Dubbo Council, Mumbil Blackwattle Fair release joint statement

Dubbo Regional Council says the Black Wattle Fair was not postponed due to an inability to meet food regulations.Photo: File.
Dubbo Regional Council says the Black Wattle Fair was not postponed due to an inability to meet food regulations.Photo: File.

Organisers of the Mumbil Blackwattle Fair and Dubbo Regional Council have released a joint statement to publicly clarify comments made to the Wellington Times regarding the adherence to guidelines at the Mumbil Blackwattle Fair.

Dubbo Regional Council says the Black Wattle Fair was not postponed due to an inability to meet food regulations.

Dubbo Regional Council's Manager for Regional Events, Kim Hague told the Wellington Times in comments published in the paper on October 23, that after a meeting with the Black Wattle Fair it had become "apparent that Food Handling guidelines created and enforced by the NSW Food Authority were not being followed".

But in a joint statement released by the fair organisers and council, Ms Hague's original comment was clarified.

"A reflection of conversations the committee had with Council staff regarding the complexity of a range of rules and guidelines, including traffic plans around their event and their openness/capability to follow them for their planned 2019 event was published," the statement said.

"Comments were made with a view to explain what Council's role is in trying to work with events in the understanding and compliance of event-related regulations. It was not intended to suggest the event had not followed food regulation in the previous 2018 event as outlined by the NSW Food Authority.

"Council was working with event organisers to ensure they were aware of the rules and regulations, and in turn, organisers of the Blackwattle Fair were taking steps to abide by those rules and regulations before the decision was made to postpone the event."

In comments made to the Wellington Times that were published in the paper on October 23, the Mumbil District Progress Association Incorporated said there wasn't enough people involved to help get things organised for this year's fair, which was one of the reasons why the 2019 event was postponed.

The joint statement also said that Dubbo Regional Council has been taking an active approach to ensure all event organisers are aware of their obligations and understand the complex nature of volunteer-run events for committee members.

"Mumbil BlackWattle Fair appreciates the assistance of Dubbo Regional Council through advice, knowledge and funding they have received in the past and in particular to the Regional Events team who are continuing to work with the committee to offer a recommendation on how to reduce the impact of various guidelines and to offer alternative options for the event," the statement said.

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