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Speedway battle Moves Up a Gear

24 December 2004

Speedway battle Moves Up a Gear

An appeal to the Environment Court to re-consider one part of its'judgment on noise at western Springs Speedway has been unsuccessful.

"The interim decision of the environment court to uphold its' earlier judgment regarding the allowable noise level is dissappointing and frustratiing"said Auckland City Councillor Scott Milne - leader of the Citizens and Ratepayers Now team. "" It is galling to have to sit on the sidelines and watch a minority of seventy eight protesters frustrate all efforts to keep the iconic speedway event running over the holiday season. The law would appear to be an animal similar to that which carried the Virgin Mary to the stable two thousand years ago".

The Auckland City Council voted unanimously last Thursday night to do all in its'power to keep the event running and charged the Deputy Mayor, Dr Hucker, to act as a negotiator with the residents group who have applied for the court order. Dr. Hucker has been under considerable fire for what many have seen as an historical lack of support for the event and today's announcement that he has been unsuccessful in brokering an agreement is a further blow.

The Environment Court ruling effectively means the cancellation until early February,of all Western Springs Speedway events. The Environment Court will sit again in early February for a full hearing of the issue after which it will make a substantive and long term judgment.

"This interim message is sending a clear message to our team that we will have to bring plans forward immediately to change the district plan and apply for a raising of the legal limit to its former level of 90Db.This is effectively what the residents have lived with for the past seventy five years and is the minimum that a vibrant and attractive event can operate under,"said Mr Milne.

Changing the district plan can be a time consuming process as it involves extensive community consultation and the ability for those against any plan change to again have the case heard in the environment court.

Mr Milne also commented "The rumour is that a boat load of international speedway competitors and their cars have already cancelled their appearance at the major event of the New Year and are heading off to Australia - to the huge delight of the Aussies. Once again, only a few months into the new city council term we have sent an event un-friendly message to the world. It is up to the City Vision/Labour majority on council to rapidly support our initiatives or wear the ''sport spoiler '' label for the next three years" .

ENDS

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