Inadequate cooling a threat to expo

THE future of the Wild Deer Hunting and Guiding Expo in Bendigo is uncertain after a lack of air conditioning at the Prince of Wales Showgrounds angered organisers. 

Expo coordinator Pete Costin described conditions in the sheds at the weekend as "unbearable". 

"We had to hire six (industrial) air conditioners and if we didn't have them it would have been unbearable," he said. 

"In fact a situation like that is a health and safety issue."

Mr Costin said this was the second time the expo, which takes place every two years, was hosted in Bendigo. 

"It wasn't as bad the first time we were (in Bendigo) but it was still very hot," he said.

"A lot of the stallholders had to bring their own fans (this year).

"The temperature got to 38 degrees at times.

"We are hiring these facilities, but they are not right for summer events."

Mr Costin said the event attracted about 14,000 people but he was considering not hosting it in Bendigo again if something wasn't done. 

"Due to what (the expo) brings to the area it would be a huge loss (not to hold it in Bendigo)," he said. 

‚ÄčThe City of Greater Bendigo owns one of the sheds, while the Bendigo Agricultural Show Society owns the newer shed.

COGB director city future Stan Liacos said the city worked hard to attract large, regional events to the area. 

"I am really sorry that the organiser found the venue hot (but) when all said and done there is very little we could of done," he said. 

"The exhibition centre is a fantastic venue but it is an exhibition centre.

"It is a venue that is not air conditioned to the standard of an office."

Mr Liacos said he was sure there were events across the state that experienced similar discomfort. 

"It was obviously going to be warm because it was over 40 degrees and had been for several days," he said. 

"No matter how hard we worked to make the venue comfortable, some degree of discomfort would be inevitable, in what is, in essence, an agricultural exhibition centre." 

Mr Liacos said the city would be disappointed if organisers decided to move the expo away from Bendigo.

"We would be extremely disappointed as a result of what I would say is a freak of nature," he said. 

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