Norm Marlborough

Norm Marlborough

Former Minister for Small Business; Peel and the South West; Minister Assisting the Minister for Education and Training

    Minister opens championship track at Collie Motorplex.

    1/10/2006 10:10 AM

    South-West Minister Norm Marlborough today fired the starter’s gun on the first official motor race to mark the opening of the Collie Motorplex State championship track.

    “This is a tribute to the individuals and the community as a whole, who have always believed in this project and are clearly determined to make sure that it is a success,” Mr Marlborough said.

    The State Government contributed $1.3million to the project, which has been under construction for 12 months.

    “I congratulate Collie-Wellington MLA Mick Murray and all those who have helped to transform this track into the State’s only regional facility with a Category B licence - which means it can host events up to State championship level,” the Minister said.

    “Motoring South West was advised late last month that the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) had approved the licence.”

    The Collie Motorplex, 14km east of Collie, has a 1.6km sealed race circuit, drag strip, burn-out pit, training rooms, a medical centre, kitchen, ablution block, clubrooms and camping facilities.

    Since its inception in 1996, it has attracted club level motorsport as well as four wheel drive, youth, corporate, police and ambulance driver training.

    “The Collie Motorplex project has proved a huge windfall for Collie businesses, providing food, fuel, repairs and accommodation for the thousands of track users which injects $2million a year into the town’s economy,” Mr Marlborough said.

    Over the past 12 months, the Collie Motorplex has undergone extensive work to improve safety and facilities to enable it to host licensed car and motorcycle racing.

    Works have included track realignment, widening, kerbing and resurfacing, creation of an under-track entrance tunnel, an upgrade of power and water, new fencing car parking, better drainage and landscaping.

    It has also installed a safety tyre barrier, as well as covered competitor bays and spectator facilities.

    The Minister acknowledged Wesfarmers Premier Coal for its vision and willingness to support the region by allowing the community to use the buildings and haulage roads from its decommissioned mine site as the basis for developing the motorsport complex.

    “This is another example of where industry, community and the three arms of government have successfully worked together to achieve a championship facility,” he said.

    Mr Marlborough also recognised the driving force of John Smith, president of the Collie Motorplex Committee and chairman of voluntary steering committee Motoring South-West, who has been instrumental in getting the CAMS endorsement.

    Mr Smith said the championship rating had been the single-minded goal since he took the position as chairman five years ago.

    “The primary thing that we have achieved with this is that we will be able to get motorcycles competing outside of Barbagallo Raceway for the first time since 1996,” he said.

    “It is going to see us with an instant jump of about 30 per cent in the amount of business the track gets each year.”

    A Vintage Sports Car Club and Historic Motorcycle Club event was the first to run on the newly licensed track.

    “The Collie community has worked tirelessly with the Collie Shire Council, the South West Development Commission, Wesfarmers Premier Coal, DEC and local business to get this project to where it is today,” Mr Marlborough said.

    Minister's office - 9213 6500