Background

Contained below are my writings about the use of Council land for motorcycle racing activities. The land is predominantly cleared and is situated near the Clare Waste Depot on Benny's Hill Road, on the western fringe of the Clare township.

NEWS

UPDATE     In June 2011, the Environment Resources & Development Court heard the case between the CMCC and objectors. The decision will be posted here when it is known.

UPDATE    December 2011
Decision of the ERD Court was to approve the "development". 
The Court's decision is here.

From the very beginning of the use of the land for motor bike racing (apparently around 1984) Council (and the previous District Council of Clare) have made a succession of errors in allowing the use of the land for motorcycle racing. The land is owned by Council – i.e. the community. As with any use of land, it is a requirement under the Development Act and Council's Development Plan to obtain Development Approval. This was the case in the 1980's when the first purported use was invoked, and it is the case today. 

In 1989, some 5 years after first using the land for motor bike racing, a Council Works Committee decision to use the land was given, but this was not the proper committee or process that should have been followed. Council officers of the day did not advise Council members that Development Approval was necessary. This occurred again in 1995 when a lease was issued to Clare Motorcycle Club (CMCC). It occurred again in 1998 when the land incurred rezoning, and the error should have been corrected by the planners. It happened during the 10 years course of the lease, which incidentally had a number of conditions affixed to it, and were largely not enforced by Council staff.

At the expiry of the lease in 2005, Council was about to embark on lease renewal when it was advised that Development Approval was required so that a legal right to use the land was obtained. This began the next round of inappropriate decision-making, which has taken until this day to resolve.

The writings herein chronicle a number of very important issues relating to planning procedures, decision-making, and also what should have been undertaken to avoid the costs, acrimony, and community divisions that have arisen. 

My interest in this case arose out of a number of injustices that have befallen a number of aggrieved people. There have been grievances on opposing sides because of the poor handling of the situation and the entrenched positions that have been taken up. It should be a lesson to all about how to conduct negotiations and how to accept decisions in an era of change.


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