HOPES FADE FOR 2010 CANBERRA MARATHON
ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope says it is with enormous regret he has today informed the parties in dispute over the ownership and operational rights of The Canberra Marathon that the ACT Government is unable to provide the necessary approvals to allow the event to proceed this year.
Mr Stanhope said the government had been in regular contact with event management company Cundy Sports Marketing (CSM) and the ACT Cross Country Club (ACCC), encouraging them to settle their differences and not to jeopardise what has been an iconic sporting event for Canberra over many years.
“Sadly, CSM and the ACCC have failed to resolve the dispute through mediation and it is still awaiting a final determination before the courts. I am advised that might happen until later this year at the earliest.
“The courts have been asked to make a ruling on which of the parties owns the event and the legal advice I have received is that until the court makes its decision, the government doesn’t know who owns the Marathon and so it is not in a position to approve the running of the event this April.
“Put simply, we cannot pre-empt the findings of the court by ruling in favour of one of the disputing parties over the other.
“Like the hundreds who enter in this popular event each year, I was hoping by now common-sense would prevail and the parties would reach a sensible resolution to the dispute.
“As that clearly hasn’t happened and with time running out, my concern now is to ensure no runner is left in the lurch, by allowing this most unfortunate saga to continue any longer.”
“What concerns me most is that runners from Canberra and further afield appear to have been used as pawns in this dispute. The government isn’t interested in becoming embroiled in the sort of game-playing between the parties, in which a commercial sporting venture appears to have been put ahead of the interests of competitors.
“I am seeking an assurance that no-one who has been preparing to enter in this year’s marathon and particularly those who have committed to travel here for the weekend of 10-11 April 2010, will be in any way out of pocket as a result of the failure of the two parties to resolve this issue.
Mr Stanhope is asking CSM and ACCC, who have known for many months that this year’s event was unlikely to proceed, to immediately advise all past and potential participants for this year of the true situation and to ensure no-one is financially disadvantaged as a result of the ongoing impasse.
2 hours ago