What is the project?

    The construction of an international standard Go-Kart track 1100 metres in length with pit lane, carpark and paddock area.  The track would be the first international length go kart track in NSW. 

    Where will be the track be built?

    On Mount Panorama, to the southern extent of McPhillamy Park. A portion of the land being used was previously private land, which Council has owned since 2000.  A map showing the location of the track is available in the Document Library.

    Are you allowed to use McPhillamy Park for a go-kart track?

    Yes. The zoning, categorisation and purpose of the reserve allow the section of McPhillamy Park earmarked for the go-kart track to be used for this purpose. 

    Will the community still be able to access McPhillamy Park?

    Yes, the majority of McPhillamy Park is still available for community use.  The area identified for the go-kart track has been fenced since (September) 2015 and identified as the future site for the go-kart track since that time.   Part of the land to be used for the go kart track was previously used for camping for motor racing events at Mount Panorama. 

    Why was this site chosen?

    The site will have minimal noise impacts and it complements Mount Panorama’s racing history and future.  Mount Panorama is home to a number of other community sporting groups including motor crossgun clubs, and the archery club  who utilise community land for their clubs.   

    Can the go-kart track operate 24/7? 365 days per year?

    No.  There development consent governing the use of the track imposes the following conditions:

    • The facility must only operate between the hours of 9am and 5pm on any day (practice days and race event days).
    • The number of go karts on the track at the same time is not to exceed 5 on a practice day and 32 on a race event day.
    • The facility must not be operated during full track closure motor racing events on the Mount Panorama Racing Circuit, when the Motor Cross track is in use or when there are partial track closures for motor sport events on the Mount Panorama Racing Circuit. 
    • No more than 18 individual race days are to be held in a calendar year.

    Will the track be internationally accredited?

    The design for the track as submitted for development consent has been reviewed by Karting NSW, Karting Australia and also the FIA-CIK, the international body that provides approval for the running of international events (noting that Karting Australia is the Australian agent for FIA-CIK). The design has been presented to these agencies on the basis that Council wishes to have the Bathurst Go-kart track certified as an international standard track and no concerns have been raised by any of these agencies regarding achieving international certification. 

    Does the 2018 DA include infrastructure such as pit garages etc?

    The supporting infrastructure, in terms of pit garages, clubhouse/official accommodation for an international standard event is not included in the approved Development Consent. Should an international standard event be run at Bathurst, it is intended that these structures be brought in temporarily, as was the case for running of the BMX Supercross World Cup event in January 2020, held at the Bathurst BMX track. 

    Who owns the go-kart track once it is operational?

    The facility remains a Council owned asset once it is build and operational. The use of the area is consistent with Council's approach to providing community facilities, examples include:

    • Bathurst Hockey - Cooke Hockey Complex, Learmonth Park
    • Bathurst Cycling Groups - Bathurst Cyucle Park, College Road
    • Motorcross Club - Mount Panorama/Wahluu, and
    • Various Shooting Clubs - Mount Panorama/Wahluu

    Where is the project up to?

    Project design has been completed, with Development Consent and Construction Certificate Approval provided.  Development Consent has been acted upon, with substantial commencement demonstrated meaning that the consent will not lapse.  Tender documentation has been prepared.Works have commenced on site including demolition of the 1980s house and redundant communications infrastructure. 

    How will go kart track be funded?

    At the Council meeting on 21 October 2020 Council resolved to source a $2.25 million loan to help fund the construction of the track. Council  will also continue to seek grant funds for the project, as well as in--kind support from the Go Kart Club.

    Why take out a loan for the go-kart track?

    The use of loan funds to develop infrastructure is a common and appropriate practice by local government authorities.  Facilities developed, or to be developed by Council load funds include: 

    • Hereford Street sports complex
    • Proctor Park
    • Bathurst Rail Museum
    • Scallywags Childcare Centre
    • Bathurst Bike Park

    How much will the go-kart track cost?

    Council has costed the project at $4.5million 

    Who will use the go kart track

    Members of the Bathurst Kart Club will make the go-kart track their home track.  It will also be used by visiting karters for events and competitions.  

    Council considers the facility to be another community facility and not dissimilar to;  

    • Cooke Hockey Complex 

    • Bathurst Cycle Park 

    • Bathurst Motorcross Circuit 

    • Archery Club 

    • Gun Club ranges on and around Mount Panorama/Wahluu 

    • Football (soccer) Proctor Park 

    How was the lease fee for the Go Kart Club determined?

