Mumbil Blackwattle Fair has been postponed, new date to be decided

Billy Cart races were a particular favourite at last year's event. Image contributed by Mumbil District Progress Association.
Billy Cart races were a particular favourite at last year's event. Image contributed by Mumbil District Progress Association.

Organisers of the popular Mumbil Blackwattle Fair have decided to postpone the 2019 event, with a later date yet to be decided.

The Mumbil District Progress Association Incorporated (MDPAI) decided to postpone the event, which was scheduled for October 19.

MDPAI secretary Hazel Keogh said there wasn't enough people involved to help get things organised for this year's event.

"There's not enough people to get things organised and with all the (Dubbo Regional) Council rules and regulations it's just getting more and more difficult every year and we've got a small handful of people to do the organising," she said.

"The Mumbil District Progress Association Incorporated will meet on the first Wednesday in November to discuss a possible new date.

Ms Keogh said it would be nice to be able to hold the Mumbil Blackwattle Fair, which first began in the 1980's.

The event was devised to provide families in Mumbil with a day out and a range of fun activities and games to participate in, including Akubra throwing and Billy Cart races.

"There's not that many community activities out here," Ms Keogh said. "Hopefully it's a way of bringing people together and basically putting on something for the community."

The MDPAI secretary hopes more people can become involved in the fair's organisation.

"A few of us who are still doing stuff are getting on a bit in years and not in the best of health," Ms Keogh added.

Helen Bassett. Images contributed by Mumbil District Progress Association.

Helen Bassett. Images contributed by Mumbil District Progress Association.

Dubbo Regional Council's Manager for Regional Events, Kim Hague said Council appreciates a lot of events are run by volunteers and community members who sacrifice a lot of their own time to bring these events to life.

Ms Hague said Council has been successfully working with many events across the region to ensure their event complies with the regulations that are applied by independent authorities.

"DRC is always conscious of the need for event organisers to identify, mitigate, and manage any risks associated with their event to ensure the safety of the public attending those events, and Council wants to ensure every event, including the Mumbil Black Wattle Fair, is of the highest safety standard," she said.

"In a meeting with event organisers for the Black Wattle Fair, it became apparent that Food Handling guidelines created and enforced by the NSW Food Authority were not being followed, and signs for traffic management were not being handled by a person with the right license to do so, despite instruction by Roads and Maritime Services. Dubbo Regional Council has been taking an active approach in ensuring all event organisers are aware of their obligations."

Ms Hague said Council met with members of the Event Network, which is a group of event organisers, event venues and suppliers/ services that meet quarterly as facilitated by Council, to advise members that Council would no longer be supplying services or equipment to assist with creating or enacting traffic management plans.

"Council had previously offered this service at a charge, but has since identified that there are plenty of local services which could facilitate this," she said.

"This again was a change for all event organisers across the Dubbo Region and has been otherwise embraced positively by organisers."

Ms Hague said cost of events had not risen, however, Dubbo Regional Council makes an effort to ensure all event organisers are adhering to safety guidelines as set by industry bodies, for which there may be additional costs.

"To help offset the cost of things like traffic management, Dubbo Regional Council has a Regional Events branch; which provides local event organisers with support and advice, as well as creating avenues and opportunities to promote these events to the resident and visitor markets," she said.

"A key sector of this branch is enabling the growth and sustainability of local events through two funding streams, the Event Development Fund and Major Event Sponsor Fund, both of which allowed for event organisers to apply for fees relating to venue hire, traffic management, marketing etc; no application for funding was received by Dubbo Regional Council from Mumbil Black Wattle Fair for any costs, like traffic management.

"Committee members of Mumbil Black Wattle Fair were also present at the Event Network meeting in May which announced the opening of these funding streams in July for 2019/2020 event applications."