V8 Supercars ignore community and local council concerns about Newcastle 500 track

Thursday, March 16, 2017 | Justin Field

The NSW Government's desperation to deliver the Newcastle V8 Supercar race in November this year has emboldened race organisers to ignore serious community and local council concerns about the track route and suitability of the event, according to Greens MP Justin Field.

Recent media reports reveal race organisers have rejected a Newcastle Council proposal to redraw the Supercar track route to avoid the East End section of the track, citing 'safety' issues with the proposed alternate route along Shortland Esplanade.

Mr Field said the race organiser's instant dismissal of the council proposal shows they and the NSW Government have no intention of consultation over the race plans and will simply ram through the project regardless of impacts.

"Race organisers, supported by the NSW Government, are riding rough shod over the interests of the community and local council in their haste to fast-track the Newcastle V8 Super Car race," he said.

"If the organisers were genuinely serious about addressing community and safety concerns with the race, they would move it to purpose-built facilities in Raymond Terrace rather than on the doorstop of local homes and businesses.

"Labor councillors were slow off the mark in responding to community concern but seem to have shifted in response to the growing opposition and recognition that this is the wrong race in the wrong place.

"This rejection of the council's alternative proposal comes as the heritage impact statement is still open for consultation and the government has yet to begin a formal community consultation process on the detailed race and its impacts.

"The rush to fast-track this race is placing the local community, businesses, heritage and the environment at risk. This rejection by the race organiser shows there is little good will to genuinely consult and the NSW Government's blind support is failing the Newcastle community," Mr Field said.