The case for the race track

AS has been widely mooted, Motorcycling NSW has for some time been considering the potential to build a multipurpose motorsport facility in the Shoalhaven Region. In fact, discussions have been on going with [Shoalhaven City] Council, a local motorsport committee and Nowra District Motorcycle club for some two and a half years.

Until now, Motorcycling NSW has not been in a position to speak to the wider community about its intentions. 

This situation is entirely due to the fact that Motorcycling NSW is a not for profit, member based organisation. 

It needed to research the potential to build a facility in a number of regions within NSW, to consider which region provided the best option for its members and to seek voting member approval to move the project forward during its annual AGM.

That AGM was conducted in Sydney the week before last. Members unanimously voted to take the next step in the Shoalhaven. Obviously, this has now opened the door for Motorcycling NSW to have meaningful dialogue with the wider community.

We understand the requirement for confidentiality has caused frustration for many in the community, as well the few in Motorcycling NSW who were aware of the facility research. We are grateful to council in particular for honouring our request to keep our investigations out of the public domain until Motorcycling NSW members had considered the option.

To facilitate initial community discussion, Motorcycling NSW held two workshops last week, on Tuesday and Wednesday evening. 

In the first of many such workshops, Motorcycling NSW sought to invite parties that it felt most needed answers to their questions after a frustratingly long wait. The two groups invited to the workshops were a cross-section of the business community and the residents within a four- kilometre radius of the proposed site. 

The objective of the workshops was to listen to the suggestions as well as the concerns put forward by those in attendance. Many of those concerns were immediately extinguished due to the fact that some information being widely circulated was incorrect. Others have been noted and will be considered when the development application phase of the project is commenced.

In terms of Motorcycling NSW’s vision for the motorsport facility, we see this as being very much a part of the fabric of the Shoalhaven community. It will introduce tens of thousands of people to the region who may never have visited this unique part of the world were it not to compete in (or be a spectator for) events conducted at Yerriyong. 

It will inject tens of millions of dollars into the local economy each year. It will provide “branding” benefits similar to those that Philip Island, Tamworth Country Music Festival and at the smaller end of the scale Birdsville Races provide to their respective towns/cities. 

It will provide a venue for driver education courses, a safe supervised venue for the youth of the region to ride motorcycles in a bush environment, rather than riding unregistered, unroadworthy motorcycles in less desirable areas. It will be available for schools and community groups to hold meetings and events that are not motorsport centric, but that the facility can cater for.

Now that Motorcycling NSW is in a position to engage with the Shoalhaven community, we fully intend to keep you informed as the project unfolds. This will occur through the media, Facebook and regular email update to a database of interested parties.

Motorcycling NSW is committed to the Shoalhaven, the community and to its members to make this a nationally recognised and iconic facility.

Motorcycling NSW is excited about developing this facility and the important position it will take in the future of the Shoalhaven.

C. Tickner, President, Motorcycling NSW.