Sunshine Coast TT-style bike race hits some early bumps
A TYRE is yet to touch the road and already some residents are revved up for a fight against a proposed Isle of Man TT-style motorcycle race in the Coast hinterland.
Peaceful Roads Sunshine Coast, a group newly formed in response to the proposal being touted by Inside Line Events International, have rejected the proposal which organiser David Rollins has said could bring millions to the hinterland economy.
The proposed 47km track would reach through hinterland suburbs around Maleny, Balmoral Ridge, Booroobin, Crohamhurst, Wootha and near Bald Knob and Diamond Valley.
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Division 10 councillor Greg Rogerson, a motorcycling enthusiast himself, said recent public meetings had been relatively even in terms of community members for and against, but felt there had been more in favour of the idea than against.
"The first one was probably 55-45 (in favour), it was pretty line ball, the second one was about 70-30 (in favour)," Cr Rogerson estimated.
Cr Rogerson said it was up to the promoter to push for the future of the proposal which was flagged for a late-2017 start.
"There's a lot of hurdles he's (proponent Mr Rollins) got to overcome," Cr Rogerson said.
Issues include noise, road closures for local residents during racing and track safety.
"There's a lot of water to go under the bridge," Cr Rogerson said.
Peaceful Roads Sunshine Coast spokesman Dr Barry Traill said there was already a well-established tourism industry in the hinterland based on the peace and tranquillity of the region and the set-up, racing and pack up for such an event would cause significant disruptions.
"Having main roads and towns in Sunshine Coast Hinterland closed down for such a race wouldn't be good for most local residents and businesses, it wouldn't be fair for most local residents and businesses," Dr Traill said.
Mr Rollins previously told the Daily he believed there was a huge tourism opportunity for the hinterland with the proposal while also giving locals a great experience.
The Daily previously reported Mr Rollins had flagged the prospect of the event bringing more than 15,000 people to the region and injecting millions into the economy.
TOP 5: BEST STREET CIRCUITS IN MOTORSPORT
- 1: Mount Panorama- Bathurst: Speaks for itself this gem of a track. Iconic, challenging, dangerous and very, very quick. Watch out for the roos!
- 2: Circuit de Monaco: F1s flying around the tightest of street circuits in front of one of the most idyllic settings in the globe. It doesn't get any better.
- 3: Long Beach, California: This is America! High octane, heat and vintage racing. One of the greats.
- 4: Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore GP: There's some mystical about this concrete and skyscraper jungle lit up as drivers are testing the limits. Breathtaking.
- 5: Snaefell Mountain Course (Isle of Man TT): It's inspired this Coast proposal and remains one of the most renowned races in world motorsport. It's crossed over into the mainstream and continues to leave viewers awestruck.
Unsuccessful mayoral candidate in the recent Sunshine Coast Local Election and outspoken Conondale resident Ron Green said while he couldn't comment on effects on roads and local traffic as he wasn't on an affected road, he was overall supportive of the idea.
"I don't mind that sort of thing," Mr Green said.
"It'd inconvenience some people but that depends. If people don't mind the inconvenience it'd benefit some.
"Nobody's losing anything apart from the use of the road for a little while. It's not like we're losing our land."
Mr Green said he thoughts solutions for local traffic could include opening the road in stages or at certain times each day throughout the event to ensure locals weren't 'locked in'.
Sunshine Coast Motorcycle Club secretary Peter Bell said the proposal was up for discussion at the club's meeting tonight.
He said he was personally in favour of the proposal as a motorcycling fan, but couldn't speak on behalf of the group, who were waiting for more information on the proposal.
Cr Rogerson said the proposal would eventually be submitted to the Tourism Advisory Board, who would then advise the council on whether to support the idea or not.
Cr Rogerson said he expected State Government support of such an event would be critical to it coming to fruition.
He said from what he'd heard the event had potential to be a success and said he'd encountered overwhelming support for the event from the motorcycling fraternity, but he also understood and appreciated the concerns of some residents who were hoping the proposal does not proceed.
Dr Traill said the construction of race structures and then the clean up around the Christmas period would be a disruption to local roads and towns.
"Maleny, Peachester and other towns in the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast are thriving towns," he said.
"There is already a vibrant tourism industry here based on the serenity of our peaceful green countryside, the exceptional scenery and the many offerings of our friendly towns."
Mr Rollins had previously spoken of what he said could be a "spectacular thing to watch" as racers sped around the picturesque hinterland roads.
"We're going to try and keep a lid on those numbers in the first year so we provide a great experience to locals and the people who come," he told the Daily earlier this month.
"We don't want to be smashed by massive crowds and have anxiousness and tension."