Opinion

Springnats hurdles remain

by
June 14, 2017

A Shepparton Springnats competitor in action at Shepparton Showgrounds.

News that Shepparton’s iconic car event Springnats is here to stay for another five years will be good news for some and not for others.

Springnats has had a bumpy ride over the years.

From a small-scale event for a few hundred car enthusiasts 25 years ago, it ballooned to attract tens of thousands of auto fans from across Australia by the end of last millennium.

The event has brought challenges to the city including crowd-control problems, noise, traffic infringements and sadly a fatality on Wyndham St in 2000.

A move from the northern fringe of Shepparton at DECA to the inner city showgrounds facility in 2009 solved traffic control issues, but brought other problems — noise, smoke and odours.

Last year’s event saw Environment Protection Authority Victoria receive three reports concerning smoke and odour during Springnats.

The Shepparton News Facebook page received a mix of comments — positive and negative — about last year’s Springnats.

This reflects the division major events bring to our city.

Not everyone will support or even attend these events.

Some events have more impact on the general population than others.

Large sporting events such as bowls, tennis or basketball are not so visible, and certainly do not bring with them the noise and pollution cars bring.

Nevertheless we applaud the decision to support the Springnats for another five years.

For all its faults, it has become a must-attend event for auto fans across the Goulburn Valley and beyond.

It brings colour, excitement and money to town.

Numbers have no doubt fallen since the event’s heyday, but 30000 across a weekend is big by anyone’s standards.

While we welcome Springnats for another five editions — a question does remain about the location.

Smoke from burning rubber and the noise of screeching tyres do present significant distress to people living within the urban radius of the showgrounds.

While crowd and traffic management are important, so are people’s domestic lives.

Other large car festivals such as the Canberra Summernats are on the fringes of urban areas.

This should be something to consider for future Springnats events.

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