Community to have their say on future of Newcastle 500

12 Dec 2022

City of Newcastle will seek feedback from the community before, during and after next year's Newcastle 500 as part of a consultation strategy prepared to guide future decisions on the event.

Councillors will vote tonight to place the draft strategy on public exhibition ahead of its planned implementation leading into the Supercars season-opener, which will be held in Newcastle from 10-12 March 2023.

Next year's race is the final event to be held under the existing agreement between Supercars Australia, City of Newcastle and Destination NSW.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the future of the Newcastle 500 beyond the final race is a decision of the NSW Government in the first instance as the consent authority for the race.

"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 March 2023 event," Cr Nelmes said.

CEO Jeremy Bath said City of Newcastle is committed to undertaking broad community consultation prior to entering into any agreement should Destination NSW and Supercars Australia propose a five-year extension to continue the event in Newcastle.

"The draft community consultation strategy has been developed by KPMG and includes an evidence-based methodology to understand the opinions of the Newcastle community and ensure that key stakeholders have their voices heard and considered," Mr Bath said.

"At this time, no decision has been reached by any of the three parties on an extension of the race beyond March 2023."

The draft consultation strategy proposes gathering feedback from the community via a random telephone survey across the entire city, designed to canvas a range of views from across Newcastle's demographic profile and an online survey that will allow all members of the community to take part in the consultation process.

In-person surveys are proposed around the event precinct during the race period to provide insight into attendees' behaviours including visitation to local businesses, while three post-event stakeholder workshops with community, business and industry representatives will also be held.

The consultation strategy will be placed on public exhibition for six weeks and finalised following community and stakeholder feedback. A report on the feedback and insights from the community to inform the decision about any potential extension of the Newcastle 500 will be prepared for Council mid next year.