Caption: Members of the Hinterland TT Supporters Group held a barbecue at Mary Cairncross Park to discuss the demise of the Sunshine Coast International Time Trial motorcycle event.
Supporters of Maleny’s cancelled motorcycle time trial fear the town has been dubbed “anti-motorcyclist” and is already losing tourist revenue as a result of vocal opposition to the high speed event.
The Sunshine Coast International Time Trial had proposed to bring high speed time trial racing to a 47km road course around Maleny, but the event was cancelled on August 16 due to difficulties finalising a safety audit of the course before a Sunshine Coast Council deadline.
Simon Shewchencko, of the Hinterland TT Supporters Group, said they were disappointed in the cancellation, believing the event would have been good for Maleny, the Sunshine Coast and Queensland as a whole.
The group held a gathering at Mary Cairncross Park following the cancellation.
They’re “staying hopeful” that the event may in fact still be held in the future, but, in the meantime, believe Maleny may have sullied its standing with the lucrative motorcycling tourism market.
“Through all this, I’m probably most disappointed in the divide in the community that has been caused by this and the disruptions to the business owners due to the lack of bikes that are coming to the town,” Mr Shewchencko said.
“Over the last three weeks it has been (clearly visible in the town) and what we’re trying to do in our cause is to keep that at bay.
“It brings a lot of revenue to the town through the cafes.
“I know bike riders who are heading to New South Wales to go for a ride instead of coming up here.”
The promotor, David Rollins, CEO of Inside Line Events International, said it didn’t want a “black mark carried forward to any future proposal somewhere else”, so it took the proposal off the local schedule.
“Maleny would have been a great event hub and the roads, of course, are a motorcyclist’s dream, which was why we chose them,” Mr Rollins said.
“The small but concerted campaign against the event had nothing to do with our decision to drop the Sunshine Coast International Time Trial, given that all the surveys showed there was enormous overwhelming public support for it within Maleny and elsewhere.”
Event supporter Ray Stewart, who in 1983 and 1998 raced the Isle of Man TT, which is similar to the local proposal, admitted there was “an inherent danger” to such events but “the riders accept the risk”.
“I think the people of Maleny are missing out on one of the best things they’ll ever see,” Mr Stewart said.
“I think it should have been given a go, it should have been given a fair hearing.
“Maleny is getting a reputation as an anti-motorcycle venue and that’s detrimental to all concerned.”