Yerriyong race track proposal hits another speed hump

TOO SOON TO TELL: Motor sports enthusiast Norm Mogg will continue fighting for the track whether the decision on Monday helps or hinders the project. Picture: Rebecca Fist
TOO SOON TO TELL: Motor sports enthusiast Norm Mogg will continue fighting for the track whether the decision on Monday helps or hinders the project. Picture: Rebecca Fist

Councillor Andrew Guile, who was wary of writing a “blank cheque” to prepare a development application for the Yerriyong motor sports complex, got his way at an extra ordinary Shoalhaven council meeting on Monday night.

Motorcycling NSW abandoned plans to build the race complex in March in the face of environmental obstacles.

At the council meeting two weeks ago, which addressed the proposal to resurrect the complex idea, he lodged a rescission motion, had five councillors on side, and needed one more to see it go through.

Councillor Bob Proudfoot changed his stance to adopt a more conservative approach to the project.

With Cr Proudfoot on board, Cr Guile had seven of 13 votes on Monday.

The motion has charged council’s general manager Russ Pigg to prepare an independent review of the business plan, a report on the status of the crown land acquisition, a cost estimate on the project in stages, a report on other location options, and prove that council resources exist to prepare a development application.

“If the project has merit, it will see the light of day,” Cr Guile said.

He accepted the rescission motion passed on Monday was more involved than the initial motion put forward by Crs Jo Gash and Greg Watson.

“This way it’s an accountable, transparent process,” he said.

“Every step along the way, it will come back to council for approval.”

Local motor sports enthusiast Norm Mogg said it’s not the green light they were hoping for, but it’s a start.

“It is something we can work with,” he said.

”This is still alive, we are not giving up.

“I can guarantee that the community wants this.”

Details of motion

On Monday night it was determined the previous decision of Council regarding the Motorsports Complex at Yerriyong would be overturned and replaced with the following:

1. Shoalhaven City Council acknowledges the economic, social and recreational benefits that could flow to the region as a result of the development of a Motorsports complex.

2. Prior to any commitment of on behalf of Shoalhaven ratepayers, the General Manager is to provide a ‘desktop’ audit - including EPBC and state biodiversity legislation, to Council outlining the pathway for a Development Application approval through the Joint Regional Planning Panel.

3. The General Manager provide an assessment of the resources available to Council to support the lodgement of a new Development Application and provide documentary evidence that such resources exist and that Council has rights to use them were Council to be the proponent.

4.The General Manager report to Council the status of the crown land acquisition and any changes to costs, including whether the land owner is required to provide further support for any new Development Application of the land and whether the commercial leasing of the site or sale of the site is permissible.

5. The General Manager provide Council with an independent review of the Business Plan, selectively tabled, at the last meeting, assessing any gaps that have emerged since the plan was current.

6. Based on the results of the above mentioned reports, the General Manager provide to Council a cost estimate in stages for Council to become the proponent for a new DA to the point of offering for sale or commercial least subject to section 4.

7. The General Manager be authorised to negotiate and draft appropriate documentation for Council to review concerning co-operative agreements between Council, Shoalhaven Motor Sport Inc, and any other entity whereby cooperative funding arrangements might be considered according to the current community sporting grants funding policy.

8. The General Manager report on other options for locations, should any exist, where environmental and loss of amenity challenges are reduced. Given the proposed commercial viability of such a facility, the purchase of privately owned land might be considered in such a report.

9. Recoupment of all costs be factored into negotiation of any future lease arrangements

The reports as required by this decision will be provided to Council in future months.