Shoalhaven councillor delivers searing assessment of latest track bid

QUESTIONS: Shoalhaven Cr Andrew Guile said the homework hasn't been done for the proposed motorsports complex at Yerriyong.

QUESTIONS: Shoalhaven Cr Andrew Guile said the homework hasn't been done for the proposed motorsports complex at Yerriyong.

A suggestion Shoalhaven City Council should become the proponent for a revived motorsports complex at Yerriyong is fraught with risk and could ending up costing ratepayers dearly.

That’s the blunt assessment from Cr Andrew Guile to the foreshadowed notice of motion co-sponsored by Crs Greg Watson and Joanna Gash that seeks to have council pick up the project abandoned by Motorcycling NSW earlier this year.

“I haven’t seen the case to suggest it would actually work. These people have not done their homework.”

Cr Guile said it was highly likely ratepayers would end up footing a huge bill to get a development application across the line.

He warned council would pay a hefty price providing a biodiversity offset for the site, which was dogged by environmental constraints.

“The cost of giving up ratepayers’ assets would cost an absolute bomb,” he said, suggesting the ratio of the required offset could be as high as 30 to one.

Cr Guile also questioned the cost of submitting an entirely new development application.

“Motorcycling NSW spent $1 million on its development application. Do we have permission to use all the studies they did – which are their intellectual property – or do we have to buy them? Is $1 million going to be the bill or is it going to be even more?”

He described the refloating of the track plan as “cheap retail politics”.

“From the inception of the previous council this project has been delivered by politics. Cheap retail politics have dominated this council for far too long. And the result? It’s the ratepayers who foot the bill for it.”

He said plundering the Economic Development Budget to pay for the plan was a misuse of funds that would better serve community being spent elsewhere.

“We need enhancements for Illaroo Road before proposed subdivisions can go ahead, we need to ensure water and sewerage improvements for new developments,” he said.

He said these infrastructure improvements were overlooked is councillors embarked on “stupid excursions that lead us nowhere”.

“I just despair,” he said.

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