LNP Leader Deb Frecklington feels for Noosa residents after the cancellation of the Noosa Tri.
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington feels for Noosa residents after the cancellation of the Noosa Tri.

Cancelled Noosa Tri ‘doesn’t make sense’: LNP leader

Queenslanders might be cheering at the news of hosting the 2020 AFL Grand Final, but many are questioning how it got the green light while the country's biggest triathlon event, the Noosa Tri, was denied.

Speaking in Noosa to announce a commitment of $10 million funding for Tewantin's Beckmans Rd, State Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said cancelling the Noosa Tri but hosting an event with 30,000 people didn't make sense.

"I understand why the people of Noosa would be rightfully upset," Ms Frecklington said.

"If that is the decision by the council based on health advice well that's fine, but it doesn't seem to make sense though when you compare it to the AFL Grand Final."

But as a Queensland Health spokesman confirmed, Noosa Council's decision to scrap the Tri was not one that came from the Queensland Government.

"Queensland Health can confirm that an application for a COVID-Safe Event Plan was not received from the Noosa Triathlon organisers," they said.

According to the Queensland Health website, events with more than 10,000 people can be held, subject to a COVID-Safe Event Plan approved by the Chief Health Officer.

"The key principle in staging and participating is to avoid overcrowding," the website states.

"Organisers also need to have a plan in place to protect attendees."

Noosa Tri organisers said they presented a COVID safe plan, but it was not actioned on by Noosa Council.

"Noosa Triathlon organisers submitted our proposed modifications to the event to make it COVID safe," a Noosa Tri spokesman said.

"We are following the Industry Framework for COVID-Safe Events which has been endorsed by Queensland Health.

"The Ironman team have now turned their attention to the 2021 Noosa Triathlon and in the next three weeks are also delivering Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast on September 13 and Ironman Cairns on September 27."

So, if a COVID safe plan was presented to Noosa Council, and Queensland Health were on board, why was the internationally-renowned event given its marching orders?

Noosa Council advised they were taking a precautionary approach to mass gatherings with a focus on the health and wellbeing of the Noosa community.

At a special council meeting on September 1, a unanimous decision was made by all Noosa councillors to limit events to less than 500 participants until February 2021.

"The report considered all event categories under the COVID-Safe Event Framework and council's risk appetite for allowing events to proceed within the COVID-19 environment," property manager Clint Irwin said.