Murwillumbah’s former old tip site could soon become a dirt motorbike track for enthusiasts after Tweed Shire Council flagged its support for the new use of the council land.
The disused 6.3 hectare landfill site in the town’s industrial precinct was closed two years ago, capped off and since monitored. The flood-free site had been proposed to be used as a council storage site.
Staff recommended the establishment of the track after a request by Tweed Valley Motorcycle Club, which has been looking for a site for years, and councillors last week gave in-principle support for it.
Previous attempts at establishing a dirt motorcycle track in the Tweed have been fruitless or controversial with proposals soon seized on by neighbouring landowners fearing impacts such as noise and fumes.
But staff say a preliminary review of the unused landfill site concludes the dirt bike activity would be suitable, if compatible with uses allowed in adjacent zones. Council spends about $15,000 a year on ground and surface water monitoring and weed control of the site and staff say a track would provide an opportunity to generate income.
Cr Kevin Skinner, a longtime advocate for such a facility, said the not-for-profit motorcycle club should be supported in their bid to have the tip site redeveloped into a track.
Cr Skinner said it would give the scores of club members a safe and controlled environment to enjoy their activity.
He said a dedicated track would benefit the area also as the Tweed’s national parks were being illegally used by young motorbike riders, which was a problem.
But Cr Dot Holdom said the proposal could ‘upset people out there, because they don’t want motorcycle riders out there’.
Cr Holdom failed in her move for the motorcycle club to conduct community consultation, including adjoining neighbours, before it lodged a development application, ‘just like telcos have to do for a phone tower’.
Cr Joan van Lieshout said noise and dust will be an issue for neighbours and noted that no environmental studies had been done on the tip site to see if the track was possible.
Crs Holdom and Katie Milne voted against the track.
In its letter to council, the club said it was considering merging with Gold Coast Motorcycle Club whose track at Reedy Creek is under threat of closure as it would boost club membership and allow more funding opportunities.
It said that almost two-thirds of the members of the Gold Coast club come from the Tweed.