The decommissioned Fiskville CFA training site could be given new life as a major motorsport precinct if a plan being developed by the Moorabool Shire Council gets the green light.
The training college was officially closed in 2015 after it was found to be contaminated with toxic chemicals, with the CFA and state government now engaged in a $80 million clean-up process
Councillors are expected to vote to allow officers to prepare a report outlining the next steps needed to transform the maligned training site at a general meeting on Wednesday.
Moorabool mayor David Edwards said while there was a lot of planning which would need to be conducted, council would be “negligent” to not explore the idea.
“There’s been a lot of informal discussions but this is about formalising it and finding out what the appetite is,” Cr Edwards said. “If you were going to build something for tourism where better than between Melbourne, Ballarat and Geelong.”
While the Ballarat City Council completed a state government-funded study into developing a facility in 2015, it was anticipated it would need to be built outside the municipality given the size.
A new motorsport facility was among a list of priority projects presented by a delegation of mayors and chief executives to politicians in Canberra earlier this month.
Costings put forward by the Ballarat City Council stated a National Motorsport Hub would cost $50 million which would need to be at least partially funded by state or federal government.
Both the state government and Victorian racing bodies are searching for another large scale facility to host events such as V8 Supercar races as Sandown in Melbourne’s east is expected to close in the coming decade.
Confederation of Australian Motorsport chief executive Eugene Arocca, who has been an advocate for a new complex in the Ballarat region, said while has not been formally contacted by the Moorabool Shire he was supportive of the idea.
“We know Ballarat (City Council) has gone a bit cool on the development but Moorabool might work on a number of levels,” Mr Arocca said.
“The beauty is it’s government owned and to put something on it that will generate economic return would be good for the community.”
Should the project catch the eye of investors it will still be at least three years until its shovel-ready, with the clean-up process not expected to be complete until 2021.
A CFA spokesperson said the first stage of the clean-up works were currently underway and the second stage was under review by Environment Protection Authority.