Races ruling looms
A LONG-WINDED dispute between the Stanthorpe and District Sporting Car Club and its opponents could soon come to an end, with a court possibly set to rule on the latest row in February.
This is not the first dispute between the car club and the opponents of Carnell Raceway during the club's history.
The most recent saga kicked off when the SDSCC approached the Southern Downs Regional Council for permission to hold more race events.
Originally the club asked for an extra 40 days and permission to hold practice sessions.
After many objections were received from nearby residents - mainly regarding noise - the council decided to compromise and offered the club 24 extra race days.
The opponents of the raceway were against the decision, claiming it contradicted rules put in place by the council in 1994.
In response, the opponents lodged a complaint with the Planning and Environment Court.
The SDRC and the car club were both ordered by the Planning and Environment Court to fork out more money for yet another round of noise testing at the race track at the weekend just gone.
SDSCC vice-president Rob Brown said noise testing had been completed and submitted to the court two years ago.
And while nervous about what the final decision would be, Mr Brown said he was looking forward to the saga coming to an end, hopefully in February.
"The appeal process has cost the club and the council a lot of money," he said.
Mr Brown said with costs for everything on the rise, the current allowance of 12 race days a year was not enough to keep the club sustainable.
He said he had no regrets about fighting the appeal process in the first place.
"We needed this to happen in order for the club to continue to grow," he said.
The noise experts have until Friday to compile their results from the weekend and submit them to the court.
The experts then have until December 22 to present a second report to all the parties with their joint expert opinion on the noise levels at Carnell Raceway.
The final decision could be then made in the Planning and Environment Court on February 6.
Mr Brown said he would just be happy when the saga was over.
He said the optimum result would be to have the court allow the club to host the agreed-upon 24 race days a year and practice sessions.
Southern Downs Mayor Peter Blundell said he felt it was unwise to comment on the issue while the legal proceedings were under way.
He did, however, say the council noise experts were at the track to assist with the legal process.