Agreement in principle to sell Tivoli Raceway to developer
MOTORCYCLING Queensland has an agreement in principle with a residential developer, a year after plans to turn Tivoli Raceway into a housing estate were withdrawn.
Plans for the Chuwar site, established in 1964 and owned by Motorcycling Queensland, to be sold off to Marquee Projects were abandoned last year.
A development application was submitted to Ipswich City Council in August 2018 and withdrawn in March last year.
Moreton Districts Motocross (MDMX) club was thrown into "disarray" when the sale and move to Ipswich Motorsport Precinct in Willowbank was called off.
The club lost half of its members due to the uncertainty surrounding its future after the deal disintegrated.
Motorcycling Queensland general manager Kim Rowcliffe said the state body was "motivated" to sell the land.
"We have one contract that hasn't gone through for a variety of reasons," he said.
"Bad timing was probably key to that in the sense that right when it was due to go to the community consultation phase, the council got dismissed. That one didn't proceed.
"We do have another in principle agreement in place at the moment but there are some new challenges being presented to us. It is (with) a residential developer.
"As a consequence, another very real option we are looking at is to further develop the existing facility to expand its use as a raceway."
Mr Rowcliffe said the council approached MQ six years ago and told them the site was not an ideal long term place for an off-road motorcycling facility.
"Our board agreed with that and started making attempts towards relocating to a more suitable place," he said.
"The challenge at the moment is knowing where that suitable place is. If council wants to invest in Willowbank, of course we want the club to go there.
"There is absolute logic in the club just locating straight there.
"We've basically told (the club) as soon as something looks like it's going to be guaranteed, they will operate there until further notice.
"We continue to explore other possible uses as well, including expansion of the existing facility within the parameters of our existing approval."
New MDMX club president Jai Schluter believed the club would still be at Tivoli Raceway for at least 18 months or two years.
Works to improve the track have been completed.
"The club went into disarray the middle of last year because they didn't know where they were going or what was happening," he said.
"I was a financial member of this club back in 1981. We weren't going to sit on our hands and let it die.
"We decided to invest some time into putting the track back to what it should be. It's probably better now than it's ever been."
Mr Schluter said the uncertainty about the club's future had done "massive damage" with members leaving but he was positive for its future.
Membership has jumped to more than 200 people.
"We had 620 at is peak," he said.
"That's where we want to take it back to.
"We are aware of the potential sale of the property but nothing is in concrete and with the time frame it takes to settle these deals, MDMX still have considerable time at the current location.
"We have heard the same thing for the past 10 years.
"We will have a suitable venue in the local area to transfer the club to when the time comes."
An Ipswich City Council spokesman said there was a new site for the club under negotiation in Willowbank "several years ago".
"There is no identified site that Ipswich City Council is aware of (currently)," he said.
"It is understood that the club decided against the site referenced.
"Council officers would be happy to work with the club in locating a suitable site and obtaining the necessary approvals to relocate to such a site."
Mr Schluter said the first site offered was unsuitable for the club.
"We do have another property in our sites when the time comes," he said.
"There is no need to action this until we have formal notice from Motorcycling Queensland with a firm date we need to work to."
MDMX will hold its first club day of the year will be held on April 26 after it was postponed from this weekend due to a small technical issue and recent wet weather.
Mr Schluter wanted to get attendance back up to the 300 figure.