THE decision last week to call off the Driving For Drought 1000 fundraiser at Mount Panorama was not surprising, but it was still a shame.
Deputy mayor Bobby Bourke – the driving force behind the fundraiser – had been honest in the past couple of weeks when asked for updates on how the event was coming together.
He’d told the Advocate that registrations were much fewer than he’d been expecting and had urged members of the public to make their interest known sooner rather than later.
When the influx of registrations didn’t come, the fundraiser was cancelled – an anti-climax after the event was announced with such fanfare back in August.
So what went wrong?
There has been some criticism that the fundraiser – which aimed to have 1000 cars moving on the Mount at the same time – didn’t receive the promotion it needed.
That might be a legitimate concern if Cr Bourke wasn’t involved, but the Bathurst deputy mayor is practised at whipping up support for these sort of events – from the record set at the Mount in 2010 for the longest chain of neckties to his whitegoods collection in 2011 after the floods in Toowoomba.
The fundraiser might have also suffered, rather than been enhanced, by its placement so close to the Bathurst 1000, being drowned out by the noise of the much larger event up on the Mount.
We, however, are inclined to believe Driving For Drought 1000 was simply a victim of timing – something completely out of the organisers’ control.
When the event was announced, the Bathurst region was in drought and it looked like it was in drought.
In the weeks since, however, the region has gradually greened up and our farmers’ woes have receded, rightly or wrongly, from a lot of people’s minds.
As well, the enormous Black Tie and Boots Ball in August drew considerably on the generosity of the city’s residents and perhaps, in the end, they needed a bit of time before they were feeling that generous again.
Having 1000 cars on the Mount would have been a tremendous spectacle and we’d like to think Cr Bourke will have another crack at a time in the future.
A good idea doesn’t become a bad idea just because the circumstances were wrong. It just means you might have to wait until the conditions are right.