pipeline, and with private developments in the precinct," Mr Sherley said.
Councillor Warren Aubin made it clear at Wednesday night's council meeting that he thinks the plans for a second racing circuit at the Mount are effectively dead in the water.
"We have now had a Section 10 put on that area. Goodbye second circuit. Thank you very much to all those people involved in that," he said.
"That would have brought millions of dollars to this city. Millions.
"... This circuit was going to run 364 days of the year and I would imagine, with this now put on it, for certain reasons, how will this minister not point the finger at this area, as she did up the top at McPhillamy Park? Same reasons."
The WTOCWAC was approached by the Western Advocate for comment on Friday and a spokesperson said they should be in a position to respond next week.
Meanwhile, Ms Ley has appointed Elle Lillis from Northern Rivers-based archaeology, history and heritage management specialists Virtus Heritage to prepare a report regarding the Section 10 application.
Ms Lillis has invited interested parties to make representations, in writing, as soon as possible.
People can reach out to her by calling (02) 6676 4354 or sending an email to email@example.com.
Her mailing address is: Elle Lillis, Principal Archaeologist, Virtus Heritage, PO Box 101, Pottsville NSW 2489.
The deadline for representations is 5pm on December 6, 2021.
The applicant and interested parties who submit representations then get to make final comments.
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