Noosa Tri still in limbo as council review delayed
The official status of sporting showcase and multimillion-dollar spinner, the Noosa Triathlon, remains unclear after the council confirmed it would not review its major events cap until April.
The revelation comes despite Mooloolaba Triathlon going ahead in a COVID-safe way next month.
The Noosa Council originally said it would review its 500 people cap for major events in February.
But mayor Clare Stewart has confirmed the council would now review the cap in April after consulting the community.
Event organiser Ironman Oceania cancelled Noosa's biggest drawcard last year, disappointing more than 7000 entrants, after Noosa Council introduced the cap due to COVID-19.
Entries usually go on sale in late October/early November.
In 2017, places for the epic Olympic distance swim, run, cycle sold out in less than 10 hours.
Diehard Noosa triathletes who along with supporters annually pump millions of dollars into the Sunshine Coast economy have been unable to enter the 2021 Tri.
"It is such an important decision that has implications across the shire," Cr Stewart said.
"Councillors highly value the views of residents and stakeholders, which is why we plan to consult the broader community.
"An update report was due in February, but will be deferred to allow this consultation to take place."
Ironman head of operations Rebecca Van Pooss said her team decided to hold off opening entries for 2021, but were continuing to plan for this year's triathlon festival scheduled to run from October 27-31.
"Those athletes who were entered in the 2020 event have been given the option to move their entries to this year and we're really happy with the large number who are keen to head back to Noosa," Ms Van Pooss said.
Noosa Chamber of Commerce president Rob Neely said his members strongly support the return of the Noosa Tri this year within the guidelines and approval of Queensland Health.
"As it's a category one event the Tri will require approval from the Queensland chief health officer," he said.
"The 2019 event provided 94,773 visitor nights in Sunshine Coast region alone and brought $25.07m total spending to the Noosa region and importantly donated over $40,000 to local community groups.
"The event is also used by charities to generate over $1 million in donations annually."
Mr Neely said the Noosa Tri is regarded as one of the most professional events of its type globally.
Ironman to date has received approvals to run ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast, Ironman Cairns, Mooloolaba Triathlon and Ironman 70.3 Geelong.