Council revs up motorsport bid

Photo: Fairfax Media

By Sumeyya Ilanbey

Moorabool council has set its sights on Fiskville becoming Australia’s top motorsport destination.

The council is asking the state government to fund a business case for a motoring hub that will include a sealed circuit; facilities for vehicle and product testing, driver training and research; and venues for car shows, swap meetings, concerts, conferences and exhibitions.

The idea is supported by industry bodies, including the Confederation of Motor Sport Australia, as well as the nearby cities of Ballarat and Geelong.

Moorabool mayor Paul Tatchell said the total cost of the project could be up to $60 million, and the council was not in a position to do it alone.

“Development of Fiskville as a motoring hub could well be the key to a healthy economic outlook for Ballan and the rest of the shire,”
Cr Tatchell said. “A business case will prove the worth of the project, but it is not something we can do alone.”

The business case will include design and engineering plans, economic and financial modelling and project management.

The council said the industry employed more than 4000 people around Australia.

Cr Tatchell said industry research showing motorsport participants on average paid for nine nights’ accommodation each year, supported council’s bid for a business plan.

He is calling on the state government to support the proposal and is hoping Regional Development Victoria, Emergency Victoria and Sports and Recreation Victoria will contribute towards the development of the project.

“This is one of many plans we have to shore up Moorabool’s economic future,”
Cr Tatchell said. “We are prepared to work hard and finance whatever we can, but we need government support.”

Confederation of Motor Sport Australia chief executive Eugene Arocca said the organisation fully supported the project and the push for a business case.

“We know that motorsport generates more than $700 million of direct economic impact in Victoria alone,” Mr Arocca said.

“The development is a terrific opportunity for this area and brings significant economic and sporting opportunities.

“CAMS worked very closely with the developers of The Bend Motorsport Park in South Australia and we have already seen the opportunities and stunning feedback this new facility has received in a short few months.”