Newcastle Council pushing ahead for Supercars in March 2023

Newcastle Councillors have voted to support new dates for the Newcastle 500 Supercars race to return to the city’s streets.

The event would be held on 10-12 March next year as the season-opening race, although its staging is still subject to approval from State Government agencies including the Heritage Council of NSW, NSW Office of Sport and Destination NSW.

Supercars Australia is still waiting for the heritage approvals to come through which expired in April.

The COVID-19 pandemic prevented the final race scheduled under the existing contract between Destination NSW, City of Newcastle and Supercars Australia from proceeding in 2021 and 2022 – the original five-year contract is finished after this next race so negotiations will have to get underway about what happens next.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said Council’s support of the March 2023 date ensures clarity for local business and residents.

“Clarifying these new dates in March provides a good alternative to the previous season-closing events in terms of maximising the potential of the event from an economic perspective while also minimising disruption to the community and business operators,” Cr Nelmes said.

“The most recent economic assessment report by Ernst and Young found that on average, the Newcastle 500 delivered $36.2 million annually in total economic impact, which when compared with the $1.6 million cost of Council supporting the race, equates to $22.60 being returned to the local economy for every $1 council invested in the race.

Council also committed to partner with Destination NSW to prepare and publicly exhibit a community engagement plan in order to deliver extensive and broad community and stakeholder consultation on the potential to extend the current Supercars 500 agreement beyond 2023.

“Any inclusion of Newcastle as a potential host city for another five years will be subject to broad community and stakeholder consultation, and a decision of the elected Council after the proposed event next mid to late 2023.”

Councillors also voted to delegate authority to the CEO to enter necessary agreements to facilitate the March 2023 Newcastle 500. The agreements to enable the March 2023 event will be communicated to Councillors and published on City of Newcastle’s website.

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