    The lease fee is consistent with other sporting facilities provided by Council, that are managed by various sporting groups within the Bathurst LGA.

    When was the go kart track approved?

    The original Development Application (DA) was submitted by the Bathurst Go Kart Club for a 950m track, which was approved in September 2015 (DA/2015/0196). 

    In 2018 the project plan was modified and a modification to extend the track length was considered and approved by Council on 19 December 2018.  

    A discussion forum to consider the DA was held on 5 December 2018.  The modification to the DA was submitted by Council on behalf of the Bathurst Go Kart Club.   

    A further modification was considered by Council in 20 March 2019 which dealt with the matter of two sites cards located on a portion of the land ear marked for the development. 

    What studies were undertaken as part of the approval process?

    The development application considered by Council included: 

    • Statement of Environmental Effects 

    • Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Assessment Report  

    • Acoustic assessment 

    • Public submissions 

    • Impact on Public Land, and 

    • Vegetation Assessment 

     The development application considered by Council at the 19 December 2018 meeting, which was to modify the approval already in place, was peer reviewed by an independent third party as part of Council’s probity processes.  

    Council has followed all requirements of planning and heritage legislation.  The proposed development does not currently require approval of an Aboriginal Heritage Impact Permit (AHIP) and development may proceed with caution. 

    What notification occurred with the 2015 DA and the 2018 DA modification?

    With respect to the 2015 Development Application the following processes were put in place: 

    1. The proposal was notified development in accordance with the DCP of the time 

    1. Notification of the DA was sent to private property owners at Mount Panorama (41 in total) 

    1. The notification period was 10 days consistent with the DCP provisions 

    1. A public discussion forum was held at Council’s Policy Meeting 5 August 2015. The agenda being publicly available on Council's website prior to the meeting 

    The development application was considered by Council at its meeting held 16 September 2015. This agenda being publicly available on Council’s website prior to the meeting. 

    With respect to the 2018 modification the following processes were put in place: 

    1. Notification of the proposed modification was sent to the private property owners, those persons who had lodged submissions to the original Development Application and representatives of the Elders group (46 in total) 

    1. The notification period was 10 days, consistent with the DCP provisions 

    1. A public discussion forum was held at Council’s Policy Meeting, 5 December 2018. The agenda being publicly available on Council’s website prior to the meeting 

    The development application was considered by Council at an Extraordinary meeting held 19 December 2018. The agenda being publicly available on Council’s website prior to the meeting. 

    Did Council consult with local indigenous groups

    As part of the public consultation for this project, notification was provided to, amongst others, the Registered Aboriginal Parties who were involved in the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Assessment (ACHA) process for the site. 

    In addition, a discussion forum for the development application was held on 5 December 2018 at which a number of community members addressed Council including two representatives of the Wiradyuri community.

    How did Council undertake the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Assessment process?

    Council commissioned expert consultants Extent Heritage to undertake an Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Assessment (ACHA) for the proposed modified Go Kart track area. In addition, Council engaged Extent Heritage (inclusive of both male and female anthropologists) to undertake a wider anthropological assessment of the Mountain precinct to investigate the cultural heritage significance of the Mountain to the local Wiradjuri. 

    As part of the ACHA process, the following Aboriginal Parties registered an interest in the both the ACHA and the Anthropological Investigations. All of these groups were consulted throughout the preparation of the ACHA, which informed the DA process:  

    Bathurst Local Aboriginal Land Council, Dhuuluu-yala Enterprises, Wiradyuri Traditional Owners Central West Aboriginal Corporation, Bathurst Wiradyuri and Aboriginal Community Elders, Warrabinga Native Title ClaimantsAboriginal Corporation, Mooka, and MurraBidgeeMullangari Aboriginal Corporation.  

    An important and critical element of the ACHA process is consultation with all Aboriginal organisations who had registered an interest in the matter. In this regard the Aboriginal consultation for the ACHA was undertaken in accordance with the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Consultation Requirements for Proponents 2010 (DECCW 2010).  

    The ACHA included a site survey with the local Registered Aboriginal Parties participating in the site survey. The ACHA did not include archaeological test excavation work, at the request of the Registered Aboriginal Parties. 

     Council continues to undertake extensive and ongoing assessments to identify and assess the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage values of Mount Panorama (Wahluu). In this regard: 

    1. Investigations to date, inclusive of the Go Kart ACHA, have revealed a lack of archaeological evidence to support the historic use of Mount Panorama (Wahluu) for more than ephemeral use. 

