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Barrabool - The Real Story

Wondering exactly what's been going on out at Barrabool? Maybe you've been hearing some chatter from the Facebook monkeys in the digital peanut gallery? Or the story you heard from that punter in the pits that didn't quite sound right?

We've had enough of the rubbish floating around out there and we've decided it's time to set the record straight. Get the cold hard facts now on our Barrabool - The Real Story page.

Barrabool Sporting Mcc

19th September 2014
Sporting Club Day Cancellation

The Sporting Motorcycle Club apologises but unfortunately due to a lack of support and willing helpers the club day scheduled for this Sunday, 21st Sept. has had to be cancelled.

We're still planning on running another event in November so we're asking that members come forward to lend a hand and ensure that the event is a great one.

7th September 2014
New Regional MX facility at Avalon Airport - rush of hot air?

Motocross was again on the agenda at the City of Greater Geelong Council meeting on Aug. 26th. Following Motorcycling Australia announcing that it will close the 52 year old McAdam Park facility in December 2015, local off road motorcycling enthusiast's hopes for legal riding areas have been dashed yet again.
Read/hide the rest of the article

A recent pitch to establish a regional motorcycling facility on Avalon Airport land, to replace McAdam Park, has been ruled out in a Geelong City report presented to Councillors on the status of motocross. Cost and time constraints, and likely flora and fauna issues were cited as reasons for the reports recommendation to reject the venture. This now leaves local riders and families with no new facilities in sight, as both the Geelong City and Surf Coast Shire now say they have exhausted avenues in seeking sites for the establishment legal riding areas.

The Geelong City report recommendations also encompassed broader issues relating to McAdam Park and critical to the interests of the Sporting Motor Cycle Club (SMCC). The SMCC had not been given opportunity to give input into compiling the report before it was presented to Council. Because of this the SMCC sent a delegation to the Aug. 26th Council meeting asking Council to consider more carefully the report recommendations; and for serious debate to begin on possible alternatives for legal riding areas to cater to the riders of our region.

The SMCC provided Council with suggestions on possible resolutions, Council then voted to defer consideration of the report until further consultation between stakeholders was completed.
The SMCC will be providing more information to riders as it comes to hand.

Background:
The Avalon Airport site proposal had been put to the Sporting Motor Cycle Club in April by the now retired CEO of Motorcycling Australia (MA) David White, as the likely solution to transitioning club motorcycling activities from McAdam Park to a replacement regional level facility. The proposed venture purportedly came with the approval of Avalon Airport; contradicting its previous official position toward the placement of MX activities in the Airport environs.

In 2009 the Airport had originally approved the establishment a club level MX facility situated nearby the Airport on crown land on Dandos Rd. A change of heart in 2012 then saw Airport management discount the establishment of MX facilities near the airport saying it would impede operations. The Airport position recently went full circle, and somewhat bewilderingly, when Airport management again gave approval for a MX facility; this time for a larger Regional facility - on Airport land!

Since this latest Avalon Airport venture was first mooted, attempts to gain any factual information from MA or our local authorities had provided only hearsay. This gave the SMCC little confidence in the seriousness of commitment to the project; the entire exercise has turned out to be more akin to a rush of hot air from an Airbus A320 jet.

Local motorcycling enthusiasts and clubs now face dark times with McAdam Park's impending closure scheduled for December 2015 - and no replacement riding facilities for either club in sight.

By choosing to close down McAdam Park and along with it, priceless existing usage rights, MA has a responsibility to find new homes for the two clubs who are soon to be left homeless - the Sporting Motor Cycle Club and the Geelong Motocross Club, who also lost their home track at Breakwater following the Geelong City forcing its closure in 2007.

It now seems the Geelong City Council for one, wants Motorcycling Australia to take responsibility for finding replacement facilities. From the SMCC discussions with Surf Coast Shire, they too are looking to MA to provide solutions.

The task of securing a future for motocross and off road motorcycling clubs in Geelong and Surf Coast regions seems to have turned into a game of hot potato.

Riders only have 12 months to go before being left with no legal ring facilities whatsoever. Can we expect MA to step up on past performances? - will our respective Councils become more proactive in helping save our clubs and our sport? - or will we again be left standing on the tarmac at the back of an Airbus A320?

Stay tuned to Sporting Motor Cycle Club updates via your email, this website or on our Facebook Barrabool Sporting Mcc as our club sets about righting this wrong and woeful situation.

15th June 2014
Press Release - McAdam Park club demands Motorcycling Australia remove ex CEO

The Sporting Motor Cycle Club (SMCC) of McAdam Park, Barrabool, has served notice on Motorcycling Australia (MA) requesting the now semi-retired CEO of MA, David White, be removed from further involvement in any matters regarding the SMCC, McAdam Park, or any potential future facility for the local riders of the region.

