What has happened with Racing at Lakeside?
What has happened with Racing at Lakeside?
Firstly, thank you to all the people who have rung me and expressed both concern and support for the continuation of racing activities at Lakeside. Over the past 19 years, it has been this level of personal support which has kept me fighting for my grass roots customers who just want to enjoy their motorsport for what it is. I also wish a pox on all those that have caused this situation to arise because of their incessant, selfish, whingeing.
Let’s get one thing straight - we are not closing Lakeside down; we have had to implement a suspension of racing activities at Lakeside Park until the bureaucrats and Moreton Bay Regional Council (MBRC) provide the protection that a community asset like Lakeside deserves - both morally and legally.
Thousands of people have spent hundreds of dollars modifying their cars to meet a sound limit that is lower than it should be. As a “Sports Ground” Lakeside would be permitted a sound level of Leq15 of 75dB(A) BUT as an “Outdoor Entertainment Venue” Lakeside is only permitted an Leq15 of 70dB(A). I have been informed that Lakeside has breached the 70dB(A) on six occasions so far this year and might have breached the 75dB(A) on four occasions in the last 10 years.
If Ernest Hemingway was right, and he was, when he said:
“There are only three sports: bullfighting, motor racing, and mountaineering; all the rest are merely games.” Why can’t Lakeside be recognised as a sporting ground? Especially given the demonstrated huge public support for all motorsport venues in Queensland to be recognised as sporting grounds.
How was that demonstrated?
You may recall that John Goss put a petition in front of Parliament with more than 18,000 signatures requesting that the state government recognise motorsport venues as “Sports Grounds”. Despite this huge number of signatures this petition was put aside by Jeff Seeney in the then Campbell Newman government. It has not made it onto the agenda of the current government, although there is significant support for it from some of the members.
We have had discussions with the MBRC to get this recognition for at least seven years and had general consensus that Lakeside is entitled to be recognised as a sports ground - but it never actually happens. Make no mistake about it, what we are talking about here is a stroke of the pen by the appropriate bureaucrat. So why hasn’t it happened? The real answer to that question may never come to light but it would appear that the MBRC is under pressure from the Ombudsman to “enforce to the fullest extent of the law” as a result of pressure from the two continual vexatious complainers.
So, what changed and brought this to a head?
QR has received fines totalling $29,100 (three fines of $9700 each) since August and that is the game changer. We have declared our intention to fight these fines in court and have engaged lawyers and acoustic engineers to assemble the case against the current breaches and mount the case; that if we were to be judged under the correct zoning these infringement notices would not have been issued.
Our hope is that this will bring things to a head sooner rather than later so that we can commit to conduct race meetings because, either MBRC withdraws the infringements pending resolution of the sports grounds issue, or we get to court early enough to get clarity on where Lakeside will stand in the future.
As most of you already know from our fight with the Ipswich City Council, even without the support of CAMS, we will not give up and go quietly; albeit not above Leq:75dB(A) anyway. Nor do we wish to put our prices up just to be able to pass that money through to the payment of fines to the MBRC. Fair is fair; we have no desire or moral grounds to ask our customers to make yet more sacrifices to appease two selfish people in our community.
We must give the politicians and bureaucrats the support they need to say “enough is enough”.
As mentioned above, thousands of you have spent money trying to appease people who refuse to recognise the value of your contribution to their goodwill. This has to end somewhere and it is up to the relevant authorities to recognise your rights; and the fact that you are willing to stand up for them too. If you want to see a resumption of racing activities at Lakeside you need to make your point, politely but firmly to:
Division 7 Cr, Denise Sims: Denise.Sims@moretonbay.qld.gov.au Ch of Plan’g, MBRC, Mick Gillam Mick.Gillam@moretonbay.qld.gov.au Dep Mayor, Mike Charlton: Mike.Charlton@moretonbay.qld.gov.au Mayor, Allan Sutherland: Mayor@moretonbay.qld.gov.au Shane King, MLA Kurwongbah@parliament.qld.gov.au Mark Ryan, Min. Police Morayfield@parliament.qld.gov.au Stephen Miles, Min. for Health Murrumba@parliament.qld.gov.au
We inherited Lakeside from our grandparents; let’s make sure our grandchildren do too.
Sincerely, John Tetley CEO ~ Queensland Raceways