Rules, regulations and costs such as insurance make it difficult for motorcycle clubs to survive in 2018 – but how difficult is it for a club to build a facility from the ground up in 2018?
Words: Jackson Reardon
Goulburn Motorcycle Club, founded in 1911, is Australia’s oldest motorcycle club holding the first Tourist Trophy (TT race) of Australia in Goulburn in 1914 followed by the first Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix in 1924.
Examples of famous past and present club members include former Off-Road Champions Ian & Jamie Cunningham (Ian tragically passed away in 2006) and Mark Herfoss (dirt track), former Road Racers Lee Roebuck, Paul Feeney and Jason Kain, with Troy Herfoss and Tom Toparis heading our current crop of road racing talent. The club is also home to a number of junior and senior riders who have competed in motocross and dirt track at state and national level, yet for decades the Goulburn Motor Cycle Club has been without a home, let alone a track.
“It is not an exaggeration to say that this is the culmination of decades of work from a small group of club members” said Club President Richard Toparis. “The club purchased the land on Sydney Road over five years ago with grand plans, but it has taken far longer than we had hoped to get to the start of construction.”
Planning began in 2013, with the committee lodging the first version of a development application later in the year for a permanent motocross track on the southern portion of the site, a clubhouse building, helipad and other associated access roads and amenities blocks.
The development application was approved in late 2013 by Goulburn Mulwaree Council but was challenged in the NSW Land & Environment Court. It was modified and re-lodged and was again approved by the Council in 2015.
The approval was again challenged in the Land & Environment Court in July 2016, where it was dismissed. Objectors then proceeded to the NSW Supreme Court with a further appeal.
After years of fighting and over $50,000 spent on legal fees the NSW Supreme Court dismissed two residents’ appeal against the approval in April 2017, allowing the Goulburn Motorcycle Club to finally move forward. A sub-committee has now been established to focus on the construction of the Motocross track at Sydney Road.
The Goulburn Motorcycle Club hopes to have the 2km motocross track completed by July 2018.
For the full story grab issue #464 of ADB Magazine, on sale 2 April.