Council issues Wakefield Park show-cause notice over 500 noise breaches

Wakefield Park Raceway

Goulburn Mulwaree Council has issued a show-cause notice to Wakefield Park over 500 noise breaches last weekend alone, as the two parties prepare to head to court next month.

Management of Wakefield Park Raceway and council have been involved in a long-running legal battle over noise limits at the circuit, which is set to come to a head in the New South Wales Land and Environment Court within weeks.

Both parties had stated in recent weeks that they were open to a compromise with the aim of a framework for the Benalla Auto Club-owned circuit to remain viable while also respecting the amenity of neighbouring residents in what is a rural area.

The tone of council’s latest statement regarding the venue is far less conciliatory.

“The appeal lodged by Wakefield Park against the development consent granted by Council to operate a major Recreation Facility (Major) at Goulburn will be held next month in the Land and Environment Court,” begins that statement on the Goulburn Mulwaree Council Facebook page on Thursday.

“Council has been very keen for over five years to reach a compromise and a workable solution to ensure Wakefield Park can live in harmony with its neighbours and continue to operate a successful and profitable business.

“Nobody, including the neighbours, have ever wanted Wakefield Park to stop operating as we all agree that this facility is good for the greater Goulburn Mulwaree economy.

“One agreement that has been reached, and that is reflective of the original consent issued in 1993, is that noise levels are never to exceed 95 dB(A) when measured 30 meters [sic] from the track.

“Since November 2021, Wakefield Parks [sic] own monitoring equipment (noted on their website) has recorded that this threshold has continually been breached.

“Last weekend (18-20 February 2022) Wakefield Park recorded noise well in excess of this limit in excess of 500 times, ultimately reaching a maximum of 124.1dB(A). To provide perspective, 130 dB(A) is equivalent to a jumbo jet taking off.

“Council has issued Wakefield Park with a show-cause notice seeking an explanation as to why further regulatory action should not be pursued.”

Wakefield Park operations manager Dean Chapman has floated the possibility of moving the operation to a new circuit in Canberra, with talks having already been held with the Australian Capital Territory Government.

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