Motion to derail ‘dangerous’ Newcastle 500 rejected

Tom Howard

Friday 28th April, 2017 - 3:05pm

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The layout for the proposed Coates Hire Newcastle 500

A bid to withdraw Newcastle City Council’s support for the Coates Hire Newcastle 500 Supercars season finale has been rejected.

Earlier this week Greens councillor Therese Doyle led the motion demanding the council to abandon its support of the event amid claims the event will pose a danger to health and safety of residents.

She also urged Destination NSW and Supercars to find a more suitable location for its final round.

The Newcastle street race, which will host the season finale from November 24-26, has divided opinion amongst the New South Wales city’s residents, resulting in protests and clashes.

Doyle tabled her motion at meeting of the council citing the category’s recent crashes to back up her case.

The motion referred to Nick Percat’s brake failure at Albert Park and the 12-car pile up at Symmons Plains, which left Will Davison with a back injury.

The bid follows a request from Newcastle City Council to alter the route of the proposed circuit which was rejected by Supercars.

‘Two recent accidents involving Supercars indicate that the race should not take place in residential streets where there are young children, elderly, pets, vulnerable people, and cars running 3 metres from people’s front doors,’ read the Notice to Motion.

‘Given that these serious accidents have occurred at the immediate past two Supercar events, it is now clear that there is a completely unacceptable risk of accident or mishap when this type of race is scheduled to take place in the narrow, confined streets of Newcastle East.’

‘There are a number of residents in the area who are at risk because of their frail state of health, psychological state, chronic illness or condition or because they are very young or have very young children in their care.

‘No one has yet identified who they are and what requirements they might have for access to medical or other services.’

The bid failed to gain any traction at the meeting with a council report claiming, ‘in almost three decades of staging Supercars street races in major cities, there has never been a serious injury to a member of the public or a situation in which an on-site medical situation could not be addressed. In Newcastle, world’s best practice will be applied.’

This was view was backed up by Liberal councillor Brad Luke.

“The accidents that you’re referring to, there was no public hurt. The only damage done was to the cars,” Luke told the meeting according to the Newcastle Herald.

“Those drivers got up and raced the next weekend. The participants take a risk, yes, that is a fact of life.”