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Australia

Wakefield Park circuit forced to close

The Wakefield Park circuit in Australia has been forced to close its doors amid an ongoing battle with council over noice restrictions.

Wakefield-Park-Aerial

The circuit, based in Goulburn in rural New South Wales, was hit hard by a ruling in July from the Land and Environment Court that effectively limited on-track activity to four days per month.

That followed a dispute with the Goulburn Mulwaree Council over noise limits that were imposed as part of development plans lodged by circuit owner the Benalla Auto Club.

Given the Wakefield Park business model is based on track usage, the ruling cast serious doubts over the viability of the venue under the restrictions.

The worst case scenario has now been reached, the BAC confirming today that all activity at Wakefield Park will cease from September 1 until further notice.

"Our biggest priority has been ongoing consultation and discussion with our loyal and hard working team of staff, who are those most affected by the ceasing of circuit operations," said BAC general manager Stephen Whyte.

"Unfortunately we cannot operate economically under the current restrictions, which has left us with no alternative but to cease all activity at the track.

"Further reaching will be the economic loss to Goulburn and the surrounding community."

It's understood that the BAC is working towards special economic status for Wakefield Park so that it can re-open its doors in the future.

Whyte confirmed that there is an ongoing commitment to save the circuit from permanent closure.

"We remain committed to Wakefield Park and we will continue to work with the Goulburn Mulwaree Council and our stakeholders," he said.

"We need NSW state government assistance to find a pathway forward for Wakefield Park."

Wakefield's woes leaves the entire state of NSW with just a single operational permanent circuit – Sydney Motorsport Park, based in the western suburbs of the state capital.

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