Newcastle based government coordination unit a must for delivery of the Newcastle 500 Supercars

In Parliament | 20.02.17

The NSW Labor Opposition today called on the Berejiklian Government to establish a government coordination unit located in Newcastle to act as an independent liaison and consultation body for local residents and businesses engaging with NSW government agencies, Newcastle City Council, and the event promoter in the lead up to the Supercars 500 event in November. 

The Government introduced a bill into the NSW Parliament last week. The bill has coordination of the event located at Destination NSW in Sydney and managed via a myriad of committees. The consultation is left up to Supercars. This is a recipe for confusion and buck passing. 

When the Sydney 500 Supercars event was established, it was accompanied by the Homebush Motor Racing Authority (HMRA). The HMRA was tasked with the implementation and general coordination of Government services required to support the race in Sydney. 

The HMRA was dissolved by the Liberal Government in 2014. With the move to Newcastle and the establishment of a new event there is a desperate need for proper coordination of this event. Coordination that is transparent and accountable to all who have a stake in the holding of the event. 

The community consultation to date has not been independent nor adequate. This needs to be addressed immediately. The people and businesses of Newcastle deserve nothing less. 

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Penny Sharpe 

“It is completely unacceptable that the NSW Government is refusing to provide a dedicated, Newcastle based coordination unit for this event. 

“It was important for Sydney that there was dedicated, independent coordination when the race was held at Homebush. Nothing has changed when it comes to the event now being held in Newcastle. 

“It is crucial to the success of this event that local residents and businesses are able to ask questions or raise concerns with the Government, and have confidence that they are being listened to and that their issues will be resolved, not by those with a vested interest in the event but by the government in the public interest.” 

Quotes attributable to Member for Newcastle Tim Crakanthorp 

“Now is the time for planning and preparation for this event, and residents and businesses must be included in that process. 

“My office has already been inundated with calls from concerned community members who cannot find a coordinated point of contact for information – there is a clear need for enhanced coordination. 

“This event will run through an area of Newcastle with heritage values similar to The Rocks in Sydney, so it’s vital that we get it right. I want the local community to be a big part of that right from the start.”