Greens MP Justin Field criticises Labor councillors over Shortland Esplanade track change

CIRCUIT BREAKER: Newcastle council wants Shortland Esplanade to be included in the Newcastle 500 race.
CIRCUIT BREAKER: Newcastle council wants Shortland Esplanade to be included in the Newcastle 500 race.

A GREENS MP from the South Coast has waded into Newcastle’s Supercars debate with a potshot at Labor councillors, accusing them of being “slow off the mark” in pushing for changes to the circuit.

Justin Field, an Upper House MP and the Greens’ spokesman for sport, said if organisers were “genuinely serious about addressing community and safety concerns”, the race – which is supposed to showcase Newcastle to the world – should be moved to “purpose-built facilities in Raymond Terrace”.

Mr Field’s comments come after council resolved to push for the race to be run along Shortland Esplanade, instead of through the East End.

“Labor councillors were slow off the mark in responding to community concern but seem to have shifted in response to the growing opposition and recognition that this is the wrong race in the wrong place,” Mr Field said.

Labor councillor Declan Clausen rejected Mr Field’s accusation as misguided.

“We’ve still got plenty of time before the event,” Cr Clausen said.