Summernats founder Chic Henry believes the issues around unacceptable driving behaviour such as uncontrolled street racing and burnouts on public roads will continue unless a dedicated motorsports facility is provided in the ACT.
A high-profile Canberra personality who took a small street machine show and turned it into a multimillion-dollar international event, Mr Henry stood as a candidate for former Liberal leader Bill Stefaniak's independent Belco Party in the 2020 ACT elections, but the party failed to win a seat.
One of Mr Henry's key election policies was the pledge to support a multipurpose-motorsport facility, which he believed could also serve as an automotive business hub.
He said a track could serve as the hub for fostering and supporting auto-based industries which performed a variety of functions, as well as racing. These include learning to drive, events, and vehicle testing and development.
"At the risk of sounding like a broken record, there is no doubt that what we're seeing with people playing up on public roads in Canberra is because there is no place in the ACT for people with high-powered cars to try out their vehicles in the proper environment," he said.
"The current ACT government bureaucracy has very little understanding of car cultures and the tribalism within it; it's completely out of their comfort zone.
"The irony, of course, is that for more than 10 years the ACT had somewhere for people to take their cars - the Canberra International Dragway.
"It was all privately funded, and didn't cost the government one red cent.
"But then local politics and the so-called Canberra Airport expansion - which didn't happen, of course, but was a convenient excuse at the time - forced the lease not to be renewed and the place to be closed down."
Debate has raged within the Canberra community for years over whether a dedicated drag-racing facility would be successful, given that racing at the current ACT speedway and the nearby kart track on Pialligo Road are operate under tough noise restrictions because of their location.
At its peak in the mid to late 1990s, the Canberra International Dragway, a one-eighth mile strip located on the Queanbeyan side of the airport and running along its southern edge, was hugely successful with regular "street meets" in which owners could race off in their street-registered performance cars in a safe and regulated environment at negligible cost.
It was so successful, in fact, that there was an active discussion and plans drawn up to relocate and expand the facility to a new location alongside what is now the Majura Parkway.
The old spectator mounds and the bitumen dragway, which was engineered and built to a high standard, still exist but the area been chained up and dirt dumped across the start line to prevent people using it.
Chic Henry believes that for about $1.5 million, the old dragway could be refurbished and reopened.
"But that's not a 100 per cent answer to the issues of people doing burnouts and drag racing on the Canberra streets, and we would be kidding ourselves to think otherwise," he said.
"Would it ease the problem? Most definitely.
"But how much would it ease the problem? That's really hard to quantify.
"But even if we reduced the issue by 50 per cent, in my view it's still worth doing."
He said that behind some of the anti-social behaviour on the road were people using their cars as a way of saying 'look at me, look at me'.
"There are those people who just want to play up and that's always going to be problem," he said.
Police would not enter into the discussion about the lack of a safe and regulated environment, saying that "that's no excuse for juvenile behaviour".