Following the recent appointment of Dale Gilson as new COE of MA, the Board requested Mr. White (who since MA taking ownership had been managing McAdam Park matters) continue in a lesser role to oversee MA's exit from McAdam Park and the possible establishment of another new facility.

The SMCC informed CEO Dale Gilson that the club has no confidence in Mr. White to perform these duties and have asked for his removal.

President of the SMCC, Gary Adams says "We are hoping that with the change of guard at MA we will finally have our voice heard and sense will prevail. Barrabool used to be a great place; for nearly 5 decades we never had an issue. It only took 4 years, but under the direction of David White we are facing the demise of McAdam Park and motorcycling in our region is now in a shambles. Enough is enough. From the beginning the SMCC has felt slighted by MA; the club invested years of toil and nearly $300,000 on fundraising efforts and expert consultants in order to raise half of the $3.1M needed to help MA purchase McAdam Park - this has not only never been recognised - but we have also been told our money is gone!"

The final straw for the SMCC was the formulation of an exit agreement late last year between McAdam Park neighbours and MA, whereby MA has agreed to sell McAdam Park as farmland once the gates are finally closed at the end of 2015, after which MA will voluntarily extinguish the valuable land usage rights attached to the land. The SMCC was largely responsible for proving existing use rights existed in a Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) proceeding in 2011.

"This was negotiated behind our backs, by the time we knew it was all but signed off. It's fair enough MA wanting to get out after having spent over $1M on obviously fraught legal battles, but as the representative for our sport, how could you throw away priceless legal existing usage rights for motorcycling? If I had something that valuable I wouldn't be throwing it away."

A recent announcement from MA stated the reason for closing McAdam Park was because of a recent VCAT decision; the SMCC says the announcement is misleading to the public and devoid of the facts. Mr Adams continued, "VCAT did not determine that motorcycling could not continue at McAdam Park, they only refused what MA 'wanted' for McAdam Park - there's a huge difference. The facts are the VCAT findings suggested the McAdam Park site could possibly continue on a smaller scale of operation consistent with existing use rights should that be desired. The rights are still attached to the land; these rights can be passed on to new owners. MA fell down because it sought much higher levels of use than historic club usage, this is what VCAT refused. If not for the exit agreement, it could have been possible for motor bike riding to continue, only on a lower scale. This is what the neighbour group were asking for; the gulf was never bridged and is the reason for the years of conflict."

"Basically David White and the Board have said 'if we can't have McAdam Park for high levels of use, then no-one can have it, even for low levels of use'. The whole deal smacks of self-interest, mixed in with a good dose of discrimination and prejudice on more than one level. We have one mess behind us and in trying to sort what to do in future it looks like another is coming."

Geelong and regions riders had for 40 years enjoyed the use of 2 tracks until 2008 when the urban based Breakwater track closed. In 2009 the City of Greater Geelong announced a new site was available nearby Avalon Airport, but was left aside as the focus was on McAdam Park. More recently the SMCC had for several years been urging MA to accept that for McAdam Park to survive it must return to being a low key club level facility; and MA must instead pursue other potential sites for a second Motocross track. The SMCC says this would have the effect of removing pressure from the McAdam Park situation and allow breathing space to renegotiate with governments over funding and seek a resolution with neighbours.

"Regrettably, David White could not accept this alternate thinking, and up until recently had doggedly refused our pleas to investigate the golden opportunity of a possible second track at Avalon - we have his personally signed letter saying so. Now that his policies have failed and MA is selling up McAdam Park, guess where investigations for a new track are leading? Unfortunately, as a replacement the new site is not a patch on McAdam Park - it is small, flat and rocky. It would have best served as the second track for the regions riders - not the only one. To add insult to injury, Mr. White has indicated to us that the only funds going into the proposed new facility would be what little is left from government funding, the remaining funds derived from selling McAdam Park it seems will be absorbed into MA general revenue."

Mr. Adams concluded, "David White's handling of this entire process has lacked any real inclusion and transparency from its beginning in 2009. The SMCC has invested huge amounts of time and money into securing McAdam Park; as far as we're concerned we are part owners - we have been the silent partners long enough. David White was the person responsible for directing the MA Board on matters at McAdam Park, so he's also accountable for the travesty that has happened here, and to our sport locally. We cannot accept that he continue in any role associated with controlling what is our money and our future."

SMCC.

7th March 2014
MA Sells Out McAdam Park - The Ramifications

With the recent news of the imminent closure of McAdam Park we've analysed exactly what this means for the Sporting Motorcycle Club and how this disgraceful situation came about. Read the article here.

28th February 2014
SMCC Bulletin

All,

Tuesday, the 25th February 2014 will be remembered as a dark day in the history of off road motorcycling.

After 4 years of conflict with neighbours, Motorcycling Australia (MA), the owner of the iconic McAdam Park motorcycling facility, has conceded defeat in its battle to turn the venue into a high level, multi user motorcycling facility. McAdam Park will close its gates for the final time at the end of 2015.

