Moorabool Shire Council will take the first steps to transforming the maligned Fiskville CFA Training Site into a motor sport facility when it unveils its 2018/19 budget in June.
The council announced it would put $100,000 into developing a business case for the site when it revealed the draft budget at a meeting earlier this month.
Moorabool Shire mayor Paul Tatchell said the council would look to surrounding local governments to chip into the business case, in particular the City of Ballarat and the City of Greater Geelong.
He expected the final business plan to cost about $400,000.
“Every shire is facing the same problem with these sports which are difficult to host in town,” Cr Tatchell said. “I think we’d be in a position to make a play a month or two months out (from the state election), we just need more relevant data to take to the minister.”
The Fiskville proposal comes after the City of Ballarat and the state government spent $90,000 to develop a feasibility study for a regional racing precinct in 2015.
While a plan was formulated, land was never formally identified for the project.
City of Ballarat councillor Des Hudson, who was mayor at the time of the plan, said it would be in Ballarat’s interest to support the lobbying effort from Moorabool.
Council had previously identified that the facility would likely be built outside of the municipality as between 240-300 hectares of land would be required.
“We’re pretty confident a motor sport facility would be difficult to create inside our proximity,” Cr Hudson said.
“If a facility was to be built a couple of hundred kilometres away then we would have really shot ourselves in the foot.”
Among the advantages of the Fiskville site is it is already government owned.
The state government has already pledged $80 million to remediate the former training facility.
READ MORE: Fiskville site to be cleaned up by 2020
Confederation of Australian Motor Sport chief executive Eugene Arocca said the peak racing body had met with Moorabool Shire about the proposal and would join the lobbying effort.
“There’s no better start than identifying the land and by all accounts it’s a place that needs to be cleaned up,” Mr Arocca said.
“I’m a little bit cautious as it’s the very first step in a long, long journey, but kudos to the council for taking that step.”