Tailem Bend Motorsport Park operators race against time

Expressions of interest in the lease or sale of the site are due to be submitted to the Coorong council tomorrow.

But Motorsport Park spokesman Tim Siebert said it was unfair of the council to ask for a long-term commitment before the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) hands down a review of motor sport sites in South Australia.

The review, whose findings will be published later this month, is expected to recommend the State Government focus its attention and funding on a single, preferred site for motor sport development.

Mr Siebert wrote to Mr Bignell on Monday desperately seeking a delay and $750,000 in funding – enough to keep the park’s current operators in the running.

“We are a not-for-profit community organisation, suited to this project, (and) we need State Government support – by definition not-for-profits generally do not have significant funds to invest in projects,” he said.

“We have stakeholders, customers and private parties already benefiting from the project and waiting for us to achieve tenure so they can expand operations, invest and develop facilities.

“Tenure (would also) allow us to take advantage of ongoing Department of Recreation and Sport funding opportunities and further develop the facilities.”

He said the State Government’s review would be “a waste of time and money” if Tailem Bend were chosen but the motor sport park’s current operators were unable to participate.

“We have spent countless hours and literally hundreds of thousands of dollars on this opportunity for South Australia,” he said.

“If stakeholders including the South Australian government do not take an active role now, the opportunity will end.”

But Coorong Mayor Roger Strother disagreed, saying the motor sport park could be developed regardless of who was in charge.

“We’re very intent on achieving a very good outcome, not just for the council but for the area and the State,” he said.

“We’re committed to the current process.

“We took everything into consideration (when deciding on a due date) – we just wanted to move things on.”

Mr Bignell said he would consider any financial intervention at this stage an unwise use of taxpayers’ money.

“We’re going to wait until the report from CAMS is finished in the next two weeks,” he said.

“There may be other players who want to develop (the site).”

Five proposed sites will merit consideration in the CAMS review: two at Gillman and one each at Virginia, Tailem Bend and Monarto.

Potential: Tailem Bend Motorsport Park is one of five sites around South Australia vying for funding from the State Government.

Potential: Tailem Bend Motorsport Park is one of five sites around South Australia vying for funding from the State Government.