Queensland Raceways CEO John Tetley insists that Lakeside Park is not closing down despite a suspension of racing activities in 2019 due to noise issues.
In a statement published on the circuit’s Facebook page, Tetley claims that a ‘suspension’ in activity at the circuit has been enacted due to a recent succession of fines.
It is claimed that the circuit has been fined a total of $29,100 by Moreton Bay Regional Council (MBRC), the local government area in which the circuit is located in Brisbane’s north, since August.
“Let’s get one thing straight – we are not closing Lakeside down; we have had to implement a suspension of racing activities at Lakeside Park until the bureaucrats and Moreton Bay Regional Council (MBRC) provide the protection that a community asset like Lakeside deserves – both morally and legally,” reads the statement, in part.
At the heart of the matter, Tetley claims, is the classification of Lakeside Park as an ‘Outdoor Entertainment Venue’ rather than a ‘Sports Ground’.
The former, according to state legislation which is enforced by Council, is subject to noise restrictions of 70dBA from 0700 to 2200, while it is claimed that a sports ground would be allowed a 75dBA limit.
According to the Queensland Raceways statement, the organisation has sought to have Lakeside reclassified but has been unsuccessful in doing so.
“We have had discussions with the MBRC to get this recognition for at least seven years and had general consensus that Lakeside is entitled to be recognised as a sports ground – but it never actually happens,” Tetley claims in the statement.
“Make no mistake about it, what we are talking about here is a stroke of the pen by the appropriate bureaucrat.
“So why hasn’t it happened? The real answer to that question may never come to light but it would appear that the MBRC is under pressure from the Ombudsman to ‘enforce to the fullest extent of the law’ as a result of pressure from the two continual vexatious complainers.”
Tetley also claims that Queensland Raceways is prepared to fight the fines in court on the basis that there would have been no breaches had the noise limit for a sports ground applied.
Lakeside Park opened in 1961 but closed in 2001 primarily due to financial issues, in part due to the opening of Queensland Raceway in Ipswich in 1999.
It reopened in 2008, ironically after Queensland Raceways took out a 30-year-lease of the facility from then-owner Pine Rivers Shire Council, which subsequently amalgamated with other councils to form MBRC.
The circuit has since been used for track days and smaller scale motor racing events, and was also the venue for the start of Marcos Ambrose’s short-lived Supercars comeback when he performed ride day duties at Lakeside in November 2014.
Speedcafe.com has sought a response from MBRC regarding the Queensland Raceways statement.
Queensland Raceways statement: What has happened to racing at Lakeside?