And they’re off… literally.
Owner of the prestigious Fernhill Estate, Brenda Tripp, has committed to work through compliance issues to make sure the Fernhill Picnic Races will go ahead next year after the event was cancelled for 2015.
Despite a five year approval from Penrith City Council to continue the event, Mrs Tripp has confirmed there will be no picnic races this year.
Mrs Tripp said the decision to cancel the races this October was forced because of what she called an “overkill” of compliance requirements.
“The onerous compliance makes it very expensive… this year we couldn’t sustain another personal financial loss,” she said.
“A lot of conditions and constraints have been put on this event to satisfy half-a-dozen people in Mulgoa for one day, compared to the 5000 people who attend the event.”
Mrs Tripp said there are around 12 different reports organisers need to submit to run the event, including traffic, environmental and acoustic reports.
“It’s been a very heavy handed approach to an event that does not need it… they’ve basically thrown the book at the event,” she said.
In August last year, Penrith City Council approved the event to run until 2018, but Mrs Tripp said they need more than just an approval.
“If Council sees this as a good event for Penrith, then don’t just approve it, but support it,” she said.
“We understand there are basic requirements, but Council need to work with us, not act like we are going to ruin Mulgoa.”
A Council spokesperson said the conditions were important.
“The conditions included taking into account the importance of Mulgoa Road servicing residents, the request by the applicants for road diversions within Mulgoa Road and the expected number of attendees,” the spokesperson said.
– Dale Drinkwater