At a VCAT directions hearing held this week, MA entered a binding settlement agreement with a local land holders group whereby MA will sacrifice the existing usage rights for motorcycling which are attached to the land, and ultimately sell McAdam Park.

Though the Sporting Motor Cycle Club (SMCC) were a joint party to several VCAT proceedings spanning nearly 4 years, MA chose not to allow the club to have a say in these most recent negotiations over McAdam Park's future. It was largely from the efforts of SMCC members that via a lengthy VCAT proceeding in 2011, existing usage rights were won and motorcycle riding formalised as a lawful activity on the land.

The SMCC, who has been based at McAdam Park since 1962, will now face being left homeless, with no guarantees of an alternate replacement facility. Needless to say the club is astounded at this devastating course of action taken by MA; especially as alternative courses of action which possibly could have resolved issues with the local community were never explored.

The SMCC believes the core reason for this outcome was MA's dogged unwillingness to negotiate toward a realistic and fair outcome. When MA acquired the property in 2009 and conflict arose, local residents voiced their objections saying they would only tolerate ongoing usage if it were based around historic club levels; MA's intentions were vastly different though and to the end maintained its insistence for McAdam Park to have high levels of activity and for it to be used by multiple user groups - that gulf was never breached. VCAT did not accept that MA's plans would be an appropriate outcome.

Under the settlement agreement, McAdam Park will operate until December 2015 on a more restricted basis. Details on clubs usage in 2014 are yet to be provided.

In closing - The SMCC would like to say we are sorry to all supporters, individuals, clubs and businesses who helped with the 'Saving Barrabool' campaign to get us across the line in 2009. The aim was simply for the SMCC to gain control of the land and also honour the legacy left by Clive McAdam and family who wanted the SMCC to continue so that we could then control our own destiny. All funding raised was handed to MA to assist with purchase of the land. What lay ahead no one could have expected.

The rest as they say, is history.

With regard to our future club operations, the SMCC is already in negotiation with our local and state government representatives.

Regards,
SMCC

26th October
Barrabool - Keep The Bulldozers Out!

We have reached a crucial stage in our battle to save McAdam Park.

A VCAT directions hearing was held on Friday 18 October to decide the next steps over enforcement orders issued to MA by Surf Coast Shire and the local residents group to remove infrastructure at McAdam Park.
All of McAdam Park clubs also had the opportunity to be heard in the proceedings; SMCC represented on behalf of not only our members, but everyone in our motorcycling community who wants to see McAdam Park saved for motorcycling.

The VCAT proceedings did not produce the results anticipated by the tribunal, so another hearing date has been set for November 22nd. The sad news is, barring minor miracles, McAdam Park may soon again be shut for a prolonged period, during which time nearly all buildings will be removed and the track bulldozed, yes bulldozed!! The tracks jumps (and the bridge) and most of the fixtures and buildings at McAdam Park - including the clubrooms will likely soon face being levelled!

This follows Motorcycling Australia having lost a planning permit application in VCAT in August, due mostly to the continuing gulf existing between MA's wants (lots of events to cater for 3 clubs, MA's own large scale events etc.) and those of the Surf Coast Shire and the residents group at Barrabool (they wanted fair and reasonable noise limits / controls and a lesser number of events - loosely based on historic usage).

At this stage MA will not be challenging the enforcement orders to bulldoze; excepting the toilets, pump shed and start chute shelter. So unless something extraordinary happens very soon it means McAdam Park could become virtually an open paddock. We will have no shelter, nowhere to operate events and ride days from, no first aid facilities, no canteen, not even storage room for our gear as the shipping containers would go!

If the enforcement orders are given the go ahead, this could trigger a long period of the track being closed next year until the buildings / jumps are removed - unless an alternative action can be negotiated. SMCC is working toward securing a less devastating outcome if at all possible.

Unfortunately for riders, both the Shire and the residents group are now pushing hard for VCAT to make a ruling on the enforcement orders. SMCC sense both these parties frustration over escalating costs and MA refusing to back down on unrealistic expectations for McAdam Park, to the point where the residents now just want things to end - it's a sad day when frustration becomes an overriding factor as grounds to solve a disagreement!

An extraordinary amount of money has been spent to date on McAdam Park legal battles, more than enough to buy one of the blocks of land! MA alone have spent well over $500,000 of riders funds, on a fight that possibly could have been avoided in light of alternative resolutions that have been put forward!

Even the VCAT Deputy President, who has been involved from the very beginning (for those not familiar with VCAT - his role is like that of a judge) said he was extremely frustrated with the whole process as there were obvious common sense solutions available but are being ignored; SMCC share this frustration!

