Burning rubber: Neville Macintosh shows the crowd what his car can do at the Summerland Drag Races held on the Casino air strip in May.
Burning rubber: Neville Macintosh shows the crowd what his car can do at the Summerland Drag Races held on the Casino air strip in May. Marc Stapelberg

Summerland Drag races nosedive

SUMMERLAND Drags is like a Trojan Horse, according to Casino Aero Club president Russell Kennedy.

The Drags has lodged a development application with the Richmond Valley Council which, if granted, would allow it to hold the event at the Casino Aerodrome four times a year.

Mr Kennedy said the event outlined in the DA ramped up the ‘intensity’ of the drags to such a degree the aero club could nolonger support it.

“We support the original concept of street car races, but not this DA,” Mr Kennedy said.

The club is concerned about the impact the event will have on the airstrip.

“It is already showing superficial damage,” Mr Kennedy said.

Drags promoter David Lander has defended the DA saying four events a year would not damage the airstrip and denied the airstrip had already been damaged by the event.

Mr Lander said the airstrip had been ‘boggy’ recently due to rain and not the drags.

The aero club’s 80 members did not support the event outlined in the DA, Mr Kennedy said.

“We feel hurt because we thought we had an understanding with them,” he said.

The club’s members did not want to see the airstrip become a dual purposefacility Mr Kennedy said.

“The DA will change the use of the aerodrome,” he said.

However, council manager for planning and development, Angela Jones, said the DA, if approved, would not change the primary use of the aerodrome.

A noise report and any submissions lodged with the council would be considered while making a decision about the DA, Ms Jones said.

No complaints had been received by the council from residents or the police about the previous two drag events, Ms Jones said.

Possible damage to the airstrip would be covered in the lease agreement between Summerland Drags and the council, which owns the facility, Ms Jones said.

“Should there be damage to the runway it would be part of the lease agreement that it be returned to the same condition as before,” she said.

The DA is on exhibition until July 19.



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