In the capacity of WCA Representative for this event for the 4th year running I was once again afforded the opportunity to set foot behind the fence at Summernats 31.

I attended operational meetings on Friday and Saturday evening, hearing first-hand what goes on in the day to day running of the event, whilst providing feedback as to the impact on our suburb.  All parties involved in its running ranging from the event owners to ACT government department officials and ACT Police actively participate in the round table discussion.  As always I found the organisers to be cordial and interested in what I had to say.

This year was particularly difficult for Watson residents due to the perfect storm of heat, wind, and “Wolfmother” blasting over the suburb.  The sanctuary of evaporative cooling was not an option from the heat due to the thick smoke and smell of rubber that had blown directly over the suburb from the burnouts being sucked into one’s residence.  Unfortunately, the organisers and government officials have no influence over climatic phenomenon.

There were no reported incidents of antisocial behaviour outside of the event of note apart from the odd fireworks being let off during the early hours of the morning.  Illegal parking was virtually non- existent with applicable signage having the desired effect.  Traffic along the major thoroughfare of Knox Street was also quiet – I actually saw a police motorcyclist patrolling on Friday evening whilst walking over to EPIC to attend the 1st meeting.  This I found surprising with all of the de-construction of road infrastructure going on around the event.

It felt like a fair proportion of the population of Watson had left for the weekend.  The cinema and Dickson pool proved to be comfortable distractions from the heat, noise and pollution for my family.

by Rod Lestone

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