The whole situation has not been helped by the refusal of MA and others to support SMCC in looking for a second track in Geelong - a key point made in the VCAT tribunal reasoning's for not allowing MA a permit was the entrenchment of use that would occur if the proposal of more clubs and further development were allowed at McAdam Park. Local residents have long encouraged the establishment of a second facility in the Geelong region for the obvious reasons of lessening the need to use McAdam Park. Yes - obvious solutions have been ignored, but not through a lack of trying from SMCC.

WHAT CAN WE DO?
SMCC was informed only days earlier that our club is legally bound as part of the VCAT proceedings (this is due to our involvement in the 2011 VCAT proceedings which ensured we won existing use rights for Lots 1 and 2 at McAdam Park, Barrabool). SMCC represented at the Oct. 18 VCAT hearing (no other clubs attended) and put forward our intentions as requested to try preserve hope for McAdam Park and defend the rights of members and riders; we expressed we wish to retain a number of the buildings and track jumps and are willing to put forward a new planning permit application - one which we feel may satisfy the needs of the local community (based on previous submissions).

If SMCC did not make an appearance at the Oct. 18 VCAT hearing ours and riders rights would have been forfeited; and with no one else advocating for retaining the facilities we all need, effectively it may all have ended at that point.

SMCC is now pursuing all avenues towards salvaging a future for McAdam Park as well as a healthy future for motorcycling in Geelong and Surf Coast regions through our "2 tracks, 2 club facilities = Regional solution" strategy.

You should act now if you want improvement instead of further decline! McAdam Park, and affected clubs in Geelong and regions are extremely important parts of our regions motorcycling heritage and we must work toward a future that is best for all!

Help us stop the bulldozers before it is too late! Sporting Motor Cycle Club welcomes your input and any offers of assistance.

20th September 2013
Right Of Reply From SMCC

This posting is a response to false comments and accusations made toward the Sporting Motor Cycle Club and its members, which were recently published on Facebook. The comments followed a series of similar commentary delivered via a self declared social media campaign initiated by well known Geelong motorcycle store manager David O'Brien, which is defamatory of the SMCC and seeks to smear the character of our members.

Mr. O'Brien's assertions reached new heights recently when he made unfounded and absurd accusations by unfairly blaming SMCC members for influencing a determination made in recent legal proceedings between Motorcycling Australia and a Barrabool Hills community group, which neither SMCC nor any of its members had anything to do with. His comments initiated a spate of similar unfounded comments from Mr. O'Brien's Facebook followers which were gratuitously vile and hurtful.

Our SMCC members, along with their families, are most upset due to the ongoing hurtful and often personal aspersions and accusations being made.

In the SMCC's view, this is another chapter in the misleading stories about the SMCC and its members that Mr. O'Brien peddles through his various Facebook accounts, one of which has portrayed itself as somehow being affiliated with the Sporting MCC. The page contains information plagiarised from SMCC. While the page is run anonymously, in SMCC's view, the page is run under the direction of Mr. O'Brien, and much of its content is disparaging of SMCC members.

Despite some of the Facebook comments having recently been removed, this does not lessen the ongoing distress to members and families and damage that has already occurred.

This letter is on behalf of SMCC Committee and members and was approved at the SMCC September club meeting.

SMCC

18th September 2013
MA Gives Status Report On McAdam Park - Post VCAT

Hi all,

Monday evening Sept 9th, SMCC reps attended a meeting with McAdam Park clubs and MA to receive a status report on McAdam Park following the recent VCAT determination. After having consulted with MA lawyers and various authorities, MA CEO David White advised the clubs of the options available to MA in moving forward at McAdam Park. Long story short, sadly none of the options contained good news.

To firstly refresh everyone's memory, as reported in our last SMCC bulletin - VCAT recently refused MA's application for a singular planning permit for new buildings and works, most existing buildings and some major track works (the bigger jumps).

The VCAT tribunal refused the application as it deemed MA's proposal would ultimately 'entrench' the amount of motorcycle usage to levels that were unacceptable from a planning perspective - "This is demonstrated to an extent by the entrenchment that has already occurred since 2000, partly in conjunction with the unlawful buildings and works constructed since that time, including the purchase of the site by MA and the relocation of the GMCC to the site.

Indeed, that appears to be part of the rationale for the proposal - to establish the site as the long term home for the GMCC - and, with such a home and improved permanent infrastructure, all of the clubs would be expected to be better placed to grow and to host inter-club, regional, state, national and possibly international events"
.

From their findings, VCAT advised that a suitable outcome may be achieved through motorcycling groups pursuing / establishing a second facility within the Geelong region - "Ultimately, a decision may be required by those involved to find a new home for the type of long term or permanent facility sought for the motocross community of this region with the review site (McAdam Park) able to continue a smaller scale operation consistent with its existing use rights should that be desired".

VCAT also suggested a new more basic planning permit application could be submitted to Surf Coast Shire - "Ultimately, we consider a more fundamental strategic planning exercise is required" - though the tribunal emphasised a more thorough noise management plan is needed if a new planning application was to be made.

