Rodney Stevens, Clarence Valley Independent
Organisers of the Yamba Rod Run are already working to have their traditional Saturday Show and Shine held in the streets of the Yamba CBD after a misunderstanding with council saw this year’s event moved to Ford Park.
Lew Falzon of Borderline Street Rodders said after a two-year Covid enforced hiatus, more than 400 vehicles, their owners and families were in town for the 29th Yamba Rod Run.
“We’d outgrown the streets and they (council) were concerned about the cars parking wherever they could get a parking spot close to the CBD,” he said.
“We asked if we could get more road to park the cars and they (council) said the other option is that you cut down the number of cars or you can go to Maclean Showground…but I said that wasn’t suitable for us because it’s the Yamba Rod Run, not Maclean.
“They (council) said the only other option is Ford Park, so we took that.
“Council has been helpful trying to get us back in the streets, but it won’t be happening this year.
“Our problem was that we have to accommodate the ambulance, police and fire brigade, if something happened, we have to have a four-metre access strip between the cars and that sort of killed off over 100 parking spaces for us.”
Many of the club members had heard the frustration from Yamba CBD business owners, Mr Falzon said, about the move to Ford Park.
“All of the businesses are up in arms about it, they’re spewing, and they said they rang the council about it,” he said.
Mr Falzon said Borderline Street Rodders car display could have used Yamba Street, beyond the Wooli Street roundabout down to the Calypso Caravan Park.
“With that bit of road down to the Calypso, that would fit in 500 cars no worries,” he said.
“I honestly don’t think the people are going to miss out or the shops are going to miss out because all of ‘our mob’ will be going up to the coffee shops and the cafes in town for the four hours that the display is on, it’s only 100 yards up the road.
“We hope to be back next year in the streets, and we are trying to work with the council to give us more road.
“We generate that much business for this town, they (council) should hopefully be able to accommodate us.”
The move to Ford Park hasn’t impacted the interest of car enthusiasts involved, Mr Falzon said, as many people have already booked accommodation for next year’s Yamba Rod Run.
A council spokesperson said a representative of the Yamba Rod Run contacted council’s event sponsorship officer about running the event on a larger scale than in previous years.
“Council understands there are around 500 cars attending the event and with that number it was considered that a greater amount of road closure would be required than in previous years,” the spokesperson said.
“Rather than investigate increased road closure options, the event organiser instead lodged an application to utilise Ford Park, which was approved.
“No formal application was received by Council or Council’s Traffic Committee for a road closure for this year’s Yamba Rod Run.
“Under the Roads Act, Council cannot close roads for events without consideration by the traffic committee and organisations such as Transport NSW and the Police, which are a party to the traffic committee.”
The spokesperson said council is aware of plans to get the event to return to the streets.
“Discussions have been held between the event organiser and the Yamba Chamber President, this week about working more collaboratively with the businesses in future to return the event to the CBD streets,” the spokesperson said.
“Promotion of the event is the responsibility of organisers.
“Council understands the event was well attended and has received positive feedback about locating the event in Ford Park.”
This article appeared in the Clarence Valley Independent, 16 November 2022.