4 March 2022

Goulburn council reignites hopes of a Wakefield Park resolution

| Max O'Driscoll
Join the conversation
Wakefield Park Raceway

Hope for a resolution on the Wakefield Park dispute has been reignited after the council determined it would seek conciliation with the raceway operators and the residents. Photo: Supplied.

Goulburn Mulwaree Council will make a last-ditch push for conciliation in the Wakefield Park dispute in a bid to avoid the matter reaching the courts.

This is despite general manager Warwick Bennett’s prior assertion that even if common ground could be found, the matter would likely require court action.

There has been ongoing tension between council and the raceway operators since the council decided last July that they could only approve a major development application if the raceway committed to following noise restrictive conditions. Wakefield Park management said the conditions would make the raceway unviable and began pursuing legal action.

At this stage, the NSW Land and Environment Court is to hear the case on 8 March.

In his mayoral minute at the 1 March council meeting, Mayor Peter Walker proposed that Mr Bennett contact all submitters who opposed the original DA to ascertain whether they would like to meet with Wakefield Park operators before this court date. He revealed some optimism following the councillors’ meeting with Wakefield Park the evening prior.

READ ALSO Tensions rise over Wakefield Park as Goulburn chamber reveals fears of Canberra move

“Wakefield Park last night indicated that they would be prepared to discuss this further, but again it’s something that is in place to go to court on Tuesday,” Mayor Walker said.

“By going down this track, they provided legal indications that it is possible and they are prepared to go through a conciliation process.

“I believe that all the councillors are in agreement that we also need to give the residents that opportunity to, in public, voice their comments on whether they’re prepared to go back to conciliation or continue with the legal process.”

The Mayor specified that Mr Bennett should only contact those who had submitted objections and that outside opinions were not required nor wanted. He said that should the residents be unwilling to conciliate, the matter would head to court.

“My minute is generally to see if we can go back to a conciliation and at least ask questions which were put on the table yesterday by Wakefield Park and let our submitters be involved,” he said.

READ ALSO HumeLink estimated project cost doubles in two years as feasibility of underground route is explored

Councillor Andrew Banfield replied to the mayoral minute by suggesting that as Wakefield Park initiated the action, it should be the one to withdraw rather than modify court action. Mayor Walker acknowledged the point made by Cr Banfield but said it wasn’t necessarily relevant to his motion.

Councillor Andy Wood said the “court is always the last and worst place” to find resolutions.

“Any way that we can find a mechanism to bring the residents and Wakefield Park together and discuss this, and change the manner in which this is resolved, we should be seeking that way,” Cr Wood said.

“I was elected and told by the people that supported me that something needed to be done, and this seems like a much more positive approach if we can bring those people together.”

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments

Wakefield Park has been here a long time and the new residents should have been aware that there would be noise

This is how all the live music pubs in Melbourne and Sydney got shut down. People moved in next to working venues then whined until they got closed.

The racetrack was there before 90% of the current neighbours.

Daily Digest

Do you like to know what’s happening around your region? Every day the About Regional team packages up our most popular stories and sends them straight to your inbox for free. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.