Residents, businesses and racegoers are being invited to have their say on the future of the Newcastle 500 as community consultation on the event kicks off.
Submissions will open tomorrow for the online survey, which forms the first part of a comprehensive consultation strategy prepared and implemented by KPMG to guide the decision about future Newcastle 500 events in Newcastle.
The strategy was finalised after being placed on public exhibition for six weeks throughout December and January, with the online survey launched during bump-in for the Supercars season-opener event.
The survey can be completed via the City of Newcastle website from Saturday 18 February and will remain open until three weeks after the event, which is being held from 10-12 March 2023.
In-person surveys around the event precinct during the race period will provide insight into attendees’ behaviours including visitation to local businesses, while a random telephone survey will follow the event to capture a range of views from across Newcastle’s demographic profile.
Three post-event stakeholder workshops with residents, business and industry representatives will also be held to understand the perceived benefits and challenges presented by the Newcastle 500.
CEO Jeremy Bath said the feedback would help guide any decision made by City of Newcastle should Destination NSW and Supercars Australia propose a five-year contract extension of the the event in Newcastle.
“We’re committed to undertaking broad community consultation using 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.
“The consultation will explore themes of liveability, economic benefit or challenges and perceptions of the event, as well as its impact on the visitor economy.
“Should Destination NSW and Supercars decide they want to extend the Newcastle 500 for another five years, our elected Council will need to decide if we agree to again be the host city.”
A report on the feedback and insights from the community consultation to inform the decision about any potential extension of the Newcastle 500 will be prepared for Council to consider in the coming months.
Preparations for next month’s race are well underway, with bump-in by Supercars having kicked off on 1 February.
In addition to three days of racing around the street circuit, the event will treat music fans to a weekend of epic performances inside the race precinct, with a world-class line-up for two concerts that includes headliners Icehouse and the Hilltop Hoods and hometown heroes the Screaming Jets and Trophy Eyes.
Access to the Friday and Saturday night concerts is available for ticket holders of the respective race days, as well as those with a three-day event pass.
A series of free community events will also be held outside the race precinct across the weekend, with race fans being given the chance to meet all 25 Newcastle 500 Supercars champions at a driver signing session from 4.30pm on Thursday, 9 March at Gregson Park, Hamilton, with kids’ entertainment options also on offer.
Car enthusiasts are in for a treat from 8am to 5pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday when the Newy Car Club hosts a display of pristine vehicles at the Newcastle Museum Forecourt, while Civic Park will be transformed into a family-friendly fun zone from 11am – 3pm on the weekend with an epic 27m long slide, free face painting and tasty snack stalls. On Saturday, visitors can experience all things art and dance with hands-on creativity and messy play for toddlers, while Sunday will see local bands battle it out on stage while community members are encouraged to get involved in the drumming workshops and a silent disco.
Keep track of all the details across the weekend by visiting whatson.newcastle.nsw.gov.au