The NSW Government will fast-track plans for the Newcastle V8 Supercar race without adequate community consultation or due consideration of heritage, environment and community impacts, according to Greens MP Justin Field.
The Government yesterday forced through legislation, supported by the Labor Party, which will give Destination NSW special powers to approve the race plans and will diminish environmental and heritage controls and community input into the plans.
Mr Field said, "the track for this race will be as little as three metres from people’s homes and will have substantial impact on access to public space yet the Government refused to meaningfully consult with the impacted Newcastle community until after contracts are signed, legislation passed and the deal is done.
“The Newcastle V8 Supercar race is the wrong race, in the wrong place,” he said.
“Real consultation is talking with the community before an event is signed off so they can have a genuine say.
“The Greens aren’t opposed to public investment in major events for NSW but we’ll only support them if there is meaningful consultation with local communities up front and clear benefits for all and that case hasn't been made in this instance and no cost benefit analysis has been released.”
"Construction has started for a $12 million motor racing circuit track at Raymond Terrace, north of Newcastle, which is a viable alternative and more suitable venue for this event," Mr Field said.
Greens Newcastle City Councillor Michael Osborne said, “the actions of council in supporting the race promoter and Destination NSW without adequately considering community impacts is unacceptable.
"The race will generate significant noise impacts for residents – some living as little as three metres from the track boundary – and create access challenges including for the many aged and disabled in and around the race precinct.
"We've also heard that community groups are already being informed they face being denied access to public spaces during the construction and race bump in period.
“There are also 150 small businesses within the footprint of the track, many of a nature that will not benefit from an increase in tourists over the weekend, but will suffer from restricted access and ongoing works in the months preceding and after the event.
"The legislation passed at state parliament today will require Destination NSW to call for submissions on the race plans, I encourage to actively engage in that process and raise their voices to be heard,” Mr Osborne said.