Insight Mark Walker May 10, 2024 (Comments off) (317)

Bathurst Kart Track: Costly Business

Have you ever wondered what it takes to get a new motorsport venue approved?

It turns out it is an incredibly convoluted process, with many hoops to jump through.

A point in case is the new karting facility at Mount Panorama, with all of the critical paperwork, including the details of the price increase, publicly available on the Bathurst Regional Council website.

When first released in November last year, we reported that the venue’s projected price tag was $4,729,940.

Come May 2024, the total project cost is now valued at $5,841,833 inclusive of GST, some $1,111,903 higher.

The BRC website lists a raft of amended documents, which have recently been updated as planning works have progressed towards establishing the track on council-owned land.

Amongst the updates are new cost estimates, project plans, acoustics assessments, a fire safety letter, an operating plan, a statement of environmental effects, a supplementary noise and vibration assessment and an amended traffic assessment.

Other existing supporting documents include a location plan, an Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Assessment, a detailed site contamination investigation, a flora and fauna assessment, a preliminary contamination investigation, and a proposed management statement.

The noise summaries include consideration of other race events held on the main Mount Panorama layout, plus the various club events held annually, with readings taken at the recent Bathurst 6 Hour.

Elsewhere, baseline noise readings were established at the nearby Lithgow City Raceway kart circuit.

The latest moves come after the development application was lodged and a 28-day public consultation period was held, which closed in December last year.

These public submissions will now be considered as a standard part of the project assessment. and once complete, will be referred to a future council meeting.

The project is set to take in an 8.9-hectare site behind the old drive-in cinemas on Conrod Straight, which is on the right-hand side for drivers as they tip into The Chase.

When completed, the 1,000m long, 8m wide track will be built to a national standard and will have all the amenities expected of a modern facility.

Extensive earth mounds to the south and east of the project are included in the works, which will assist in managing the sound generated by the venue.

Utilities to be constructed in the project include stormwater, water, sewer, electrical and telecommunications connections.

Plans for a permanent karting facility have long been on the drawing board for Bathurst, with a push to establish the venture at McPhillamy Park coming to a halt in 2021.

Additional racetrack facilities have long been discussed at the bottom end of the circuit dating back to the mid-1980s.

The concept gained traction when the new pit building was erected in 2003, however, building a permanent race circuit close to the city fringe was ultimately shut down in favour of a second circuit on the other side of Mount Panorama.

That venture, though, is now stuck in a holding pattern.

Elsewhere in Bathurst at the end of last year, we uncovered plans for a portion of the Mount Panorama campgrounds to be repurposed for a greyhound racing centre of excellence.

However, last month, it was announced that the centre would be formed in nearby Orange at that area’s disused harness racing track.

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