A VISIT to the Bathurst 1000 has confirmed for the NSW Government that a $15 million commitment is money very well spent.
The Great Race played host to a number of special guests this year including NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Deputy Premier John Barilaro and singer/songwriter Delta Goodrem.
Taking centre stage on the grid, Ms Goodrem opened the show by performing her latest single Wings, followed by the national anthem.
Then, it was time for an action-packed 161 laps of the Bathurst 1000.
First-time visitor to the race, Ms Berejiklian said it was the right thing for the NSW Government to have committed $15 million to the planned $54 million second circuit for Mount Panorama, called Velocity Park.
“I’m so thrilled that we appreciate what this race means to NSW. Yes it’s great for Bathurst, but for NSW it’s amazing,” she said.
“It’s an amazing opportunity to build on all the facilities that are here already, to expand the opportunities and to really make Bathurst the motorsport capital.
“We’re about not just delivering all the things that people need throughout the state, but also really appreciating opportunities we have to grow into the future and this is definitely one of those opportunities.
“It’s an event for, not just rev heads, but families and it’s just a wonderful opportunity for everyone to come together and just really appreciate great athletes at the end of the day.”
Self-confessed “rev head”, NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro said there were a number of reasons why the government contributed the funds to the Velocity Park project.
It’s an event for, not just rev heads, but families and it’s just a wonderful opportunity for everyone to come together and just really appreciate great athletes at the end of the day.NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian
“This is all about tourism and driving tourism and we know that in regional NSW if you have a major event like the Bathurst 1000 it drives tourism to the region,” he said.
“Those tourists will keep coming back because they get exposed to what’s available, and it’s more than racing.
“It generates millions and millions of dollars in the local community. It grows the economy, not just locally but the state.”
Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said the visit by Ms Berejiklian and Mr Barilaro confirmed their interest in Bathurst’s second circuit.
“I think it goes to show the interest they have in regional parts of NSW, the interest they have in Mount Panorama and this particular event and how much it brings back to our local economy,” he said.
“They’ve both given it a very strong commitment, put money on the table. It’s going to drive the local economy, create the opportunity for new businesses and more jobs in this local area.”