Driv­ing fa­cil­ity may be V8 event spin-off

Townsville Bulletin - - Lettersextra -

IN­STEAD of a once-a-year elit­ist V8 mo­tor sport event de­signed to ‘fuel’ the sale of new cars, $10 mil­lion of gov­ern­ment as­sis­tance could buy the city a self-suf­fi­cient mo­tor sports and driver train­ing fa­cil­ity — ex­ploit­ing a sig­nif­i­cant mar­ket gap in re­gional Queens­land and re­quir­ing no on­go­ing sub­sidy from Gov­ern­ment.

Re­search con­ducted last year shows that such a fa­cil­ity would be re­gion­ally sig­nif­i­cant with its clos­est com­peti­tors in the Gold Coast and Dar­win.

It would pro­vide mo­tor sports ac­tiv­i­ties for some 100,000 peo­ple a year at a sig­nif­i­cantly lower cost to us pun­ters than a ticket to a V8 race, pro­vide a world-class driver train­ing fa­cil­ity for some 20,000 stu­dents per year (in­clud­ing heavy ve­hi­cle, army and emer­gency ser­vices driver train­ing) and cater for the broad­est spec­trum of mo­tors sports in­ter­ests.

De­signed well and lo­cated ap­pro­pri­ately, it would also pro­vide a sig­nif­i­cant venue for field days and sim­i­lar events and po­ten­tially a new car­a­van park fa­cil­ity for the city.

Mo­tors sports are the third most pop­u­lar spec­ta­tor sport in the coun­try and as such de­serve the same level of sup­port from Gov­ern­ment as other com­pa­ra­ble pop­u­lar sports.

But let’s make sure it’s the sport that Gov­ern­ment is asked to sup­port — not a sec­tional in­ter­est. And it’s hard to see how a V8 race would have the pos­i­tive im­pact on our road tolls that a per­ma­nent world-class driver train­ing fa­cil­ity would. CHRISCHAPPELL,

Nelly Bay.

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