SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA: Valvoline Raceway, an iconic tourism, entertainment and sporting icon in Sydney’s West for over forty years has been rocked by a phone call today that revealed Sydney Metro will compulsory acquire the land as part of a billion-dollar rail development between the city and Sydney’s West.
“Almost 120 properties will be forcibly acquired for construction of a $20 billion-plus metro rail line from Parramatta to the central city, which is now slated to be opened by 2030, about two years later than expected,” it was reported in The Sydney Morning Herald today.
Principals of Valvoline Raceway, Barry and Felicity Waldron, who have been dealing with Crown Lands for two years over plans for a lease extension at the world-famous Wentworth Street venue have had no previous discussion or information provided on this news.
“This has come completely out of the blue,” said an angry Felicity Waldron, “in all our dealings with Crown Lands talking about extending the lease beyond 2026 and ensuring the longer-term future of the venue never has anyone said ANYTHING to us about this. We are in complete shock.”
In its forty plus years of competition at the Granville Sportsground since opening in 1977/78 the Valvoline Raceway (formerly Parramatta City Raceway) has injected tens of millions of dollars into the economy of Parramatta and the greater west.
The Raceway is a focal point for the industry nationally and internationally and has attracted tens of thousands of spectators and literally thousands of race competitors over its four decade reign.
The impact that a development like this would have for the sport of Australian Speedway nationally and indeed internationally (the sport of Speedway in Australia is some 93 years old having started in Maitland NSW in 1923) would be devastating.
Barry and Felicity Waldron have invested literally millions of dollars into the upgrading, the maintaining and the future development of the Valvoline Raceway since 2014 firmly in the belief that with a long-term lease they could take the sport into a new era.
“This is devastating. Absolutely devastating. I can’t believe that in all our dealings with the Government through Crown Lands in our proposed long- term planning discussions nobody thought to give us even a hint that this could happen,” says Barry Waldron, “how is it possible something as enormous as that could be overlooked?”
Metro Rail’s plans include the compulsory acquisition of 116 properties – 23 residential and 93 commercial businesses.
Information provided today reveals that a large stabling yard and operations centre for the single-deck, driverless metro trains will be built at the Clyde and Rosehill Industrial Estate bounded by James Ruse Drive, the M4 Motorway and Unwin and Shirley Streets.
Right over the top of the hallowed ground of Valvoline Raceway.
The current lease for the Speedway does not run out until June 2026.
Barry and Felicity Waldron have been actively seeking and have applied for a thirty-year lease with Crown Lands – negotiations and applications have been going on for two years.
Information on that thirty-year application was promised by Crown Lands on December 20.
To say that the Australian Speedway industry will be rocked by this news is an understatement.
Valvoline Raceway press release