Shoalhaven City Council is extremely disappointed that plans for a world class motorcycle complex and track on Braidwood Road Yerriyong, as well as a motorcycle industry hub, have been cancelled, as Motorcycling NSW have pulled out of the venture.
Motorcycling NSW has decided that due to environmental concerns of a cluster of Leafless Tongue orchids classified as “vulnerable” growing on the selected site, the body will withdraw their Development Application (DA). The DA which is being assessed by the NSW Government’s Joint Regional Planning Panel will be formally withdrawn by the state body for motorcycling in NSW in the next few days.
Motorcycling NSW considered numerous other sites within and outside the Shoalhaven area. This site was selected in conjunction with Council for its relatively close proximity to the military airfield HMAS Albatross facility and the existing Motocross facility. Being adjacent to a major centre of Nowra was also seen as a major bonus.
The plans included a race track for road racing for cars and motorcycles which was to be supplemented by an industrial precinct which would have attracted approximately 280 jobs over the next 10 years.
The General Manager of Motorcycling NSW Ltd Dave Cooke said the search for a new racing facility for members will continue and if a new site in the Shoalhaven can be found, they would happily work with Council again to try and bring it to fruition.
Mr Cooke said, “We are extremely disappointed that it has reached the point where the project will not go ahead.”
“The district will lose millions of dollars of economic investment and jobs as a result of this project not going ahead and motorcycle and car racing has lost what would have been a brilliant new facility.”
“We also want to acknowledge the hard working Council staff who supported this project, and the undying support of local MP Ann Sudmalis, former Mayor Joanna Gash and some of the other councillors who had the courage to fight so hard for the people of the Shoalhaven and did their best to get this project to come together.”
General Manager, Russ Pigg, said Council was extremely disappointed with the outcome. “This is a massive blow to the region’s potential to attract a major sports facility that would have injected much needed jobs and dollars into the local economy.”
“Late last year, Council staff had concluded that the development could be supported when the race track was redesigned to protect the orchid. However new information came to light in February this year, indicating that many more orchids were present than originally thought and that appears has created an obstacle too great for Motorcycling NSW.”
“The NSW State Government Threatened Species legislation essentially requires that each local population of a threatened or vulnerable species is protected from extinction regardless of the wider distribution of the species.
“Development opportunities in the Shoalhaven are constrained by the high level of biodiversity and number of threatened species in our region. That is a great thing for the environment and in many respects the tourism attractiveness of the region but, in other respects, impacts the potential growth of jobs in our local economy.”
“Council has supported this project since 2010 negotiating the acquisition option on Crown Land and supporting Motorcycle NSW with the proposal, helping them work with a number of NSW agencies. We know that many people in our community will be disappointed not to have the recreational facility in the Shoalhaven.”