Mildura Weekly : Friday July 18 Vol 8 No 37
Mildura Weekly – 18/07/14 5 www.milduraphonebook.com.au By VINNIE RODI THE development of a dedi- cated motorsports precinct in Mildura is one step closer to becoming a reality, with $195,000 made available this week to help finalise a busi- ness case and investment pro- spectus for the project. Funding to the tune of $103,000 has been made available through the State Government’s $1billion Re- gional Growth Fund, with Mildura Rural City Council ($37,500), the Confedera- tion of Australian Motorsport ($40,000) and HM Leisure Planning ($14,500) also chip- ping in money toward the business case. The business case aims to build on recommendations made in the 2011 North West Victorian Motorsports Fea- sibility Study, which looked at further developing motor- sports in Mildura, and will include a detailed and staged development plan for the mo- torsport precinct once com- plete. The prospectus will pro- vide information for a range of potential stakeholders from Councils through to pri- vate businesses and commu- nity groups in an effort to en- gage them in the project, with Council already earmarking a potential site for the motors- port precinct – located at Mer- cer Street, Koorlong (home of Sunraysia’s Sunset Drag Strip) – on 552 hectares of Crown Land. Victorian Deputy Premier Peter Ryan, who made the an- nouncement alongside Mem- ber for Mildura Peter Crisp, said Mildura’s strong affilia- tion with motorsport made it a prime location for the pre- cinct. “Motorsports is incredibly popular in and around, Mil- dura, with participation rates four times the national aver- age,” he said. “The development of a motorsport precinct, includ- ing the co-location of up to nine local motorsport clubs to the one site, could grow this economic benefit from an already estimated $21mil- lion to more than $60million per year. “The Coalition Govern- ment recognises the potential for growth, and we are keen to work with the Mildura com- munity to grow the motors- port industry. “We are past the point of whether we should or wheth- er we shouldn’t go ahead with this precinct. “The aim of this business case is to get a better idea on what facilities need to be built, what the cost will be, and who will contribute. “It will examine options in the wider sense, and will look at the prospect of estab- lishing a new bitumen track and skid pan, while also ex- ploring the geo-technical side of the project.” Mildura Mayor Glenn Milne said the funding came at a vital time. “This funding is an impor- tant step toward establishing a much needed bitumen race- way in Mildura,” he said. “In 2011 we undertook a feasibility study which con- sidered the viability of a re- gional motorsports hub, with the results very encouraging. “Since then we have been finalising a benchmarking re- view of major bitumen race- ways around Australia, with this review given us some fan- tastic data and ideas on how to best capitalise on the pas- sion this district already has for motorsports. “The benchmarking re- view looked into a number of issues including technical and design plans, funding options, management ar- rangements and location, and while the review had a num- ber of findings, the one ma- jor conclusion was that with strong management, market- ing and scheduling, as well as access to a bitumen raceway and a skid pan, the value of this industry could potential- ly grow locally to in excess of $61million annually. “Council has already established an industry ref- erence group with repre- sentatives from each of the motorsports clubs in the region – and from peak Aus- tralian Motorsports bodies – with the aim to investigate options to reduce the costs of maintaining several differ- ent sites, maximise develop- ment potential across the lo- cal motorsports industry and encourage participation in the new motorsports hub. “We have invited each of the local clubs to be involved in the planning and design of the precinct, as well as nation- al input from organisations such as the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport, Aus- tralian National Drag Racing Association, Motorcycling Australia and Australian For- mula Jet Sprint Association to name a few. “The job of the reference group will be to work with Council to design a motors- ports precinct that can cater for all the groups – speedway, karts, moto-gp, drag racing and motorcycles – as well as provide facilities if necessary for the boating groups too. “They will also have input into the business plan, and will look at ways of attracting government and private sec- tor funding to the project. “We know this precinct will be a big money spin- ner for our community, and to have the Government on board is fantastic.” Member for Mildura Peter Crisp said the business case would layout a detailed plan for the precinct once com- plete. “The business case will also investigate opportunities to partner with local police to deliver rehabilitation pro- grams for repeat traffic of- fenders, youth programs and the potential to host motor- sport courses through Suni- TAFE,” he said. The business case is ex- pected to be finalised by June, 2015. Motorsport is considered one of Mildura’s big money-earners, bringing in close to $21.4million each year. The development of a dedicated motorsport precinct – and further development of the industry – has been high on City Council’s wish-list for some time, and after nearly four years of research and feasibility studies... We’re getting closer to a motorsport precinct • Member for Mildura Peter Crisp, Victorian Deputy Premier Peter Ryan and Mildura Mayor Glenn Milne have joined forces to help the region take its next step towards a dedicated motorsport precinct. • NEED FOR SPEED: Victorian Deputy Premier Peter Ryan certainly looked the part of a race car driver this week, and even had the chance to take to Sunraysia’s Sunset Strip, BELOW.
Friday July 11 Vol 8 No 36
Friday July 25 Vol 8 No 38