RE: Proposed go-kart track.
Several sites have been explored for a go-kart track in Bathurst over the past 20 years, but most had to be ruled out because of excessive noise.
In 2019, there was a further attempt to construct a go-kart track, this time on top of Mount Panorama/Wahluu at McPhillamy Park.
This proposal was met with significant community opposition, which Bathurst Regional Council ignored.
Finally, Sussan Ley, the then federal Minister of the Environment, eventually intervened in 2021 and stopped construction at the last minute to preserve the Aboriginal heritage of the site.
Now, we have another attempt to construct a go-kart track on land adjoining the former drive-in site on Conrod Straight.
A development application has been submitted, but there are serious issues that council needs to be pressed on.
1. There is no business case supporting the proposal.
2. There is no economic impact statement providing clarity about the economic value the go-kart track will bring to Bathurst, especially when it is only going to open 28 days a year (in comparison, the international standard go-kart track in Dubbo operates 365 days a year).
3. The estimated cost for a basic national standard track is $4.1 million, but council is recommending improvements and extensions to a higher standard that will take the cost to $7 million. Even then, there are still more items to be considered. A control tower, amenities, toilets and sheds will be needed, which conservatively would add an extra $2 million.
4. Total cost of the go-kart track could be as high as $9 million, but council has only $2 million remaining from a loan to fund the track and does not know where the extra money is coming from. To date, the go-kart organisation has not committed any money towards the facility.
5. A proposed go-kart track in the same area years ago was rejected because of excessive noise. The latest acoustic report confirms that 251 properties in the surrounding area will be affected by unjustified noise, some above 70db(a). This is totally unacceptable.
6. Finally, council is in financial difficulties and needs between $16 million and $18 million each and every year to return to financial health. Spending millions it does not have on a sporting facility few will use, yet will negatively impact many, is unreasonable, undesirable and unconscionable.
When the development application for the go-kart track goes on exhibition for public comment, please let council know loudly and clearly that this project is in the wrong place and is being proposed at the wrong time.