Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : July 31st 2018 Contents THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, TUESDAY, JULY 31, 2018 - PAGE 5
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THE Leongatha Motorcycle Club has won
its campaign to host a round of the Victori-
an Off Road Championships and they did it
by appealing to the hearts and minds of the
councillors last week.
As well as having the support of Motorcy-
cling Victoria CEO Robert Mestrom, who pre -
sented to the South Gippsland Council per-
sonally on the day last Wednesday, the local
motorcycle club had Cr Alyson Skinner pres-
ent a petition on their behalf at the start of
last week’s meeting.
Cr Skinner presented the petition with the
following prayer, on behalf of lead petitioner
David Fleming, member Leongatha Motor-
cycle Club and signed by approximately 372
signatures from residents across Victoria in-
cluding 110 signatures from residents within
the shire, gathered in only a few days.
The prayer said: We the undersigned urge
councillors to approve planning permit
2017/280 to enable the Leongatha Motorcycle
Club to host one round of the Victorian Off
Road Championships over a period of two
days, approximately 80 riders per day. Sixty
of those riders over the two day period will
be juniors 16 years and under, both girls and
boys. The club day will have approximately
40 riders of which more than half will be ju-
niors. The Leongatha Motorcycle Club would
like to conduct its sport as other sporting
clubs do. Without club days, there is no club.
The council received the petition and it
went part of the way to convincing council-
lors to vote 8:1 in favour of granting the club
its permit, with only Cr Andrew McEwen
A DISCREET handshake at the front of a
packed public gallery, between President of
the Leongatha Motorcycle Club (LMC) Darrell
Van Den Borne, and his Vice President David
Fleming was all the reaction you might have
seen last Wednesday after council voted 8:1 to
approve the club’s application to host a State
Off Road Motorcycle event as early as Septem-
ber this year.
It was typical of the measured but also com-
prehensive way in which the club has gone
about winning the councillors over.
And the injection of a bit of humour, right
at the end of the debate, by South Gippsland
Shire Councillor Ray Argento, in moving an
amended motion in favour of the motorcycle
club, certainly can’t have hurt.
“And in regard to the lace monitor’s breed-
ing cycle, who knows, they may actually be en-
couraged by the noise, I’m not sure, ” said Cr
Argento, to chuckles from around the council
Concern that Norton’s Bush at Leongatha
South, now approved as the location for the
motorcycle event, provides a habitat for the
endangered goanna-like creature, was one
of the objections offered by some Leongatha
South property owners.
Serious about their application to host the
State event, and also a weekend club event, the
LMC wheeled out the big guns.
At a public presentation session before the
council meeting last Wednesday morning, CEO
of Motorcycling Victoria, Robert Mestrom said
that while it might be a bit on the noisy side,
off-road motorcycle riding, especially that
done under the auspices of Motorcycling Vic-
toria, is predominantly a family sport that has
a major economic, social and safety dividend
for the community.
He said there were 50 MV-sanctioned events
held annually around the State, and like differ-
ent golf courses, individual locations provided
riders with a unique experience.
“I t’s a tough sport but you’re learning all the
time and drugs and alcohol are not tolerated.
We fully support Leongatha in their applica-
tion. They are a long-standing member of Mo -
torcycling Victoria,” he said.
Mr Van Den Borne also addressed council
saying the club had revitalised itself in recent
years “to do something for the community”
especially youth not involved in mainstream
“The club has 109 members, 70 per cent of
whom are kids and a lot have gone on to make
a success of themselves in the sport,” Mr Van
Den Borne said.
He said instead of banning such events else -
where, local councils and the community at
large had embraced them as a worthwhile op-
Local resident Nigel Sherlock also spoke,
restating his concerns about excessive noise
levels which the shire’s own report said could
not be mitigated.
The clincher for the motorcycle club was
having Cr Alyson Skinner present a petition
to council in support of the event before the
debate last Wednesday afternoon.
She said that while it was a “highly conten-
tious issue” she hoped most concerns could
be addressed by the onerous conditions and,
referencing the Unify Heavy Metal Gathering
at Tarwin Lower, encouraged the club to work
with the community to achieve a good outcome
But Cr Andrew McEwen warned that the
fight might not be over.
He predicted the application would ultimate-
ly end up at VCAT on planning grounds.
On the positive side he said the club was
professionally run, had grown under good
leadership and was providing an excellent op-
portunity for the social development of youth
in the area.
He also estimated the economic benefit at
$150,000 to $250,000 over the weekend.
But he said the application had not ad-
dressed the main planning issues of noise and
environmental impact, claiming the Septem-
ber date for the event was in the middle of the
lace monitor’s breeding cycle.
The application was agreed to by council
subject to 28 conditions around noise, park-
ing and site impacts.
Cr Alyson Skinner presents a petition to
council in support of the Leongatha Motor-
cycle Club’s application. m053118
Riders win battle for hearts and minds
Youth card gets motorbike
event across the line
President of the Leongatha Motorcycle Club, Darrell Van Den Borne, thanks CEO of Motor-
cycling Victoria Robert Mestrom, right, for speaking to the South Gippsland Shire Council,
on behalf of the group last Wednesday prior its decision to grant a permit for the club to host
a round of the State Off Road Championships later in the year. Also in attendance were club
officials vice president David Fleming and secretary David Andrews. m013118
THREE men are expected to be charged af-
ter allegedly assaulting a security guard at the
Austral Hotel in Korumburra at the weekend.
Police say a scuffle broke out in the doorway
of the hotel on the night of Saturday July 28,
when a 21-year- old Korumburra man “took
exception” to being told he was “not welcome
back” inside the venue.
When the man tried to get inside, the securi-
ty guard “pushed back, ” police said, and two
other males, a 19-year- old and a 44-year- old,
both from Korumburra, “jumped in”.
It’s alleged the 21-year- old assaulted the
security guard, causing cuts, bruises and
The three men had left the scene by the time
police arrived but were identified by the secu-
They were due to be interviewed at Korum-
burra Police Station on Monday and will like -
ly be charged with affray and bailed to appear
in court at a later date.
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