No to Bathurst go-cart track on Wiradjuri land

Blue Mountains council will write to the federal environment minister in a bid to save an Indigenous site in Bathurst from a go-cart track.

Bathurst Council has approved the plan to build the track on the top of Mt Panorama, known to the Wiradjuri people as Wahluu.

But Greens Cr Brent Hoare on Tuesday night (February 23) convinced a majority of his fellow councillors that they should write to Sussan Ley expressing concerns that the proposal would "desecrate highly culturally significant Wiradjuri land".

Cr Hoare's urgency motion was designed to offer support to the Indigenous people in Bathurst who oppose the plan.

Cr Hoare said Mt Panorama is known to the Wiradjuri people as Wahluu and is a place of enormous importance to them as a significant site in the cultural songlines of the region that are at the core of Aboriginal cultural practice.

He said the traditional owners had tried to protect the site by making a claim to Ms Ley under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984.

Cr Hoare later told the Gazette: "Blue Mountains Council seeks to treat the views and voices of Aboriginal traditional owners, the Darug and Gundungurra peoples, with great respect. Indigenous land use agreements are delivering much improved land management outcomes."

He "respectfully suggested" that Bathurst council could usefully embrace a similar approach.

Cr Hoare said Greens MLC, David Shoebridge, had noted that Bathurst council had acted as its own approval authority for the proposal and had not engaged in appropriate public consultation.

Blue Mountains councillors voted 9-3 to write to the environment minister over the issue.