    1. Anthropological research to date has identified that the Mountain has intangible cultural heritage values but has raised many uncertainties and questions around the antiquity and validity of some of the intangible cultural heritage values associated with the Mountain.  

    1. The Mountain precinct has undergone substantial change as a result of past and current land uses and ongoing erosion. The area lacks intactness and integrity. 

    1. Investigations to date have not assessed the Mountain precinct as being rare or of research potential. 

    1. The Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Assessment (ACHA) completed for the application to modify the consent for the Go Kart track reassessed all existing registered Aboriginal sites within the study area and determined that they did not contain Aboriginal objects as defined under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974. No additional/new Aboriginal sites or objects were identified within the Go Kart track study area as part of the ACHA process. 

    1. An Aboriginal Heritage Impact Permit (AHIP) under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 is not required for the approved Go Kart track to proceed and has not been required for any other activities at Mount Panorama (Wahluu) to date. 

    1. The findings of the anthropological investigations highlight the differences of opinion that exist concerning important details about how and where values may be embodied in the Mountain. Wiradjuri people are actively incorporating Mount Panorama (Wahluu) into contemporary efforts to reconnect with country. This reconnection is part of an ongoing and conscious process of ‘reinvigoration’ of cultural beliefs and practices. The potential impacts of the Go Kart track development might better be classified as impacts on social significance rather than spiritual significance and that efforts to ‘reconnect’ could continue even if the Go Kart track development proceeds. 

    1. Relevant legislation is in force which provides appropriate protection of Aboriginal Cultural Heritage in NSW and Council has undertaken all detailed studies to ensure compliance with that legislation. 

    1. Council has also completed an Aboriginal Heritage Interpretation Strategy for the Bathurst Region and is committed to working with local Aboriginal groups to interpret the regions’ cultural heritage values including those of the Mountain. 

    Council continues to consider reports on a regular basis at Council meetings that deal with Aboriginal Cultural Heritage matters that look at Council's key activities, programs and issues it is facing and addressing with response to protection, recognition and reconciliation Reports have been presented to Council iJuly 2020December 2019, September 2019, and May 2019.  Copies of these reports are also available in the Document Library. 

    Can community members read the reports Council received after the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Assessment process?

    No. Council is unable to release these documents without the consent of all of the Registered Aboriginal Parties, as they contain culturally sensitive material.

    What applications have been lodged to protect cultural heritage on Mount Panorama?

    Council is aware that there have been applications lodged with the State and Federal Governments for protection of the Mountain in terms of Aboriginal Cultural Heritage. No State or Federal Declaration has been made in relation to the Aboriginal significance of Mount Panorama.

    What is the economic benefit of the go kart track?

    No economic impact study has been done. This is consistent with the development of other sporting infrastructure in the city, such as the development of the Hereford St rugby union and rugby league fields, the Bathurst Cycling precinct and the redevelopment of Proctor Park.  

    The track will be an international attraction and capitalises on Mount Panorama’s racing history. 

    Has a business plan for the track been completed?

    Council is not required to develop such a plan. This approach is consistent with the development of other community facilities such as:

    • Various gun clubs at Mount Panorama/Wahluu
    • Bathurst Bike Park
    • Cooke Hockey Complex
    • Bathurst Bulldogs Rugby Club
    • St Pats Rugby League Club
    • Proctor Park

    How will noise levels from the track be measured?

    The Acoustic Assessment includes estimates of predicated noise levels at the track when it is in use. These include the predicted noise levels relative to the adjoining land, including Council land. The maximum noise levels specified in the development consent are measured at residences surrounding the proposed facility. The consent also includes limits on the hours of operation, number of go-karts on the track and frequency of use.  The conditions also require further noise measurements when the track is operational to confirm it complies with the required noise levels.

    How is the land at McPhillamy Park classified?

    Changes to the Local Government Act in 1993 resulted in Council land needing to be classified.

    When the legislation was introduced, all Council land was initially classified as 'Community Land'. 

    Councils were then granted 12 months to change the classification. In December 1993, Council started the process of changing the classification of all public land owned by Council at Mount Panorama from 'Community' to 'Operational' land as allowed for under the legislation. 

    This decision was primarily aimed at protecting the commercial importance of motor racing at Mount Panorama. To progress the change of classification, Council engaged the Office of the Commissioner of Inquiry for Environmental and Planning to conduct a public hearing. The Commissioner recommended that the change of classification should proceed. This was then gazetted and came into effect in September 1994.