A world-class BMX track in a small Queensland mining town that cost around half a million dollars to build is in a state of disrepair just two years after it was built.
- The track was built in 2019 but is already facing repairs costs of up to $35,000
- Local mayor says the people who looked after the track have moved out of town
- Talks are underway with community groups to rejuvenate interest in the facility
The facility in Clermont was built by BMX Tracks Australia for Isaac Regional Council for $445,000, with the state government contributing $200,000 through its Works for Queensland program.
The condition of the track was brought to light after professional rider and YouTuber Jayce Cunning visited the town to ride again on what he said was one of his favourite tracks.
“I rode that track when it was first built and it was in top condition,” he said.
“And then when we got there [recently], we saw that the track had kind of been abandoned.
Mr Cunning said the track was state-of-the-art and he was sad to see its deterioration.
“The design of it’s really good, it gives lots of options.
“It’s got a huge start hill which means it is good for four-year-olds and pro riders.
Interest in BMX evaporates
Isaac Regional Council Mayor Anne Baker said what had happened to the track was “unfortunate”.
“Council went about this with a community group at the time off the back of expressions of interest to support community sporting groups,” she said.
“Now, there is no interest.
“It’s a very regular continual in our region as we’re a very transient community. There is obviously not that much priority for BMX in Clermont at the moment.”
But Cr Baker said the council would work with any community group that wanted to help encourage BMX riding in the small mining town.
“At the end of the day, almost every breath I draw is to encourage funding and government funding to support our region,” she said.
A plan to save the track
One such community group in talks with the council is the BMX club from Moranbah, 120 kilometres north-east of Clermont.
Club president Shaun Isaacs said he was hopeful it would host come-and-try days at the Clermont track in the coming months in the hope a new local club could be formed.
But he said repair works costing up to $6,000 were needed to make the track safe.
“The current track has a weatherproof seal on top of it … and what’s happened over the years with the lack of maintenance, cracks have started to appear.
“It just needs some patch repairs.
“Eventually once there is enough interest there, you’ll need to resurface the entire track to make it all smooth again and give the new club a starting point that’s easily maintainable.
“That would be around $35,000.”
For Mr Cunning, he said he was hopeful the track would one day be returned to its former glory.
“I’ve only ever ridden it once, as I live on the Sunshine Coast and it’s a fair way,” he said.
“But that one time I rode there, I had so much fun.
“It would make for a super-good race track.”