Secret agenda to scrap Surfers race?
Paradise councilor Susie Douglas is turning her back on the SuperGP and encouraging local residents to get together an urgent petition so she can use it to force the Gold Coast City Council to withdraw all support and $500,000 in cash and services for next year's event.
An email leaked to The Bulletin has revealed Cr Douglas told a disgruntled resident she supported his stance to have the four-day carnival scrapped or relocated out of Surfers Paradise.
She told the unnamed constituent that he should, as a matter of urgency, get a petition going 'and I will use it to try to withdraw council's support'. Cr Douglas yesterday admitted she had sent the email but said she wanted the event scrapped if there was no international component and only the V8 Super-cars were involved.
This was in contradiction to the email in which Cr Douglas said she fully supported the unnamed resident's call for the race to be abolished or relocated, irrespective of whether there was an international component, or not.
"The residents have had enough and I said the only way we can move on this is if they get together and talk about the impact it has on their lives," she said.
"The only way the public can get any action is to put a petition through council, so I encouraged them.
"If the council sees the residents have had enough -- without council funding the race can't go ahead."
The council contributes $100,000 in cash and $400,000 worth of services for road closures, street scaping, repainting, toilets, lighting and the rehabilitation of McIntosh Island.
Cr Douglas and her husband, Gaven LNP MP Alexander Douglas, attended the SuperGP event at the weekend as guests in the Government's corporate box.
Despite this, Cr Douglas said she was not impressed by this year's race and there was no support in her division for a V8 Supercars-only event next year.
"They put on a really good show with the V8 cars but we have to reach another level," she said.
"We shut down the city for this event."
She said local residents only put up with the inconvenience because they were told it would bring international coverage and boost property values on the Indy track.
"They don't want to be on a V8 track," she said.
"They bring in the highest level of rates in the city, probably in Queensland, and they deserve some consideration.
"We want an international race or we don't want it at all."
Mayor Ron Clarke, once a vocal opponent of the old Indy race, said he would not support a move to withdraw funding from the event.
"I make no judgment until we get a proper review of what is going on," he said.