ORGANISERS of a national hot rod event have dumped Albury as the host city after being left frustrated with council demands.
They included a ban on revealing the car celebration would be held at Noreuil and Oddies Creek parks.
The Australian Street Rod Federation Nationals were to be in Albury this year, after an unveiling in 2018, but COVID-19 scuttled that plan.
Negotiations with the council and federation have since been unfolding to have Albury stage the event in 2023.
But last week, organisers voted to drop Albury and shift the nationals to the Hawkesbury Showground, north west of Sydney.
Event chairman Graham Bevan said the national council decided it could no longer deal with the Albury Council and the showground was an easier option.
"What they offered (in Albury) we thought was good but when it came to the nitty-gritty there were these things that kept popping up that give us an unsteady mind on things," Mr Bevan said.
A particular concern under a memorandum of understanding that was to be signed between the council and federation was a requirement to keep the event's riverside location secret.
Mr Bevan said it made it hard to promote the Nationals to would-be sponsors.
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The MOU stated information on Noreuil Park hosting, camping and council funding was to be confidential until a contract was executed.
The council planned to contribute $150,000 toward the cost of the Nationals to held at Easter 2023.
Mr Bevan said the federation needed to make a decision now because it wanted to start promoting the 2023 event from Easter next year.
In an email to councillors on Thursday, council chief executive Frank Zaknich stated the city had told the federation on November 3 that the event could be proceed at Noreuil Park.
He added a draft MOU was sent November 12 in anticipation of a formal agreement in December.
"As part of the MOU it was requested that the arrangement be kept confidential until the formal agreement was finalised and a joint communication plan was developed during December," Mr Zaknich wrote.
The outcome has infuriated councillor Murray King who had championed the event and liaised with the hot rodders.
"I think it's a disorganised mess, this is an event that could have injected between $8 and $15 million into Albury's economy and it's been royally screwed up by the city council," Cr King said.
"This is nothing else other than incompetence.
"They got it handed to them, they didn't have to win it from anyone, and they blew it."
Despite having abandoned Albury, Mr Bevan said the federation would consider a hosting a future edition of the Nationals in the city.
"I think we're still sort of open and there could be a chance we could come back in the near future," he said.
Mr Bevan said because the federation rotated the Nationals biannually between NSW, Victoria and Queensland the event could not be staged in Wodonga despite plenty of space at Gateway Lakes just across the border.
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