NSW Opposition Leader pledges $1 million to save Wakefield Park

Wakefield Park

Wakefield Park. Picture: Supersports Racing New South Wales Australia Facebook

New South Wales Opposition Leader Chris Minns has pledged $1 million in a bid to save the embattled Wakefield Park if he wins government in March.

The Benalla Auto Club-owned circuit has been closed since the start of September 2022 due to onerous restrictions on its operations arising from a Land and Environment Court ruling in the preceding July.

Advocates of the Goulburn race track were delivered a further blow in December when the state’s current Planning Minister, Anthony Roberts, confirmed that neither the government was unable to intervene in the court decision.

However, there is fresh hope for Wakefield Park, pending the outcome of the NSW election on March 25.

The $1 million which the Labor leader has promised would be for noise mitigation work, as well as directing the Department of Planning, Goulburn Mulwaree Council, and Office of Sport to develop a plan for reopening the circuit, reports the Goulburn Express newspaper.

“An elected Labor government will work with the local council and stakeholders to resolve these issues and get this important facility back on track,” said Minns as part of his announcement.

The Opposition Leader specifically cited Wakefield Park’s use for driver training for the state’s police academy, which is based in Goulburn, but also committed to having a ‘motorsports strategy’ developed for the venue.

The track had been subject to the original 1993 development consent before operating under prevention notices for multiple years prior to the LEC case, due to complaints about noise.

Minns’ announcement comes ahead of a planned ‘Save Wakefield Park’ public forum to be held at the Goulburn Workers Club on February 19 (from 14:00-16:30).

“Because NSW Parliament ran out of sitting days in 2022, our Save Wakefield Park petition was not debated,” explained the Save Wakefield Park lobby group.

“With the NSW State election happening in March 2023, we are doubtful if the petition will ever be brought up for discussion by the next elected parliament.

“We have planned our own forum where representatives from the various political parties can attend and share their thoughts on how we may resolve the problem, restore operations at Wakefield Park, and secure the facility’s long-term viability.”

According to the group, the forum is set to be attended by local political candidates; One Nation’s Rod Roberts MLC; a member from the Shooters, Fishers & Farmers party; the President of the Goulburn Chamber of Commerce; local councillors, a representative from Motorsport Australia; and a representative from Motorcycling NSW.

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