29 NOV 2011 - Sydney Dragway General Manager Resigns
29th November 2011
Tony Beuk - Sydney Dragway General Manager Resigns
Since the late 1970s, drag racing has provided me with a mixed range of experiences. While still an avid spectator, I witnessed the sport encounter its first major setback in NSW – the closure of Castlereagh which, for too long, left the sport homeless in Sydney.
I welcomed the opening of Eastern Creek Raceway and witnessed the sport’s growth with a mixture of events, including the Winfield Triple Challenge. Then, in mid-1996, drag racing encountered yet another disruption for its competition racers and its championship series’.
It was then that a number of committed drag racers and drag racing supporters, of which I was proud to be an integral part, led a campaign to establish a world class drag racing facility.
In mid-2007, some three and a half years after the opening of Sydney Dragway, I had the opportunity to have an active role in the organisation. From then, until the early part of 2011, a number of realities presented themselves. With unfavourable weather, an unstable organisational structure and little income from alternative uses, the venue’s continued capability to sustain drag racing became problematic.
The next five years provide an opportunity for the venue to develop new uses that will sustain drag racing for the future of Sydney and NSW. It is important that the venue be given the chance to grow with a new team.
I would like to put on record a few of the major contributions that I have made to the facility, including the following:
- Negotiating and lobbying the NSW Government for the support and the construction of a stand-alone drag racing facility from January 1997
- Negotiating major changes to the lease with the landlord, including financial off sets for the venue period of 20 years to the value of $2.92 million
- Capital funding from the NSW Government to the value of $2.8 million
- Event funding from the NSW Government to the value of $600,000
- Negotiation and preparation of the 4WD Outdoor adventure show licence agreement
- Negotiating with Treasury funding of approximately $1.5 million for rectification works to the track and venue, which have been recently undertaken
- Preparation of briefing to Treasury of approximately $7 million of capital works including shading, venue upgrades, vehicle training and testing facility
- Expansion of the membership for WSID Ltd
- Redrafting of the constitution
- Review of operational processes to improve venue function, event delivery and accountability.
To allow a new Board the flexibility to set its direction and determine the appropriate organisational structure I am tendering my resignation as General Manager, effective at the close of business on Wednesday 30thNovember, 2011.
I remain committed in the future to assisting the sport and the facility and will welcome any future involvement that the new Board may consider appropriate.
In closing, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Board, staff, sponsors and racers for their support and direction.