- Marathon meeting with strong public support
- Noise issues raised by track neighbours
- Determination to be made on July 13
The Goulburn Mulwaree Council has delayed its decision on Wakefield Park Raceway’s development application during a six-hour meeting.
The extraordinary meeting was held by the Council on Tuesday night, which saw 18 presenters speak during the public forum section.
The debate has stemmed from Wakefield Park’s development application for new facilities, including updated garages, a new corporate space, and an off-road experience area. It was revealed last week that Goulburn Mulwaree Council’s planning department advised councillors to vote against approving it.
Both sides of the issue were heard on Tuesday night. Most of the discussion surrounded the number of days Wakefield Park should be allowed to operate, and acceptable noise levels on those days.
Neighbours of the track expressed concern about what they say is excessive noise , as well as the measurement techniques used. While most said they support the track’s continued operation and proposed facilities, issues were raised over the current “level and frequency” of vehicle noise.
John Boston, owner of Wakefield Park-based Trackschool, spoke in favour of the application and said existing noise controls are already stringent.
“I started racing at the facility in 1995. I still own the same car… I had no issues racing it back then but now I’ve had to change the muffler to suit the dB meter which is recording the noise.”
The Council voted to adjourn the meeting on Wakefield Park until July 13, pending the resolution of 18 points of contention.
These include a dBA category system for track days, clarity of track start times, and disclosure of recorded sound data to the community.
Wakefield Park’s operations manager, Dean Chapman, told Street Machine the case for the facility is well-backed by extensive documentation submitted to the Council.
“It’s not just one-liners — it’s an explanation of where we stand and why we stand, and how we’ve got to that determination.”
Chapman says the track currently runs five to six days per week to finance vital maintenance work like bitumen replacement — a $2.2 million task necessitated every eight to ten years.
He argues a reduction of the track’s operating days would have a major impact on its viability, especially in fostering lower-level motorsport. “If [the Council] doesn’t want to lose its big events but it is pulling back, who’s going to be the loser out of this?
“It’s going to be grassroots motorsport, and that’s not where we want to go. At the forefront of any decision is people, because they’ve supported us for 27 years.”
Chapman thanks supporters for the number of emails and petition signatures delivered to the Council.
“[The support] has been overwhelming. It’s shown the time, money and resources put in by Wakefield Park will see a wide benefit for the community.
“Have assurance you guys have been heard — the mayor and councillors completely understand how valuable this is.”
With three weeks until the meeting resumes, Chapman is urging supporters to continue their efforts.
“If you haven’t yet, write an email to the councillors. They need to know everybody’s story, whether it’s as a spectator, driver, mechanic or loved one.
“There’s still an opportunity for your voice to be heard.”
The Goulburn Mulwaree Council will reconvene at 6pm on July 13 to make its decision.