By Jack Rickard
The Bathurst 1000 is seen as a holy ground for the motorsports community. Many people make the holy pilgrimage to the Central West to watch the greatest racers take on the haven which is labelled Mount Panorama.
Yet there have been recent developments that there will be a new track built on Mount Panorama. The introduction of Velocity Park has many mixed emotions from surrounding individuals. There are two different points of view which people can take when considering the development of this new track.
Firstly, the socio-economic benefits that it will provide is a massive opportunity for people from the Bathurst community. Council Candidate, Warren Aubin is one of the major pushers to the development of Velocity park who has lists countless reasons why Bathurst should have a brand new track. The bringing of different crowds of motorsports is a massive advantage with the track being available for not just cars but also motorbikes as well.
The other opinion which people can have on this new development is the distraction that it puts on the holiness of the Bathurst 1000. Many people see the event as a religious event with many people making the pilgrimage. A local sports fan by the name of Jonathan Watson was very concerned over the implications that Velocity Park will bring to the holy haven. He explores the idea that the Velocity Park will be used as as a launching pad for the V8 Supercar season. He is concerned that it takes away the magic of the Bathurst 1000 in particular the way the town gets around the parade and the atmosphere. He is worried that Mount Panorama will lose its shine and beauty and the special week known as “race week”.
Another issue which Warren Aubin has explained is the that the creation of this track is causing the community to be concerned over the lack of awareness and respect for the environment. The mountain is home to many wildlife including Kangaroos and plant life. Furthermore, there have been many complaints and setbacks on the development due to the Wiradjuri people, who are the original custodians of the land. The introduction of this new track destroys landmarks which are used as a tradition for the Indigenous Australians. There is a path to manhood that the Wiradjuri boys take in order to come of age which is situated right where Velocity Park intents to be created.
So now I put the question to you, do you think that the Velocity Park race track should come to be or do you think Bathurst is happy with its racetrack and its best to leave the nature and landscapes around the mountain untouched..