WADDRA | We will fight on

Over four years ago the Warrnambool and District Drag Racing Association (WADDRA) was advised that they would be unable to continue to use the Warrnambool airport for legal off street drag racing. Warrnambool City Council and Moyne shire made a commitment to help WADDRA, who had been without a home for some 20 years, to find a permanent site for their purpose built motorsport facility.

Three years ago Moyne shire advised WADDRA it had found a suitable site and pending a rezoning petition it would meet all the conditions required. The old Koroit racecourse was to be our new home. Moyne Shire assisted WADDRA with grant applications, ASF registration and in conjunction with WCC, a consultant to assist with the compilation of a planning permit application. On the advice of this consultant WCC, Moyne Shire and WADDRA all paid for numerous studies into the site. Environmental impact assessment, waste water treatment assessment, noise assessment, traffic management assessment, land capacity assessment, flora and fauna assessment and a landscape study.

You do the math on a consultant, a strategic planning officer and numerous studies (over three years). This culminated in an over a 400-page planning permit being submitted to Moyne Shire planning department. It was accepted and put into the public domain. The application received 10 objections. Some multiple ones from the same families. These objections were responded to by WADDRA. More studies were done and paid for. This resulted in 52 conditions being placed on the permit for it to go ahead. WADDRA acquiesced to all but three of these and they were to do with minor issues like line marking of the car parking area which was grassed. Moyne Shire planning department recommended approval of the planning permit and it was presented at the last shire meeting. We went to the shire meeting with the expectation of a fair hearing.

We had jumped all the hurdles, paid all the money and put in all the ground work. Moyne Shire’s own planning department had recommended approval. WADDRA had the funds to commence building immediately. Unfortunately we underestimated the environment that perhaps surrounds an imminent council election and how people’s emotions can override their sensibilities. We perhaps should have lobbied councillors harder, cried some more tears and begged for the opportunity to grow the Koroit economy. We won’t cry foul or chuck the towel in.

WADDRA has the support of the Koroit business community, the drag racing fraternity and fair minded people everywhere who still believe if you get in and have a go your work is eventually rewarded. Thank you to all our supporters, you have been fantastic. We will spend some more of our hard earned money, put in some more hard work and we will fight on. Watch this space.

Tony Frost, WADDRA president

 

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  • John

    If its good for the community the shire will shut it down, always have. If they looked at Portland drags and looked at the articles in magazines, people from W/A, S/A, NSW,Queensland and Victoria and seen the benefits that Portland has received they would have to be mad to ignore it, Portland has set a great example!
    Maybe the Drags need to move to another shire that would be willing to reap the benefits!
    Hold in there WADDRA whether your in Moyne shire or corangamite we will support you!

    • story_teller904

      Indeed, the club will fight to the very end if that’s required.

  • Chris

    Any luck with vcal? How’s the fight for a local strip going? Is there anything our community can do to help

    • StoryTeller

      We will be at VCAT next year in April which will finally have an outcome, whether it be good or bad, the club has done everything possible to make this happen for the community. Whilst there might not be much public updates on this we are actively working in the background, we generally have correspondence almost every day with people involved. I will see if we can get a press release out soon.

      • Chris

        Thanks for getting back so soon, I and many others think you s are doing a fantastic job, and many of us who are building drag cars or are avid spectators would love to be able to do our bit as well.
        We all would benefit from this and it would be great to race locally and maybe one day there will be a regional drag race series that all the tracks benefit from!
        Please let us know, we check here for updates and there s plenty of us that can and should do more myself included

  • John

    Just wondering if you have been to vcat yet and if so how did it go?
    If not good luck with vcat we all want a drag strip locally

    • StoryTeller

      Hi there, we go to VCAT on this Monday (10th of April) in Melbourne. We will know a few weeks after it if it is a yes or no. Cheers, Jesse