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Oct 4, 2013

Bureaucrats block Top Gear from Gold Coast

We are plodding along at a pace set by centralized planning, red tape, rules without responsibility, and regimentation without recourse. – Barry Goldwater
Most cities and major towns anywhere, especially those in the tourism business would welcome the Top Gear team to do a film clip in their area.  As one of the most watched shows on international television, Jeremy Clarkson and his crew could not help but bring worldwide attention to wherever they do their thing.
But not on the Gold coast where they have noise abatement laws extending out into the cane fields out of town.  There, they need several days to sign a piece of paper allowing a temporary waiver for the use of a V8 car on a racetrack: 
Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson wanted to come to the Coast next week to film a new Microsoft Xbox-sponsored V8 Supercar at the Holden Driving Centre at Norwell, in a deal brokered by racing legend Mark Skaife.  But Gold Coast City Council bureaucrats put the brakes on the show, watched by an estimated 350 million people in 170 countries, when they failed to relax noise restrictions in time. … 
… The council snub has angered driving centre boss Paul Morris, who said the Coast had lost the chance for ‘priceless publicity’.  “It’s an unbelievable lost opportunity,’’ Mr Morris, a racing car driver and team owner said.  “We are talking about the world’s biggest TV show and the council, which is always banging on about how the Gold Coast is open for business, can’t even facilitate it. 
“Clarkson was going to drive the car himself. It’s bureaucracy gone mad. The pen-pushers are strangling this town with red tape.” 
Mr Morris said the driving centre, despite being located in the northern Gold Coast canefields, operated under strict noise restrictions because of surrounding homes.  He had applied for a temporary relaxation but was told it could not be done in time to meet Top Gear’s tight scheduling demands. 
Mr Morris said the council ‘should have moved heaven and earth’ to attract the show.  “The guy cutting cane next door makes more noise with his harvester than the V8 car,’’ he said. 
Deputy Mayor and Norwell area councillor Donna Gates said the council had been given only 24 hours’ notice to approve the noise relaxation.  “We offered to move forward on it but it would have taken a few days,’’ she said.
It appears that the council have implemented a noise restriction of 65 decibels, which is making life difficult for the track itself which has had to cancel a number of events because of it.  With a noise limit of this level, they may still be able to race electric cars if that ever becomes popular.
24 hours should be more than ample to sort out some kind of approval and the idea of a system so inflexible as to take several days to grant permission to drive a V8 on a racetrack is ludicrous.  Only government could be that idiotic.
Any objections could easily be sorted by inviting the neighbors in to watch, but that’s not the way bureaucrats do things.

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