From the VCAT decision, Surf Coast Shire is duty bound to serve enforcement orders on MA giving just 90 days for MA to provide it's intended course of action (see options below). If no action is taken, ultimately MA may soon be required to bulldoze the track and most of the buildings at McAdam Park, including the clubrooms, toilet block and storage sheds! This in effect would (if the demolition goes ahead) make the facility no different to a green field site leaving just a track with some small jumps and no amenities or shelter. This outcome can be avoided and is definitely not acceptable to SMCC!

STATUS REPORT - McADAM PARK
At the Monday 9th Sept. meeting, David White put forward five options to the clubs:

1. Appeal against the VCAT decision in the Supreme Court. Agreed action: RULED OUT
2. Sell the property. Agreed action: ???
3. Accept VCAT decision and bulldoze track and amenities. Agreed action: ???
4. MA to make a new planning permit application based on very restricted usage shared between all clubs. Agreed action: ???
5. Submit a planning amendment application to have the land rezoned for motorsport. Agreed action: RULED OUT

It was certainly disappointing to hear this bleak news and disappointing that nothing positive was put forward to us at the meeting. We now know that options 1 and 5 are out. At this point there is uncertainty over the other options. Perhaps there are others not yet put on the table? We hope so.

Option 2 - Sell. MA they say they still want to retain the property for the 3 clubs to use - although this goes directly against the VCAT recommendations and MA gave no explanation on how this seeming unlikely outcome could be achieved? Selling remains a potential option; it need not mean we have to lose McAdam Park. It would require negotiation with all tiers of Government, the new owners and the neighbour group if motorcycling was to continue at McAdam Park. MA would need to be pro-active in working toward this goal rather than simply selling the property and have it lost to motorcycling forever. SMCC and MA Board of Directors are to meet soon to discuss all available options in securing the best future for McAdam Park and motorcycling in our region.
Option 3 - Bulldoze. This is looming as a very real possibility as MA has provided little in the way of alternatives.
Option 4 - Submit new permit application. This is looking like the only possible avenue available if the buildings and track are to be saved from being bulldozed. As per the VCAT findings any new application would need to be on a very low key scale - the difficulties being 1 The very limited usage all clubs would have (if successful) 2 any proposal including use by all clubs again goes against VCAT findings?

At the meeting, SMCC stated that perhaps it is best to consider all possibilities by starting afresh and looking at the bigger picture; the most important thing being securing the best outcomes for all riders and our future generations.

SMCC put forward that any proposed solution must include the re-establishment of a second track / facility in the Geelong region; this is of paramount importance to relieve the burden on McAdam Park (and is something the neighbours have stated they wish to see as part of an overall solution). SMCC believe this is the only strategy that will provide any chance of saving some motorcycle usage at McAdam Park.

GEELONG CITY $650,000 FUNDING - MX PROJECT
Although not an issue for VCAT, the refusal of a planning permit also means the City of Greater Geelong council $650,000 funding set aside for the relocation of GMCC must now be reviewed by council (as per CoGG Council minutes May 2010) CoGG Council must now reconsider its options on possible venues for a new MX facility. McAdam Park can no longer be viewed as a regional facility due to its incapacity to adequately provide for multiple clubs. The VCAT findings also bring in to question how MA can now comply with both State Government and Surf Coast Shire funding agreements.

A NEW SECOND TRACK??
There is some great news coming to hand though - we have just learned of a potential new MX site being considered which is within the City of Geelong. Just several weeks ago the Avalon Airport management was asked to consider the possibility of a establishing a MX track nearby the airport, to which management responded they are now willing to consider. This exciting new development means there now may be two options of land for the CoGG council to consider for a new MX facility; either on the airport land itself within a proposed motorsport precinct (as per Airport Master Plans), or the old MX site originally approved by CoGG in 2009, which is just down the road and on crown land.

With either option, the land would not need to be purchased, so the $650,000 CoGG funding could go directly into track and infrastructure; this in effect means riders would get a facility with a conservative value of $2M - for no financial outlay! Now there's a nice thought!

The above ties in nicely with any future plans to save McAdam Park for motorcycling, but an air of urgency now hangs over McAdam Park. Time is of the essence to stop the bulldozers as critical decisions must be made! SMCC do not want McAdam Park bulldozed; according to the VCAT rulings there may be a way forward.

We must be positive! We all have the opportunity to not only secure a new second track in Geelong but also keep motorcycling going at McAdam Park. SMCC is being pro-active working toward making this great outcome happen for all riders!

Getting back to the meeting, and again using the VCAT recommendations as the impetus, SMCC has tendered to MA that the most likely chance of successfully staving off the bulldozers and retaining some buildings and motorcycle usage of McAdam Park is through MA working with SMCC - and for the SMCC to submit a new more fundamental strategic planning proposal to Surf Coast Shire council. This suggestion was based on the good relationship SMCC have with both the Surf Coast Shire and the neighbours.

