Battle between Moyne Shire and drag racing association continues at VCAT

THE Warrnambool and District Drag Racing Association’s fight for a home will continue next month.

In July last year, Moyne Shire councillors rejected the association’s bid to develop 37 hectares of land near Koroit for a drag racing strip.

The matter is now before the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, with a hearing between the drag racers and Moyne Shire beginning last week in Melbourne.

A local drag race

A local drag race

The hearing will continue at the Warrnambool Magistrates Court on May 8, where the tribunal will hear from the association and objectors. The council received 10 submissions opposed to using the Officers Lane site as a drag strip. A site inspection will also be undertaken.

Moyne Shire made its presentation to VCAT on Monday and Tuesday last week, “setting out the relevant planning controls, and outlining the history of the application and … the merits of the council decision”, the shire’s director of sustainable development Oliver Moles said.

Moyne Shire councillors voted 5-1 in favour of refusing the drag racers’ application, with Cr Jim Doukas voting against it.

The drag racing association had previously held three meetings a year at Warrnambool airport but an upgrade of aviation facilities had left the club without sufficient room to run its races.

Councillors opposed the club’s application over fears it would affect the amenity of nearby residents, impact calving on nearby farms, devalue neighbouring properties, and limit the potential growth of Koroit.

The association has been attempting to secure a site near Koroit for about five years.