Heritage approval to decide Newcastle Supercars fate

A tentative date for the opening round of the 2023 Supercars season in Newcastle hinges on an application with Heritage NSW.

Scott McLaughlin, DJR Team Penske Ford, Fabian Coulthard, DJR Team Penske Ford

Supercars has applied to the Heritage NSW to host its season opener on the street circuit on March 10-12 next year.

Should approval be granted it will mark the first time the event, which became the season finale in 2017, has been run since 2019.

Approval would also open the door for negotiations to take place for the Newcastle 500 to continue beyond 2023, which is the belated final event of the existing contract, until 2026.

“We can confirm that Supercars has applied to stage the Newcastle 500 for the proposed dates of 10-12 March 2023 (dates subject to approvals), as the championship opening event," said a Supercars spokesperson.

“Supercars can confirm that permission has been sought with Heritage NSW for the proposed 2023 event date, and another four years of racing in Newcastle.

“That permit would allow all key stakeholders, including Supercars, Destination NSW and City of Newcastle to discuss the future of the event beyond 2023.

“We look forward to working with our key stakeholders on securing this event for Newcastle in the future.”

According to the City of Newcastle a new heritage approval is critical to the continuation of the event.

"[The] City of Newcastle is working with Supercars Australia on a tentative date for a final Newcastle 500 event in 2023 under the existing five-year agreement," said a spokesperson.

"This final event would be delivered under existing arrangements, the same as the successful events of 2017, 2018 and 2019.

"Supercars Australia has submitted a new application under Section 60 (S60) of the Heritage Act 1977 to facilitate the holding of the last Newcastle 500 event in 2023, as the existing S60 for the Camp Shortland area expired in April.

"Whilst this heritage approval is a requirement, the S60 does not in itself provide approval or authority to conduct the race in Newcastle. This is provided under the NSW Motor Sports Events Act 2022 and agreements between the NSW Government, Supercars Australia and City of Newcastle.

"The future of the Newcastle 500 beyond the final race is a decision of the NSW Government in the first instance, requiring a new agreement between Destination NSW and Supercars Australia.

"Any inclusion of Newcastle as a potential host city for another five years will be subject to broad community and stakeholder consultation, to be undertaken by City of Newcastle, and a decision of the elected council."

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