That’s No Choice!
Everything tourists, Newcastle residents and locals are drawn to, exists on this peninsula. It is home to the beaches, regional parks, coastal walks, dog beach, cafes, historic precinct, sea cliffs, aboriginal heritage precinct, surf clubs and ocean pools. It is a pedestrianised zone frequented every day, all year round by walkers, families, bike riders, swimmers, surfers, play groups, community gardeners, café patrons, hang gliders, heritage walking groups, educational groups, tourists and backpackers, fishermen and women, dog owners/walkers, office workers, fitness groups, elderly residents and clients of the many small businesses in the area. Not just the residents will be disrupted by the event and the months of disruption leading up to it.
Almost the entire suburb of Newcastle East will be trapped inside the circuit or will be on the track (approximately 3000 people). The suburb at the end of a peninsula will be completely cut off from the rest of Newcastle, as the only way out is through the race circuit.
The lack of access will not be only during the race period but also for at least 6 months during construction of the track, and for 8 weeks before and 4 weeks after, as barriers and infrastructures are assembled and dismantled. For 3 months every year, the East End will resemble a war zone!
Residents will have limited access to their homes during the six-month road reconstruction and each year thereafter the twelve week period of barrier installation and road closures.
During the race, access is severely restricted. For houses along the circuit, the barriers will be at their front doors.
Barricading the East End from the rest of Newcastle for the pleasure of a particular interest group will mean the loss of access to all other interest groups. The removal of the rail line into the city has created a transport vacuum that will take many years to fill. The track proposed is actually where the light rail is supposed to go! Does that mean no light rail for at least five years?
Residents have been told (at information sessions) that all vehicle traffic will be stopped at Darby Street and the only access into the CBD will be by shuttle or foot.
Every user of the peninsula will have restricted or no access during:construction of new sections of racetrack roads through parkland, then remediation
*removal then reinstatement of traffic calming devices
*removal, storage and reinstatement of sandstone kerbs and cobblestones
*removal of parkland and trees then remediation
*removal and relocation of the Jubilee Monument
*installation then removal of temporary infrastructure and viewing platforms
*installation then removal of television towers
*installation and removal of concrete and mesh barriers around historic buildings and homes
*city and peninsula lockdown during pre-race and three days of racing
If you are a walker, family, bike rider, swimmer, surfer, play group, community gardener, café patron, hang glider, heritage walking group, educational group, tourists and backpacker, fisherman and woman, dog owner/walker, office worker, fitness group, elderly resident and client of the many small businesses in the area, your access to the parks and beaches will be severely disrupted. You will not be able to drive beyond Darby Street. Your access to the beaches will be to walk from King Edward Park, down to Newcastle South Beach and from there, walk along the beach to the baths and beyond. You will not have any access to the Foreshore Park unless you are a race goer.