Motorbike club dubious of council’s plans

A rider at the Kooweerup Motorcycle Club''s temporary facility, on McGregor Road. 165446_01

By Rowan Forster

The head of Kooweerup’s Motorcycle Club (KMC) has broken his silence on Cardinia’s proposed racetrack complex, revealing he is dubious of council’s intentions.

President Jason Miles said the group has been “left in the dark” regarding the land they have been allocated, with Cardinia Shire refusing to budge on details.

Under the current arrangement, KMC will be located at an alternative lot, separate from the earmarked facility at 335 McGregor Road.

The Gazette understands the site is currently zoned as Green Wedge, and will require ministerial intervention for recreational use.

However, Mr Miles said Cardinia Shire will not even let the club see the land – prompting fears it may be inappropriate for motorbike racing.

“I told the CEO that I’m happy to sign a confidentiality agreement to go and see the site, but they still won’t let us,” he said.

“They’re not being transparent and we’re starting to feel like we’ve been hung out to dry.

“As far as I’m aware, the CEO and the councillors don’t have specialist motorcycle knowledge to be able to judge if the land is appropriate for our use.”

Mr Miles stressed that he and the club are not against the proposed facility, but are sceptical of council’s secrecy so far.

If the council fails to have the site rezoned by December 2019, it has pledged to offer KMC a lot at the McGregor Road site – alongside the Pakenham Auto Club.

Site plans released last week contained several ambitious inclusions, including an amphitheatre, skid pan, corporate suites, a hotel, medical centre and helipad.

While the area of the McGregor Road lot would be sufficient for the club, Mr Miles said the bikes may interfere with the “corporate developments”.

“Motorbikes create a lot of dust, so I worry about how that would go down while the hotel is being developed on the site,” he said.

Councillor Brett Owen said Cardinia Shire will continue to advocate for the Green Wedge site to be rezoned.

“Council will continue to advocate to the State Government and local members of parliament to achieve the rezoning of this land to provide a permanent home to the Kooweerup Motorcycle Club,” he said.