BEFORE popping in your ear plugs consider the impact a major regional motor sport hub could have on Ballarat. The results are far more than methanol and burning rubber fumes.
Big racing events are a major drawcard for tourism, but a multi-discipline super hub has a wide variety of uses that could keep tracks busy all day, all year ‘round.
Ballarat City Council will this week assess a feasibility study for the facility which, if given the green light, could expedite locking in a location. Settling on a spot will undoubtedly create ripples, largely due to sound concerns, but this project has been a long time in consideration. Ballarat councillor John Phillips, who chairs the city’s motor sports committee, says searching for locations had also been going for some time to get the right location.
At this stage, we need to think bigger than just motor sport racing.
There is a big opportunity in education and developing safer road use.
The Victorian Government’s ‘Towards Zero' road safety strategy is exploring development of the world’s first dedicated road safety education complex. Strategy also outlines more young driver workshops and safety packages.
Why not consider leading driver education programs right here in Ballarat?
There could also be opportunity in industry testing, like for Ballarat-based manufacturers Albins gear boxes or FMP brakes.
Cr Phillips said dwindling tracks across the state, including metropolitan venues Calder and Sandown, were creating a need and, particularly with Ballarat's proximity to Melbourne, we could step up as a major regional city to help meet demand.
Council officers report the motor sport industry generates $693 million in direct industry output regionally for Victoria. They forecast a super hub in the Ballarat region would generate $308.61 million annually.
Plans for a multi-discipline motorsport facility focus on elite and community motor and non-motor activities, accommodating for sports like autocross, motocross, drag racing, go-karting, 4WD, khana cross, motorkhana, circuit racing and speedway.
But would also be a home for our community groups like Ballarat Light Car Club, which is already feeling the squeeze from an expanding Ballarat West Employment Zone.
This is so much more than people driving cars fast for fun. There is a wealth of opportunity for us all to consider before shutting down the engines on this proposal.
READ MORE: Revved up
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