Maitland accommodation, hospitality and fuel providers will be the big winners if the State Government approves an application to allow motorcycle activities to be held on land in Kyle Street, Rutherford.
The former Maitland motorcycle flat track has been sitting idle since the mid 1980s and Maitland District Motorcycle Club is keen to see it resurrected.
The site is adjacent to the city’s motorcross track known as Bob Robinson Park.
The flat track had been used for racing but the site was abandoned and existing rights were forfeited.
Motorcycling NSW, a public company and administrative body of motorcycling in NSW and the ACT, approached Maitland City Council with an interest in the site.
At a council meeting on Tuesday night, councillors voted unanimously to submit a planning proposal to the Department of Planning and Environment requesting an amendment to the Local Environmental Plan to reopen the site for recreational use.
Maitland District Motor Cycle Club, which has 300 members, wants to use the site as a “minikana” site for motorbike novices.
Club president Neil Smith said approval would mean the club could host bigger events, hosting races for bike enthusiasts from all parts of the country.
He said in a perfect world he would like to see the site operational next year.
“We could hold bigger events which would bring money into the local economy, accommodation, clubs, pubs, people paying for fuel, restaurants,” Mr Smith said.
“There’s still a lot of work that needs to be done and still a few loopholes to sort out but at the end of the day if approved, this will be great for novices and getting riders off the streets and riding in a controlled and safe environment.
“It will make a great minikana ground for kids starting out and learning the basics of motorcycle riding,” Smith said.
Police are conducting Operation Katana during August in response to community concerns about motorbikes riding in a dangerous manner in residential areas.
Officers are concerned about people riding on private property and on unauthorised public land like fire trails.
Police told Fairfax Media they wanted to emphasise that they were "pro-motorbike but anti-illegal activity."
Central Hunter crime manager Detective Inspector George Radmore said police would rather people ride on approved legal tracks rather than illegally riding unregistered bikes on private and unauthorised public property"
"We're had a wide range of complaints in both Cessnock and Maitland local government areas relating to illegal use of trail bikes," he said.
"There is a high level of trail bike use in this area, it makes sense to provide a designated area for that endeavour."
Central Hunter crime prevention officer Senior Constable Kel Boak said police certainly support any attempts to offer somewhere for recreational motorcyclists to ride.
"Anywhere that motorcyclists can ride safely and legally would certainly be an advantage to the community.
"We support motorcyclists riding in an appropriate manner in a correct location," he said.