Barbagallo safety check after motorcyclist’s death

The Department of Sport and Recreation will appoint a qualified independent assessor to review safety features at Barbagallo Raceway.

BARBAGALLO Raceway will undergo an independent assessment to determine what additional safety features will be carried out and how effective they are expected to be, according to Motorcycling Western Australia.

The move comes after the death of 28-year-old Daniel Chadbund during a motorcycle event at Barbagallo Raceway on Saturday, April 30 and media reports questioning the safety of the raceway for motorcyclists.

On Friday, June 17 Motorcycling Western Australia chief executive officer Rick Gill said following an invitation by the State Government, via Police Minister Liza Harvey, Motorcycling Australia and Motorcycling Western Australia had held some successful discussions with both Mrs Harvey and Department of Sport and Recreation representatives, which were about to lead to positive action at Barbagallo Raceway, Wanneroo.

The move comes after the death of 28-year-old Daniel Chadbund during a motorcycle event at Barbagallo Raceway on Saturday, April 30.

WA Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding his death and preparing a report for the Coroner.

After the accident a WA Police spokeswoman said Mr Chadbund had been taking part in an official motorcycle event when the accident happened.

“The motorcycle left the track and entered a sand patch, at which point the man became separated from his motorcycle and struck a tyre wall,’’ she said.

“Emergency first aid was provided and he was taken to Royal Perth Hospital by St John Ambulance.

“He was unable to be revived and was declared deceased a short time later.’’

In the weeks following Mr Chadbund’s death a story in the Western Independent said the father of a man who died during a crash at Barbagallo in 2009 had renewed his calls for the State Government to pay for a saftety upgrade in the wake of Mr Chadbund’s death.

Scott Elliott told the Western Independent his 24-year-old son Cameron died when his motorcyle slammed into a solid tyre barrier.

The newspaper said Mr Elliott had started a petition on in which he asked the State Government to remove the barrier.

The newspaper also quoted Ducati Owners Club WA president Peter Newbey as saying upgrades should be made to the whole track.

“The safety barriers and systems are old fashioned and out-of-date,” he said.

“These track users can be doing anywhere between 120 and 180km/h.

“When someone falls off a bike they don’t stop, they slide with momentum.

“If the barrier was something cushiony or inflatable they may walk away with a broken arm or leg, but they’d get to walk away.”

In an ABC report racing identity Wayne Gardner also said the raceway was unsafe and that he had never really ridden anywhere else in the world that had tractor tyres as a barrier around a racetrack.

Mr Gill said Motorcycling Australia president Tania Lawrence and Motorcycling Western Australia president Peter Clarke and he had held meetings with Mrs Harvey and the Office of Road Safety on Friday, May 20 and the Department of Sport and Recreation on Tuesday, June 2 to explore options for additional safety enhancements at the raceway.

Ms Lawrence said the meetings were highly constructive with a clear pathway forward to identify and implement positive changes to ensure that all Western Australians can continue to enjoy motorcycle racing at Barbagallo.

Mr Gill said the Department of Sport and Recreation had agreed to commission an independent assessment of the venue.

“While it is still early in the process, we expect DSR to make an appointment of a suitably qualified person very soon, and the review to provide some independent guidance for MWA, MA and the WA Sporting Car Club,’’ he said.

“It is expected that DSR will make an appointment in the next few weeks, and for the review to be available soon after.’’