Mid-Western Regional Council deserves chance to fix its mistakes

There has been outcry from some sections of the community about some of the problems that arose before, during and after Saturday’s Charity Shield match.

However when the city hosts its biggest ever event at Glen Willow Stadium, some mistakes may arise and the most important things is that Mid-Western Regional Council learns from them.

Council has admitted it was caught out by the number of people who wanted to get into the stadium early to see the first match, with general manager Brad Cam saying even the NRL had told them a 5.15pm opening time was fine for a 5.30pm kick-off.

And the restricted capacity of the suspension bridge over the Cudgegong River is a concern, and a solution is needed before the next major events.

Running out of beer part way through the game and long queues for food and toilets are also issues that need to be sorted out, although not solely the responsibility of council.

All of those issues are far from ideal but it is important to remember that the event brought $2 million into the region’s economy and the vast majority of people went away saying they would attend another event there.

It’s also worth keeping in mind that Mudgee’s population is 10,900, when almost that many people turn up in the one same place at the same time some problems will occur.

Council deserves a chance to get these issues right and it had the chance to prove it has learned from those mistakes when St George Illawarra return on May 20 for their round 11 clash against the Canberra Raiders.

If the same problems happen again, then it will have some serious explaining to do.

The hosting of events such as NRL trials and games, Super Rugby trials and A-League matches can bring not just money but also increased reputation and future tourism to the city.

But too many mistakes will stop people from coming from across the Central West for the game, turn off locals, and potentially damage our good name.

Most of the issues that arose on Saturday night can be easily corrected, whether it opening gates earlier or directing more traffic over the new Holyoake bridge at the end of the game. 

Mr Cam has said the council is listening to the complaints and now he has the chance to prove it or the complaints will only get louder.