The Southern 80 in jeopardy


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Moama Water Sports Club says the famous event is in trouble for the future of Echuca-Moama

The Southern 80 in jeopardy
The Southern 80 in jeopardy

Moama Water Sports Club said Echuca-Moama’s annual Club Marine Southern 80 Waterski Race event is in jeopardy after members were told that the event experienced its fourth financial loss in as many years.

The club said in a press release that members were told at the AGM that this year’s $45,000 loss was only partially due to the heat and the early finish caused by bushfires, and that the event has in fact been running at a loss for several years. The club and its directors have to date been footing the bill, the club said.

Club president Alan McDonald said the disappointing results were due to several reasons, including tough economic times, escalating costs, escalating government infrastructure costs like police and ambulance, and a long-standing lack of financial and community support.

"Although a minority of businesses do assist, the majority don’t. We generate over $22 million for the community and we can’t even get some businesses to put up $100 to help with the event they profit from," said McDonald.

The club said that the committee was told by its members that the local community believes that the club profits from the event. "The event costs almost $500,000 to run and like any business, we can’t afford to keep going on like this," McDonald said at the meeting. The club is currently exploring further funding opportunities. "The businesses in the area and the community in general, has to get behind the event for it to continue," added McDonald.

The Club Marine Southern 80 has been running for 44 years and attracts 100,000 visitors. The next event is scheduled for February 12-14, 2010.

For more information, contact club president Alan McDonald on (03) 5480 6754 or visit www.southern80.com.au.

 


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