By Meg Kennedy
The idea for a Fiskville Motoring Hub has inched even closer to becoming a reality, as the State Government announced it will contribute $150,000 toward a business case for the project.
The government says they are partnering with Moorabool Shire Council and the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) to develop the business case and investigate the potential of the old CFA training site into a motor sport hub.
The news follows Council’s recent pledge of $100,000 and to seek funds toward a business case for the hub, which is set to cost $300,000-$500,000, and would include design and engineering, economic and financial modelling, project management and drafting fees.
The total project cost is expected to fall between $50 million and $60 million.
The government says that opportunities for grassroots participation, driver education and training, industry development and vehicle testing will all be explored through the business case.
The project will assess the infrastructure requirements for a range of motor sport disciplines, along with the capability of the site to host major motor sporting events.
Member for Buninyong Geoff Howard congratulated CAMS and Moorabool Shire, saying “we’re proud to support a project that has the potential to kickstart a new phase in motor sport here in the Ballarat goldfields region.”
Ballarat Light Car Club member Stuart Hocking, who has been heavily campaigning for the motorsport hub told The Moorabool News that the grant is welcome news for motorsport clubs across Victoria.
“It’s welcome news for not only the region’s motoring clubs, who have been looking for a new place to call home, but also other state and national clubs who would enjoy the prospect of a potential first-class facility being within easy reach of the greater Melbourne area,” he said.
Mr Hocking also said the efforts of Mayor Paul Tatchell and the Moorabool Shire Council “will be greatly appreciated by many.”
Neighbouring councils, including City of Geelong and Ballarat, and Golden Plains Shire support the change to the facility.
The government says they will work closely with the CFA and Emergency Management Victoria to ensure the environmental issues at the site are “understood and addressed” during the business case.
The CFA facility was closed permanently in March 2015 following the detection of contaminated water on the site, due to the use of carcinogenic chemicals.