The 2019 Bendigo Bank Fun Run will not proceed due to increased requirements to protect the course from possible hostile vehicles.
The cost of implementing these new anti-terror measures mean the event is not feasible as a fundraiser.
In the past 12 years, the popular event has raised almost $890,000 for Bendigo Health, but this year was to be the first time tough new measures would have been required and the onerous conditions mean the event is not viable to run.
Bendigo Health Fundraising Advisory Board chairman Scott Elkington said the committee was disappointed that the event had been cancelled, but added safety was the number one priority.
“A course of this size which uses public roads is difficult and costly to secure,” Mr Elkington said.
“The time required to set up and pack down barriers was another consideration.
“We want to thank all our sponsors and ambassadors, including Bendigo Bank and the City of Greater Bendigo Council who had already committed to the event and to reassure them we are grateful for their support and have a number of other fundraising ideas to ensure we can purchase much needed specialised equipment for our local hospital.
“A special thank you all our volunteers and our long time course director, Hunter Gill, who worked tirelessly for many years to create a great course and a wonderful event for our community.”
Mr Elkington yesterday told ABC Radio that the event would have required more than 55 trucks and semis to barricade roads, as well as police checks for the drivers of those vehicles to ensure
people were kept as safe as they could be.
He said that the committee’s tight budgeting included a contingency factor of about 10 per cent, but the added burden of extra costs had put the event into a tight financial situation.
“Maybe there’re better ways and time and effort to try and raise funds for the hospital,” he said.
The voluntary committee remains committed to raising more money for the Bendigo Hospital, but time is not on their side for this year’s major event.
“At the end of the day it really come down to the fact we just don’t think it’s really great use of the community’s generosity when we know that the hospital is getting very little of the funds.”
He said public safety was paramount and despite several options being considered, they were all too costly to secure.