Noosa Tri has won council approval to return to increase event numbers past the council’s current 500-person limit.
Noosa Tri has won council approval to return to increase event numbers past the council’s current 500-person limit.

Crowd limit dumped for ‘virus safe’ Noosa Tri

Councillors have unanimously opened the way for the Noosa Triathlon to go ahead this year without number restrictions, pending a review of its event plan.

They debated the issue for more than two hours on Tuesday before rejecting a Noosa Council staff recommendation to restrict all temporary event permits to less than 500.

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Councillors had earlier rejected a motion put by Councillor Brian Stockwell to go back out to community consultation before deciding if it would accept applications for category one events of greater than 10,0000 people.

Noosa Triathlon and sports multi-fest organiser Ironman Oceania will be able to apply for the late October multi-sports event permit, which pumps millions of dollars in the local economy.

Any successful application will have to meet the Queensland Health Covid Event Framework and any "locally relevant factors" raised by the council's health experts.

Noosa Tri has been given permission by Noosa Council to resume its normal numbers in a Covid Safe way. Picture: Barry John Alsop
Noosa Tri has been given permission by Noosa Council to resume its normal numbers in a Covid Safe way. Picture: Barry John Alsop

Councillors also agreed to accept event applications for smaller category events and remove any local policy restrictions on the number of participants or the service of alcohol at all events.

Mayor Clare Stewart said Queensland had been hosting large events like rugby league's State of Origin without any COVID-19 community transmission.

"We've received no evidence to support that a large mass gathering delivered under an approved Covid Safe event plan has any greater risk of an outbreak compared to unregulated movement of people and residents alike across our shire," Cr Stewart said.

"If we have an outbreak it is likely the state will order a lockdown, if localised Covid risk develops, at or about the same time as an event.

"The order will override the (event) permit and no cancellation issue for council will arise."

She said Ironman had agreed to the council revoking its event permit at "much shorter notice" should a coronavirus risk present to the local community.