DEFEAT: Greens’ councillor Therese Doyle’s motion to withdraw Newcastle council’s support for the V8 Supercars race was rejected at Wednesday night’s meeting.A GREENS proposal for Newcastle to withdraw its support for the V8 Supercars race has been slapped down amid scenes of outrage from East End residents who decried the council’s “shame”.
The city’s support for the Newcastle 500 was reaffirmed on Wednesday night after Cr Therese Doyle’s (Greens) motion, citing recent crashes in the sport as a reason why the race should not be held, was rejected by the majority of councillors.
Cr Doyle had argued that the sport was a “highly destructive event” that would “cause harm” to the community, through emissions and noise pollution,when it is held in November.
“There are health risks that are beyond what is reasonable,” she declared.
She also argued that the city had committed too much money to host the race when the business case “doesn’t add up”.
“We should be very careful with the ratepayers’ money,” she said. “It’s a party – it’s a very expensive party – and it’s over very quickly. We bear the financial burden for much longer afterwards.”
Newcastle council’s support for the Supercars race has been reaffirmed despite an attempt to turn back the clock @newcastleheraldpic.twitter苏州美甲学校网/v9REp883x1
— Brodie Owen (@Brodie_Owen) April 26, 2017
Cr Michael Osborne (Greens) said the Newcastle 500 would be “held up as an example in universities about how not to consult”.
“We did not consult with the community before we even made that decision [to host the race],” he said. “The Supercars way of consultation is not the way to go.”
Cr Brad Luke (Liberal) said recent crashes in the sport – which included a 12-car pileup at a race in Tasmania earlier this monththat saw one driver taken to hospital –had resulted in no harm to the public.
“The accidents that you’re referring to, there was no public hurt. The only damage done was to the cars,” he told the meeting.
“Those drivers got up and raced the next weekend. The participants take a risk, yes, that is a fact of life.”
Cr Doyle rejected that.
“It’s quite extraordinary that we can think the risk of a fig tree dropping a branch on someone has more risk than the Supercars,” she said.
Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes, who has been publiclycritical of the state government and Destination NSW in its handling of the race, acknowledged that “the first year is going to be the most difficult year”.
“I’m hoping those communication channels [with residents] are improved,” she said. “Community safety is paramount to that process.”
Cr Doyle’s motion was voted againstby all but Greens councillors.
East End residents, who had filled the public galleries, shouted down the council for its “shame”and immediately left the meeting.
“You’re rubbish, rubbish, rubbish,” one woman said.
“Civil action coming, civil action coming, civil action coming,” said another.