Shire upbeat on future of running rods in town

ALPINE Council has refused to give up hope of hosting a Bright rod run next year, floating the idea of the community holding its own event.

The Northern Suburbs Street Rod Club has indicated that much work still needs to be done for it to run a twenty-third Bright Rod Run next year.

On the eve of the event 10 days ago, club president Ray McDonald said the run had been cancelled for next year.

Mr McDonald said any discussions with the council to try to reverse this decision was unlikely to happen until well into the new year.

But Alpine chief executive Ian Nicholls was far more upbeat.

Mr Nicholls applauded the club’s work in holding the event over the past 22 years, culminating in the most recent rod run on November 9 to 11.

“The weekend was fantastic with some of the biggest crowds we’ve seen, so it is disappointing to hear that the Northern Suburbs Street Rod Club is determined to relocate as it appears to be a highly successful outcome for all involved,” he said.

“Regardless of this, the council is working with community groups and other stakeholders to continue running a major event on this weekend.

“We have been heartened by the many positive comments made by visitors over the weekend and also by other clubs interested in an ongoing event.”

The council held a community forum early last month to try to find solutions after the club decided to can the event, which is worth an estimated $1 million a year to the town.

The club had argued that it was simply trying to get a better deal for its members.

It had claimed members were being forced in some cases to sign up for four-night accommodation packages in Bright over the rod weekend.

But the council pointed out that many Alpine businesses faced their own challenges in trying to remain fresh and vibrant while making a decent living.

Mr Nicholls praised the “hard work” of many businesses, service clubs and other groups who helped support this month’s rod run.

“The local support and resources provided to this event each year is well in excess of $50,000,” he said.

“It is disappointing the lack of recognition this has received.

“We also applaud the community for welcoming this event for the past 22 years and doing their best to accommodate the hot rodders as best they can.”

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