16 June 2021

Ignore the social chatter, mayor says Wakefield Park is not a done deal

| Kim Treasure
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Driver training at Wakefield Park race track, near Goulburn

Driver training at Wakefield Park race track near Goulburn. Photo: James Coleman.

Goulburn Mulwaree Mayor Bob Kirk has moved to reassure residents that a decision on alterations and additions to Wakefield Park is not a done deal, despite the chatter on social media.

In a mayoral statement, Cr Kirk said an extraordinary council meeting set down for Tuesday 22 June to determine the outcome of a development application for the popular raceway had been planned since last year.

“This meeting has been planned since December 2020 to allow the applicant the time to complete their development application and respond to submissions,” Cr Kirk said.

“Contrary to the information circulated on Facebook on Thursday night, a decision has not been made on this matter. A report will be considered by council on the 22 June.”

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Cr Kirk, however, did acknowledge the report recommended refusal based on a number of issues, including the impact of noise.

The development proposal includes demolition of the existing pit lane building and associated structures, construction of a new pit lane building consisting of 14 additional garages and space for corporate functions as well as a medical centre and race control and commentary boxes.

Wakefield Park Raceway

Wakefield Park Raceway as it currently looks. Photo: James Coleman.

Proponents would also like to construct a new off-road experience area, use part of the site for short-term camping in conjunction with events and hold general purpose markets up to 12 times a year.

“As the determining authority for this application, council staff have an obligation to consider all factors and impacts and then present a report to council for our consideration,” he said.

“This assessment is based upon the information council staff sought from the applicant and the response we subsequently received.

“In my opinion there is still work to do to achieve a fair outcome for both Wakefield Park and the community members living in that part of our region. I am proposing to draft an alternative motion to put to councillors on 22 June which will not refuse the development application, but will allow Wakefield Park time to address some of the concerns with further detail, particularly around noise.

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“This would allow them to continue operating, but put a timeframe on the issues to be addressed including a noise management plan, before any approval can be granted.”

Cr Kirk said council appreciated the positive economic impact Wakefield Park has on the wider region.

“It is our role to balance this with the impacts on community members which have not yet been fully addressed,” he said.

Cr Kirk said community members who put in a submission would be contacted over the coming week and would have the opportunity to present to council at the extraordinary meeting.

The meeting is open to the public.

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