At this stage MA has committed to making enquiries with Surf Coast Shire regarding this option.
It is very early days yet and no promises have been given. We shall wait and see what eventuates in the coming days.

SMCC
Preserving heritage
Working for today's riders
Planning for future generations

26th August 2013
SMCC Bulletin - VCAT

Late last week the VCAT tribunal released its findings on the planning permit application which was submitted by Motorcycling Australia to Surf Coast Shire in March 2012.

The planning permit application was asking for approval for buildings and works (jumps on the track - yes, by law some of them require a permit!). VCAT determined that no permit be granted.

A key reason for the refusal was that the proposed works and buildings would enhance and 'entrench' the existing use; meaning they would 'encourage and attract more use of the land'. In basic terms meaning no surety could be given to controlling future levels of use or noise.

Another key factor was the number of user groups wishing to use McAdam Park - potentially intensifying usage beyond what the tribunal considered acceptable, and therefore also an entrenchment of use. A bench mark date used in the VCAT proceedings was the year 2000. Usage prior to this date was OK (in lay terms), anything after has been deemed to be the period when the entrenchment of use began - "This is demonstrated to an extent by the entrenchment that has already occurred since 2000, partly in conjunction with the unlawful buildings and works constructed since that time, including the purchase of the site by MA and the relocation of the GMCC to the site."

On the brighter side, we can still ride motorbikes there (notwithstanding noise compliance issues - more on that later). McAdam Park still retains its existing use rights for motorcycle use; MA & SMCC were granted usage rights following a separate VCAT hearing in 2011.

As to what happens in the future, one possibility is for new planning permit applications to be submitted to Surf Coast Shire but on a more modest scale e.g. simply for the existing buildings and infrastructure.

The tribunal noted -

"Ultimately, a decision may be required by those involved to find a new home for the type of long term or permanent facility sought for the motocross community of this region with the review site (Barrabool) able to continue a smaller scale operation consistent with its existing use rights should that be desired". +" Ultimately, we consider a more fundamental strategic planning exercise is required" + "This is, potentially, an avenue that could be revisited by MA through a fresh application to the Council".

On the face of things, there remains potential for an excellent outcome for McAdam Park, riders of our region and all associated parties. Clearly there is still opportunity to retain riding activity at McAdam Park as a smaller scale club run facility. The VCAT findings should be used constructively as the catalyst; to end the uncertainty surrounding the future of off road motorcycling in the Geelong area. The door is now open for riders to work together to attain that second track that we all want (and had a few short years ago, and arguably isn't this the ideal situation?).

The VCAT decision clearly vindicates the message SMCC has been sending out for some time i.e. - our region and our clubs must have two tracks and two club facilities! Only then can we have two strong and healthy clubs. Only then will we achieve a good resolution. Anything other is not a solution and would be an injustice to motorcycling and local riders.

There is another hurdle to overcome yet though, the stay of proceedings in the Magistrates Court over noise nuisance issues is now over and MA, Surf Coast Shire and neighbour representatives must now resolve this matter in court. Obviously we do not know how these proceedings will pan out, but we do know the VCAT findings show there is potential for an amicable outcome.

The VCAT findings also mean that the currently available City of Greater Geelong funding of $650,000 can not be spent at Barrabool. That funding should, and must be used within the municipality of Geelong for its original purpose - to find a new home for the Geelong Motocross Club. SMCC would be more than happy to try attaining a workable solution with our neighbours and stay at McAdam Park - that is the legacy Clive McAdam wished to leave behind - and as a club we ceaselessly have been and remain committed to see Clive's wishes honoured.

Furthermore, we would hate to see the many years of hard work and financial commitment put in by SMCC and members toward saving our home of 50 years, and in particular winning existing use rights for motorcycling at McAdam Park for SMCC and MA, be simply thrown away whilst opportunity exists!

We have the opportunity - if all riders, clubs and MA work together - to again have two tracks in Geelong and Surf Coast regions!!

In conclusion, you can rest assured that SMCC will be advocating strongly to achieve the 'best possible outcome' for all riders of our region, and will be lobbying all levels of government to ensure such a result.

SMCC

17th August 2013
Facebook Slander

As some of you may be aware, there are certain allegations being made on Facebook by David O'Brien concerning the Sporting committee. We would like to publicly declare that these allegations are patently untrue and only portray Mr O'Brien's interpretation of recent events. Coupled with the input of people who, like Mr O'Brien also, won't even meet with our committee to discuss issues regarding McAdam Park, we're now faced with a hostile mob mentality that spouts rubbish with no basis in reality.

I'm more than happy to discuss any issue with anyone out there, our general meetings are held on the second Tuesday of the month at the clubrooms.

