THE race is on to bring councillors up to speed and form a united position as Bathurst Regional Council prepares for its next Section 10 battle.
The Wiradyuri Traditional Owners Central West Aboriginal Corporation is seeking the long-term preservation and protection of areas on and surrounding Mount Panorama under Section 10 of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act.
Public consultation is currently under way, with submissions being accepted through to February 28.
Council plans to make a submission, which, as of last week, was being finalised.
To help everyone get on the same page, councillor Ian North lodged a notice of motion to last week's ordinary meeting of council, seeking a working party on the subject of the Section 10 application.
Council's senior staff will need to provide updates on recent Section 10 matters, including the application itself, information requested from the government concerning the first Section 10 application, and the latest on the go-kart track proposal.
At Cr Jess Jennings' suggestion, the working party will also be used to consider the $2.25 million go-kart track loan for alternative uses.
The loan was a point of contention during the last term of council, starting with the loan being proposed in a mayoral minute councillors received only minutes before having to vote on it.
The loan was agreed to just shy of six months before Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley made a declaration on the land proposed for the go-kart track, effectively stopping the project from going ahead.
Cr Jennings said it was time for fresh eyes to look at the loan.
"I think it would be remiss not to include an item which includes the consideration of what is to be done with the $2.25 million loan that is currently officially tied to the go-kart track development, but it's basically in limbo given the go-kart track does not have a home or a space as yet," he said.
"... I think we need to look at that loan with a fresh set of eyes, with a fresh council."
Last week's ordinary meeting also revealed that a report into noise for another site flagged as a potential location for the go-kart track was being finalised.
General manager David Sherley said he expected that report to be back "in the very near future" and he wanted to have that it available for the working party.
In anticipation of the working party, Cr North asked that the five new councillors get access to and read the documents relating to the first Section 10.
"Now that you're councillors, you're privy to some very private information which I think you need to come to grips with," he said.
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