The V8 supercars race due to run through Newcastle streets in November places “private profit over the common good and social justice” according to the Newcastle East Residents Group (NERG).
In a recent leaflet NERG points out that residents continue to be sidelined by Newcastle City Council, Destinations NSW (a government tourism body) and Supercars Australia Pty Ltd.
The race deal was worked out in a private briefing and closed council meetings without community involvement last year.
SuperCars’ initial idea of community consultation, a promotional video of cars crashing and spinning out of control was hardly reassuring to residents as many of their houses are just four metres from the race track.
Apart from the genuine fear that a V8 car might come crashing into their living rooms, residents are also worried about not having access to their homes, hearing loss, noise levels, exhaust fumes and airborne particulate matter from tyres.
Each race involves up to 30 cars racing from 7am to 7pm.
Freedom of Information requests by residents have simply been sent onto Super Cars Australia.
Construction for the race started with a swath of parkland being dug up for a parking lot and 200 shrubs and trees, including mature Norfolk Island Pines, have been cut down.
[Steve O’Brien is a long-term Newcastle East Resident.]