Regards,
Andrew Fratantaro - Vice President,
On behalf of the Sporting Motorcycle Club committee.

14th August 2013
Ride For Kids 2013

Ride 4 Kids 2013 The Ride 4 Kids Charity Event is on again and Challenge is calling all riders to register for the day.

The event is on Sunday, 20th October and is being run by the Dandenong MC in Wonthaggi. This is a fantastic event for a great cause so we encourage everyone to get involved.

For more info please grab a copy of the event flyer.

1st August 2013
Thursday Practice Day - Thanks All

The Sporting committee would like to say a big thanks to everyone who was involved and helped with the running of the practice afternoon today. The VCAT members and MA legal people were impressed by, and appreciative of, the effort involved and going by the feedback given it seems we've made a favourable impression.

We'd also like to say thanks to Moto Tech for their efforts and also thank you to the members of OTR and GMCC for their assistance.

SMCC Committee.

20th July 2013
SMCC Club Championships

Sporting Motor Cycle Club presents:

Barrabool Motocross Championships

For 2013 SMCC is running a 2 round Club Championships series:

  • Rnd 1 - August 18th. Natural Terrain MX
  • Rnd 2 - Oct 6th.

Lots of classes. All ages - juniors to vets.
Feature handicap race.
First time riders catered for - come and give it a go!

20th July 2013
Congratulations Dave Jury - New SMCC President

SMCC had another good meeting last week with a new president was voted in via unanimous vote. Congratulations to David Jury for taking on the challenge. Dave is a long time passionate member who was especially active during the Saving Barrabool years helping the club with running of events like the Oceania MX Championships.

We would like to say thanks to Dave for his renewed commitment to the club. We are confident you have the best interests of all riders and motorcycling at heart and you have the committee's full support.

11th July 2013
Membership Renewals

Sporting MCC's ride day month is now over and we would like to thank all the SMCC members who helped run some great events and ride days throughout June. A good job done by everyone. SMCC are back on board in August.

In the meantime, GMCC are running ride days in July. See their website for track opening times.

SMCC Memberships are only $50 and run for 12 months from the date of joining. Go to our membership page, fill out the form and send it in or come to our monthly meeting on the 2nd Tuesday of each month, 7.30pm at the club rooms. Our club championship starts in August so now is a good time to join up. Keep your eyes on this website and facebook for more details on upcoming events etc. You can find SMCC on Facebook at 'Barrabool Sporting MCC'.

12th June 2013
A Message From SMCC

The SMCC committee would like to say we are working hard for the betterment of our club and for motorcycling in the Geelong region. As we have done for many years, we are committed to putting on the best possible events for all our members - junior and senior - and to have each of our club days be a great fun and friendly day. We look forward to our club days as being a great way of bonding and building loyalty in a club.

As always we are looking for new members to be a part of, and help run, the club. This event and the working bees prior (this Saturday 10am) are another opportunity to be a part of our great club which has put on so many great events over the years and the current committee is comprised of those same dedicated people who want to see great things being done for our sport.

Our upcoming Pony Express event was advertised and permitted by MV as a "Club" event but there seems to be a misunderstanding of it being an "Open" event for all comers. As a club event it's open to financial club members only.

Applications for memberships and our Pony Xpress are coming in. Due to recent spate of vitriolic comments and criticisms against the Sporting Club by certain individuals it has forced us into the unfortunate situation of having to review some applications. If your recent application has been rejected this is probably why. If you feel that you've been wrongly done by then please feel free to contact any Sporting committee member.

Regards and best wishes to our loyal members and supporters,

From SMCC Committee:

Andrew Fratantaro
Stuart Turner
Peter Ovens
Michael Pedri
Cameron Dixon
Shannon Dixon
Wayne Barry
Chris Clarke
Bernie Leen
Gary Adams
Dave Stewart

18th April 2013
Setting The Record Straight

After well meaning efforts to try bring about a better working relationship between McAdam Park clubs, sadly our President Len Newland has had to reconsider his position within the club. Lens references to social media relate to a recent letter put on Facebook by Dave O’Brien, manager of Peter Stevens Motorcycles Geelong.

Len's feelings mirror other many members disillusioned by the ongoing persecution and misinformation being spread about SMCC and their efforts at McAdam Park.

Please take a minute to read Len's letter of resignation here.

13th April 2013
SMCC Track Happenings

SMCC Membership Drive - Sunday 7th April
Thanks to everyone who attended our opening ride day for 2013 and welcome to our new member applicants! Special thanks to all our volunteer club members also who did a great job doing all the different tasks involved in running ride days, from prepping the track to noise testing bikes and of course the officials and first aid officer. A great team effort! Thanks also to the riders who chipped in with helping water the track, all it took was a simple request and everyone appeared out of the woodwork - great to see so many willing helpers!

