Council overturns planners on race proposal
A MAJOR motorcycling event will be held at Leongatha South, after South Gippsland Shire councillors backed the proposal and overturned a recommendation by council planners not to, due to excessive noise.
Leongatha Motorcycle Club is likely to be granted a permit to use private land at 85 Merricks Track and 945 Koonwarra-Inverloch Road, Leongatha South for a motor racing track.
The club must now provide amended plans to the satisfaction of council that address parking, track length, waste, equipment, marshalling, food vendors, market stalls, and emergency and environmental management.
The land will be used to hold a two day motorcycle event in September or October as part of the Yamaha Victorian Off-Road Championship Series. A club day will be held once a year. Both events proposed to involve riding of up to 50 motorcycles at any one time. Council received 41 objections, including two petitions, mainly relating to adverse environmental impacts, noise, bushfire risk and site safety.
Councillors last Wednesday voted to grant a permit with 28 proposed conditions, including that all motorcycles must comply with Motorcycling Australia’s recommended noise limits and be tested. Only councillor Andrew McEwen opposed the permit.
Club president Darrell Van Den Borne thanked councillors for their support.
“At the end of the day, the right decision was made. The councillors did their homework and went back to the fact that it was going to be good for the community,” he said.
Objector Peter Lyon, speaking on behalf of objecting neighbours, told The Star they would now consider the conditions imposed by council.
Cr Ray Argento moved an alternate motion at the council meeting, to issue a permit with conditions, saying, “They (the club) know there will be quite a number of eyes watching this event and they will comply with the conditions.”
Cr Jeremy Rich said the conditions would “enable the best possible balance” between motorcyclists and neighbours’ interests.
Cr Andrew McEwen said the matter would end up in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), given objectors’ noise concerns.
Crs Maxine Kiel and Alyson Skinner said the event would benefit local tourism. Mayor Cr Lorraine Brunt backed the motorcyclists, saying, “Let’s be tolerant. We do need to have the opportunity for everybody to be able to do what they like.”
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