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The Coast Community News has reported that the Wyong Race Club is facing possible legal action by community groups who reportedly will be claiming that the Wyong Race Club has breached its obligations with regard to the Wyong Showground Land.

The report states that the showground land had a long history of being shared by the Race Club and community groups before that situation changed in recent years with the Race Club allegedly evicting a number of community groups and organisations and stopping all further community group participation and activities.

The report indicates that the community groups are only resorting to legal action after representations made to the club to come to a discussion table has been unsuccessful.

The report further quotes Mark Hoddinott, a spokesman for advocacy enterprise Albert Warner Pty who are representing the community groups, as saying, “For more than a century, the Wyong Showgrounds were a joint community facility used by dozens and dozens of groups.

“However, upon the arrival of the Administrator in 2014, under the direction of NSW Racing, and the appointment of a new Board, the showgrounds have been quarantined for horse racing use only. This is contrary to a century of tradition and the purposes for which the land was first acquired by the then Wyong Agricultural Society,” he said.

“We respect the right of the horse racing community to be there and are indeed pleased they are, however, that spirit of shared community goodwill is not reciprocated by them.”

Hoddinott continued by spelling out the financial losses the community groups have suffered, on a number of fronts, since the change in policy and then stated: “In the past week we sent Letters of Demand to Wyong Race Club and its lawyers and if a satisfactory response and resolution is not achieved, we have our Statement of Claim ready for filing by our barristers in the NSW Supreme Court at the beginning of February.

“We are seeking re-instatement on to the Wyong Showground site of those volunteer community organisations that were evicted, or compensation for the impact of the evictions, with the sums involved already amounting to many millions of dollars.”

“Our claim seeks to return the land that is the Wyong Showground to its pre-2014 status of a shared community facility,” Hoddinott said.

In the same report, the Coast Community News advised that they had sought comment from the Chairman of the Wyong Race Club Board, in relation to this matter, but had received no response to their inquiries.

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