A CLUB has vowed to bring a competition back to Wedderburn a day after cancelling its 2019 event.
The Wedderburn Pony Express' future was thrown into limbo when the Loddon Shire Council discovered the event existed and would be held in less than three weeks.
The competition and fundraiser has been held for the past six years but organisers understood they did not need a council planning permit.
An outpouring of support for has galvinised organisers from the Diamond Valley Motorcycle-club, president Paul Roche said.
"Based on the back of that support we got ... people want the event to continue," he said.
The club has vowed to work with the council to make sure the right permits are issued, Mr Roche said.
The council too is open to working with the club, director of operations Glenn Harvey said.
"It's not about that (2019) event. It's about the process," he said.
The council would have worked with organisers to try to fast-track the 2019 application had they wanted to, he said.
However, the tight deadline and uncertainty about the outcome made it hard for Mr Harvey to guarantee the permit would have been finished in time.
Thursday's cancellation was not the first time clubs had run into issues with councils' planners, Motorcycling Victoria president Richard Loft said.
"The hardest thing is that clubs are all volunteer-based," he said.
"Really, people are doing this (organising events) in their spare time, for the love of the sport and the competition."
It meant they could struggle to deal with the red-tape and planning processes councils put in place.
Mr Loft has reached out to the club in the wake of the cancellation and wanted to help get the 2020 event over the line.
ONE person has already cancelled their stay at a Wedderburn hotel and more are expected to follow after news broke an annual riding competition and charity fundraiser would be cancelled.
Wedderburn Pony Express organisers pulled the pin on the motorcycle competition on Thursday after the Loddon Shire discovered it was happening and advised they would need a planning permit.
The event has been running for six years but the council found out about its existence "only in the last couple of days", director of operations Glenn Harvey said on Thursday.
It had been set to run in less than three weeks and organisers felt too uncertain about the outcome of the permit process with so little time to lodge an application.
The Wedderburn Gold Seeker Motel had one cancellation last night after news broke of the cancellation and owner Myra Swann was expecting more as word spread.
"We usually have a full house that weekend for the bikers and all that," she said.
"I only found out about this last night so I'm assuming the rest of the (weekend's Pony Express) bookings will cancel."
The event brings tourists into town, including from the other side of Melbourne, Ms Swann said.
It was not Wedderburn's biggest event, but it was the largest for bike riders, she said.
Organisers had expected 350 riders, plus their families, come into the region for the weekend.
Ms Swann would like to see the event return.
The town had 941 people on 2016's census night.
"Anything that we can generate in this small town to bring in income and to sustain jobs for the people who live here is good," Ms Swann said.
Event organisers at the Diamond Valley Motorcycle-club confirmed last night they could "no longer run this awesome event" on their Facebook page.
"We apologise to all effected (sic), we have done what we can to work things out however were unable to make it happen," the club posted.
It vowed to refund all entries as soon as possible and noted it could take time, in a second Facebook post. The club warned "there is no benefit in messaging the club or organisers continuously about your refunds!"
"Every entry will be refunded, we thank you for your patience during this process," the post noted.
"FYI, People who feel the need to hassle organiser (sic) may just be put to the end of the line for their refund."
The event could return in 14 months, with a planning permit, club president Paul Roche said yesterday.
The club's volunteers will soon meet to discuss that possibility, he said.
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