Motocross track talks between council, club

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THE Frankston City Motorcycle Track remains closed after a motocross rider’s death at the venue last month.

Frankston Council ordered the Frankston Motorcycle Club to close the Seaford venue after a 20-year-old man died after a collision with a fellow racer on Saturday 4 April.

Council has set up a transition committee, chaired by Cr Glenn Aitken, to hand over management of the track to Motorcycling Victoria.

Members of the Frankston Motorcycle Club are angry at council’s decision to effectively oust the club and some voiced their displeasure at this month’s public council meeting.

A barrage of questions was submitted by members of the club sitting in the public gallery last Monday (4 May). Council CEO Dennis Hovenden said answers would be provided by the transition committee “in due course”.

The majority of club members want the club’s volunteer committee to continue managing the track and fear track fees will be too costly if MV step in to oversee operations.

Council representatives met with the motorcycle club’s committee late on Friday afternoon to try to find a way to reopen the track as soon as possible.

Cr Aitken said the meeting was “constructive” and “eventually went very well”.

“I think it’s reasonable to say there was a considerable breakthrough in that we were willing to talk to each other,” Cr Aitken said.

He said there will be an interim period of management to “work through all the processes” but no firm agreement had been reached as yet.

There is no intention to permanently close the track, according to Cr Aitken.

Frankston Motorcycle Club president Ralph Ridley said Friday’s meeting was better than an initial meeting with council officers.

“Their [council’s] attitude certainly was a lot different to the one we had prior to that,” he said.

Mr Ridley believed council and Motorcycling Victoria now realised they need club committee members to help run day-to-day operations and “physically open the place up”.

The club now plans to meet with MV and hopes to work with both council and MV to reopen the track.

“We want to discuss exactly what MV’s plans are, what they expect of us and what their price structures are,” Mr Ridley said.

Police are continuing to investigate the fatality at the track.

Senior Constable Darren Morgansaid a report will be prepared for the coroner.

First published in the Frankston Times – 11 May 2015

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