The cancellation of the annual swap meet in Wombat less than a week from when it was to be held is a significant blow to the small community.
The town of around 200 people sits on the Olympic Highway between Wallendbeen and Young.
Small communities rely on events like this to raise the profile of the town and attract vital dollars into a town.
In short, they are vital to a town’s survival.
The Wombat Swap Meet Facebook page posted the event has raised more than $20,000 per year in the past four years.
It seems a change in venue wasn’t properly disclosed to council, and now that monetary boost is lost for this year.
The organisers took a swipe at the council, but the council returned serve saying “that council never rejected a (development application) for a separate event, because council never received one in the first place”.
Commentators on both sides of the fence have lashed out, saying the council could have done more to ensure the event went ahead, to pointing the finger at organisers for not realising the red tape involved in changing venues.
Wombat Swap Meet organiser Marty Williams said he decided not to hold the meet at its usual venue because the “Wombat Progress Association and the Social Club don’t support the swap meet”.
Is this a case of a falling out among committees or is there more to the story than what is being presented?
Whichever side of the argument you sit on, the real loser is the community of Wombat.
The town has lost a conduit of funds that has seen money raised for schools, a power upgrade and repairs to the amenities at the sports oval, among other projects.
Fire centre boon for town
Harden will be home to a new Rural Fire Service (RFS) Fire Control Centre and Regional Office in what is a real boon to the community.
Our town is the geographic centre of the region and it just makes sense to keep this vital piece of infrastructure here.
With other projects, such as a new ambulance station on its way and the Cunningar rail terminal being built, things are definitely looking on the up in our quiet neck of the woods.
It’s encouraging to see public and private bodies displaying confidence in our region.