It seems there were some misunderstandings over what the day was however; which was a membership drive for members and prospective members operating under special conditions permitted for this one day only. SMCC was directed to have only members riding; so the club had to devise special arrangements to accommodate GMCC members in case some wanted to join in on the days activities.

The offer was to waive the normal $20 ride fee and a $10 discount on memberships - a pretty good deal considering we also have 4 great SMCC club events lined up this year for our members to enjoy! Unfortunately it seems some people didn't like this because they'd heard a rumour which someone had told their mate - who had heard from his sisters school friend - who's Aunty had seen something mentioned on twitter - that our membership day was a normal "all in" ride day for everyone - which it wasn't! SMCC simply followed instruction by operating within the parameters set.

Maybe in the future if riders have any questions about how these days are run they can approach one of our friendly officials and get their queries addressed, it would also make things simpler for the Facebook warriors as well!

Noise Testing Update
As you would know by now all bikes must pass a noise test before being allowed to ride at McAdam Park. It is the perogative of the noise test officer to ask for a bike to be retested if he/ she considers a bike may not comply, even if that bike has a sticker in place from a previous testing. Why? Stickers are valid for 3 months but this can be overruled if the bikes noise output increases; many mufflers lose efficiency with each use. Some bikes which have tested in the upper range of the limit (which is 112dBA + 2), may not last 3 months or even 3 weeks (as we found at last week), so officials will be keeping an eye on these bikes to make sure they do not go over the prescribed limit. So the message is this; if your bike tests close to the limit, make sure you do something to improve it before you come back next time!

For obvious reasons this is all in our best interests and also helps educate riders in becoming 'noise familiar' with their bikes. When you think about it, why would anyone complain about being asked to make sure their bike complies? You would have to be a selfish dill to want to make too much noise and spoil it for everyone eh?
If you hear anyone complaining or want to have a go at someone yourself - call Motorcycling Australia, Ph. 9684 0516

2013 SMCC CALENDAR - NOW UP!
See the calendar section or click on this link for all club activities for 2013. The number of events may not be many, but the ones we do have planned are guaranteed to be fun as always. Plenty of ride time for senior and junior riders, special events with a difference (when has an SMCC event not been fun!), Club Championships for all levels and classes of rider, some off track action for the off road and veteran riders and more! All we need is you!

Ride Days / practice day dates will be announced on the run on the website and track infoline 0400684374.

RIDE DAYS
Noise testing!! This is the big challenge for riders this year, all bikes will be tested and your bike must comply or else you can not ride. Noise control is something SMCC have wanted introduced for some time, as the days of not thinking about how much noise your bike makes are well and truly over. The limit is 112 decibels, which probably means nothing to most people but as a rule of thumb, if your bike sounds loud then most likely it is too loud to be ridden at McAdam Park! Most mini bikes usually pass as do most newer model 2 stroke big bikes. Please make sure your muffler is freshly packed! Bikes tested within limits will have a sticker applied to the pipe which gives you 3 months compliance from date of issue. ALL bikes will be tested at ALL ride days and race days - be warned!
Help wanted! 2013 Ride Days will be restricted in numbers unless we have more club members (we have 300!) pitching in to help at Ride Days (and Club race days).

As we are not sure how many days we can man with volunteer helpers, ride days will need to be announced as we go. Of course the more people who can spare time to be a volunteer official or first aider or noise testing officer, then the more days we can open! A reminder - a condition of joining the club is to help out at two club activities for the year - now's your chance! Please contact sporting@smcc.com.au if you can help out.

RIDE FEES
SMCC must comply with M.A. guidelines and set prices in line with other user clubs for 2013 ride day / practice day fees. Ride fees for 2013 are:
$20 - flat rate - senior / family / junior
Ask about our ride voucher incentives if helping out at work bees / ride days / club days etc!!

22nd March 2012
SMCC Membership Info

Joining SMCC has changed a little this year, when you fill in your membership form you'll be filling in a 'nomination' for membership. Your membership application will then go before the club committee for approval, in the meantime you can use your membership recipt as proof of your application and it will apply as a 30 day interim membership until your application can be approved.

If you would like to gain membership on the spot you can come to a club meeting (2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month) at the clubrooms and have your membership application approved on the spot.

9th November 2011
2011 Club Champs Final Results

The final results from this year's club champs have been collated. To view them, go to the results page by hovering over the Racing/Riding heading in the menu bar above and then choose Club Day Meetings>Club Day Results.

3rd August 2011
Extreme Pony Express Results

The results from Sunday's Extreme Pony Express are now available. For those of you who didn't make it you can read a report of the day's events here.

SMCC Classifieds Page

The Sporting website now has its own classifieds page. It's free for all club members to use if they're looking to sell or buy any bike related bits. Details on how to place your ad are all on the page.
Click the link below to take a look.
Classifieds Page

If you're trying to find an article that's no longer on this page, take a look in our news archive.

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