An increasing number of rumours surround the future of Melbourne International Karting Complex – the circuit more commonly known as Todd Road.
Officially opened by Jeff Kennett in August 1995, the Go Kart Club of Victoria has called the place home ever since. But with plans to re-develop the area, rumours have been circulating about an imminent closure of the kart track, possibly as early as next year.
This is simply not true.
The track sits within an area of the City of Port Philip Council that is part of Australia’s largest urban renewal project – although there are some conflicting boundary illustrations in circulation of how it fits within the Fishermans Bend ‘Employment Precinct’.
Regardless, the club has only recently passed the halfway mark in the current lease on the property.
GKCV Treasurer Stella Pringle told KartSportNews the club still has around 8 years left to run on its current 20-year contract.
“We have been told the 20-year lease, which expires in March 2025, will not be renewed” Stella said.
“But that’s not to say another lease won’t happen. We will need to negotiate a new lease, although it is likely to be shorter; perhaps five years, perhaps eight years. At this stage we don’t know.”
“The Government has shown us a 40-year plan for the area. But even at the end of our current lease, that’s still 30 years to go.”
We can therefore conclude there is little risk of the track disappearing in the short to medium term.
And that’s a good thing.
The facility is a jewel for Australian karting that is, arguably, under-utilised. I mean, how many competition kart tracks are there in the world located just a few minutes from a capital city CBD (and thus ample people, accommodation, restaurants, entertainment etc) with easy freeway/tollway access and an international airport 25 minutes up the road?
- Go Kart Club of Victoria website – www.gkcv.com.au
Fishermans Bend is part of Australia’s largest urban renewal project. A requirement of the development is a certain percentage of the land has to be green space.
The project includes the expansion of Westgate Park (across the road from the kart track) by around 4 hectares (about the size of the karting facility).
Large parcels of land in Fishermans Bend were controversially rezoned in 2012 to residential use.
The Victorian Government purchased the nearby 37-hectare GMH plant for $130 Million in 2016, giving it control over nearly half the remaining land in the Fishermans Bend industrial area that has not already been rezoned for residential use.
According to the image below, published on the City of Port Phillip Council’s website, the kart track sits on the border of the proposed Fishermans Bend ‘Employment Precinct’.
The following image (from “Fishermans Bend Vision” PDF document HERE ) shows the track inside the boundary of the precinct.