News 8 Jun 2017

Strict procedures outlined as MA relaxes tear-off ban

Environmental policies must be obeyed for any exemptions.

Image: Alex Gobert (Foremost Media).

Track licence holders will have to submit and abide by detailed environmental plans if they’re to gain and maintain an exemption from the national tear-off ban, it has been confirmed following yesterday’s announcement that the regulations would be relaxed.

On 1 January 2017 the use of tear-off strips were outlawed altogether in Australian motocross and off-road competition, sparking an outcry of complaints as the widespread introduction of roll-off systems has been a challenging step for the sport at a national, state and club level.

National governing body Motorcycling Australia (MA) revealed on Wednesday that a special tear-off exemption is now available for track licensees to apply for, but it will come under a strict environmental policy that will enforce venue clean-ups following events. MA has prepared a three-page environmental plan template for clubs to base their applications on if necessary.

For an exemption to be granted, the track licensee is to provide a written request for the exemption and must have an environmental policy outlining the collection and disposal of tear-offs in place – with bins and collection points to be placed around the track and in the pits during events. That information is to be published in supplementary regulations of each event.

Audits could be carried out by track inspectors to ensure licensees are complying with requirements and it’s also been revealed that the relevant controlling body (RCB) has the power to terminate exemptions upon any failed audits. Stewards are also able to conduct random audits of environmental policies to ensure they’re being adhered to.

Once a facility has an exemption in place it will remain at the discretion of the track licensee during its term, however MA is encouraging those venues to consider for the future phasing out of tear-offs. MA’s official exemption policy states that there is a possibility in the future that tear-offs will be banned by law for environmental reasons.

It’s not yet certain how many circuits on the Motul MX Nationals calendar or outside of that will apply for the exemption, however it’s understood that series promoter Williams Event Management (WEM) was in the process of opening discussions with host circuits of the remaining five rounds regarding the rule amendment this week.

While supercross events held on temporary tracks are exempt, MA has confirmed that the track licensee of the permanent complex at Jimboomba X-Stadium – host of the first and final rounds of the 2017 Australian Supercross Championship – is one that will be required to apply for an exemption prior to the season opener in September.