Ire over $1 million race track land cost

Toby HusseyAlbany Advertiser
The proposed layout for the Great Southern Motorplex.
Camera IconThe proposed layout for the Great Southern Motorplex.

Ratepayers paid nearly $1 million to buy land in Drome reserved for the Great Southern Motorplex, documents revealed this week.

Figures made public this month show the City of Albany paid $990,000 to buy the Down Road site, on which the Motorplex has been proposed to be built.

The Albany council agreed to buy the land in October — a move that received support from locals and from afar, despite the sale cost being kept secret while negotiations were taking place.

That secrecy drew the ire of some residents, including Nicollete Mulcahy, a former councillor who served until 2017, who said the purchase price should have been public knowledge ahead of a vote.

“When it involves the purchase of land at an exorbitant price and it is ratepayer funds which are going to purchase the land, then ratepayers should definitely be aware this is happening,” she said.

However, Albany Mayor Dennis Wellington was quick to calm any concerns about the price tag, assuring the State Government would reimburse a majority of the cost to the City.

The reimbursement would come out of the State Government’s $5.75 million commitment to support the Motorplex development, he said.

“The cost from buying the land can come out of that,” Mr Wellington said.

“The amount of cost towards the City is minimal — the majority of the cost will come back to the City.”

Organisers say the Great Southern Motorplex will boast a 3.2km race track, an eighth-of-a-mile drag strip, a motocross track and a four-wheel drive and all-terrain vehicle training area.

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