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Who knew about MGs’ visit?

Geoff Helisma

Potentially, the closure of Coldstream Street last Saturday morning, to accommodate the 50 or so pre-war MGs on display, could have been a boon for Yamba businesses and people interested in checking out the cars: instead, people and business owners took to social media wondering who was responsible for the dearth of publicity about the event.

“This is a disgrace to local businesses … no mention in both local rags. Yep, poorly organised, I don’t get it, this event could of been a lot better if notice on board,” was typical of some posts.

There were also enquiries made on Clarence Valley Council’s Clarence Valley Tourism and Hospitality Cluster Facebook page, wondering about the lack of communication.

The council’s environment, planning and community director, Des Schroder, responded to the Independent’s enquiry.

He said the council had issued a temporary licence with the conditions that the event organiser contact affected businesses.

“We ran advertising [not in the Independent] saying the road would be closed for an MG rally and notified people about the closure and rally on social media,” he said.

“This was not a council-sponsored event, but the feedback I had was the organisers were more thaan happy with the support they got from council.

“We hope the rally participants had a great time and will come back in the future.”

The event’s organiser, Murray Arundell, said: “From our perspective we couldn’t have been happier for what the council did for us, it was a big factor for us coming here in the first place.

“They were quite happy to close the street for the display.”

Mr Arundell said “we didn’t actually set out to make it a huge event public-wise” and conceded that a “mistaken email address” for the Yamba Chamber of Commerce and being “unable to get in touch until quite late” had factored into the lack of publicity.

The chamber’s president, Debbie McCredie said: “It’s disappointing we weren’t made aware sooner to be better informed and let businesses know in advance.

“And [officially] welcome the group to the town … all who saw [the display] said it was great. They told us they were coming about a year and a half ago, when they asked for suggestions on where to stay….”

Ms McCredie said she had received an email on Tuesday October 10, however, it was addressed to her personally and she assumed other businesses had been notified.

Ironically, the first item on the chamber’s breakfast meeting, held this morning, addressed forthcoming events. “Do you know all the events happening in our area over the next 12 months?”