The parent company of outdoor go-karting business at Kembla Grange has been fined $6,000 in court after holding a car “drifting” event in violation of development laws.
A representative of Nanocoll Tech Pty Ltd, the company behind Awesome Drive, pleaded guilty in Wollongong Local Court last week to carrying out development – namely organising and running the drifting event – without gaining the proper approval from Wollongong City Council.
Court documents said Awesome Drive first came to the council’s attention in April last year after neighbours complained about the types of vehicles being used on the track, its hours of operation and excessive noise and smoke being generated.
The council contacted Awesome Drive’s owner/operator, Robert Galiotti, and organised a meeting, which took place on April 28. Mr Galiotti was advised at the meeting that the track’s current development consent did not cover drifting events involving cars.
The court heard Mr Galiotti hired TCG Planning to liaise with the council, however the council ultimately retained its position, advising TCG that if Awesome Drive wanted to hold drifting events, it would have to apply to amend its current DA.
An amendment application was subsequently lodged on July 6.
The court heard the council had yet to respond to the application when it received further complaints from neighbours alleging another drifting event had occurred on August 5.
The council contacted Mr Galiotti, who said the event, operating under the name Aussie Legends, had been oganised four months earlier and he couldn’t cancel it because “the top 10 drivers were coming”.
Mr Galiotti also confirmed the event had attracted about 40-50 drifting competitors and more than 600 spectators, who each paid $10 entry, while Awesome Drive was paid $5,000 for the use of the track.
In court last week, Mr Galiotti said he had done everything the council had asked of him during the modification process.
“But now I know it was never going to be approved,” he said.
“We never received any notification from the council.”
Prosecutor Adam Bye, acting for Wollongong Council, claimed Mr Galiotti was “completely aware” he did not have the appropriate approvals in place but “went ahead with it [the competition] anyway”.