Newcastle Supercars race will make foreshore a ‘construction zone’ for eight months

Foreshore to become a ‘construction zone’ STILL ON: John Bisegna with, Lachlan Smith 9, Sarah Bisegna 7, and Samuel Bisegna 10, were relieved the Flatrock surf competition will go ahead. PICTURE: Marina Neil

TweetFacebookNewcastle City Council did not respond to questions about the letter before deadline on Wednesday, but shortly after the Newcastle Heraldinquiredabout the decisionfestival organisers were contacted to say they could hold the competition.

The Herald understands the council made the decision to allow the event to go ahead because the surf festival was so close to the works period.

John Bisegna, from the East End Boardriders group, said he was “relieved” by the change of heart.

“The council initially said they’d work with us to find a new location, but you can’t have the Flatrock surf festival somewhere else, because it’s a different surf break, it becomes the Merewether surf festival or wherever,” he said.

Despite the decision, the letter raises questions about other events slated to be held inNewcastle for eight months during2017.

A number of other events includingtheDestination NSW sponsored Newcastle Supermoto race –are held in the same precinct.

It will also reignite debate about access to the Newcastle foreshore in the lead up to the race. The council has previously said beaches will be accessible “as usual”, and that no decisions had been made about road closures.

On Tuesdaytourism minister Adam Marshall said in a speech in parliament that “any suggestion that the public will be prevented from using Newcastle’s finest beaches and public areas is not correct and couldn’t be further from the truth”.

It comes after the Heraldreported Supercars Australia would develop a heritage plan beforethe event.

The race –which enjoys the support of both the state government and Newcastle council –has become increasingly controversial among some East End residentssince it was announced last year.

On Tuesday the government introduced a bill into parliament that will see the race officially moved from its former home in Homebush to Newcastle.