Mildura has produced some of the best car racing drivers and bike riders in the country in the last few years, but instead of getting behind what could have been a great local industry, the community took their foot off the pedal, according to Mildura Rural City Councillor Max Thorburn.
“Just over six years ago I sat in at a meeting which proposed to establish a motor car and bike racing track at the old original Irymple township site at Koorlong when a room full of people were gathered to talk about the project,” Cr Thorburn said.
“At the same time a group of people at Tailem Bend in South Australia sat down to talk about the same thing.”
Cr Thorburn said the Adelaide Advertiser website has on Thursday (today) put up an eight minute video of the progress made at Tailem Bend where the first meeting is planned for April this year.
“And what’s Mildura been doing – sleeping at the wheel, I say,” Cr Thorburn said.
“Don’t worry I’ve stood up at Council open meetings, closed meetings, other meetings and told the other Councillors and the Council Management exactly that.”
“While Tailem Bend has been getting ready for its first meeting with a bricks and mortar approach we’ve spent six years talking about it.”
“We always talk about it – we have talked too much – we’ve fiddled and faddled and so far got nowhere.”
Cr Thorburn said that the first outcome from the original meeting saw Swan Hill get $1 million of State Funding to build a drag racing track,
“Then we spent two years trying to tell the Mildura Motor Cycling Club that they had no right to stay at Olympic Park and would have to go to the new Motor Sports Complex.”
“In recent times when the jet sprint boat people want to start work on their track at the complex we tell them we are not ready.”
“Are we ever going to be ready?”
“We’ve been talking for 15 years about an indoor sports stadium and here we are trying to now fund a half baked scheme to build four basketball courts and we have to put six million dollars of ratepayers money into it”
“We would be better off giving the Mildura Basketball Association four million dollars to build some extra courts at 8th street that the Volleyball people can play on as well.”
“I’ve never been to a car racing event in my life and never will but I do recognise that this is big money sport which would bring huge tourist follars into the district every time some activity is held at it and if Winton is an example I'm told that happens just about every weekend of the year and nearly every day some kind of vehicles are running around on the track.”
“The former Mayor Glenn Milne tried hard to achieve something but too many local obstacles were put in the way.”
“Congratulations Tailem Bend – you are ready – you will get to the start line in April”
“Meanwhile our Council has got a meeting next Thursday and the following Thursday which will give them more time to talk about it”
“Get onto the Advertiser website and see what I’m talking about”