Traralgon beer fest blocked

AN event promoted as the ‘biggest outdoor beer fest in Traralgon’ will not go ahead as planned after Latrobe City Council rejected the organiser’s application.

Monster Events Australia had been advertising The Traralgon Oktoberfest for 2 and 3 October in Victory Park, with tickets available online.

However, Latrobe City requires all events planned on council land to meet rigorous public health and safety measures.

Latrobe City general manager of planning and governance Phil Stone said in this case, those requirements had not been met.

“Council is not confident that planning for this event has taken into consideration public safety and public amenity based on acute issues with the application,” Mr Stone said.

“As well as the need for Victory Park to be closed to the public for two days.”

Monster Events Australia submitted a Place of Public Entertainment permit application to Latrobe City after its initial request for the same event in Walhalla was denied by Baw Baw Shire. Latrobe City requires all POPE permit applicants to provide details of temporary structures, safety officers, toilet facilities, drinking water and security crowd control.

In this case, Mr Stone said the organiser also required a liquor licence to be arranged with Victoria Police. A Monster Events Australia spokesperson said the company had requested information regarding the amount of security officers and toilet facilities required.

The spokesperson said Monster Events had been informed of those details on Thursday afternoon, but the following day was told council was not willing to continue with the event.

“I have requested a review of the outcome and their current decision from the mayor and the CEO to give us the adequate time required to provide them with all of the documentation,” the spokesperson said.

“I’m hoping we can agree on an event plan that the police and the council and myself are happy with, so we can continue with this event.”

The Traralgon Oktoberfest’s original plan listed beer drinking competitions, table hostesses, live music and a dress-up contest on the Friday agenda.

Saturday’s program involved broadcasting the AFL grand final on live television along with additional drinking competitions and a best-dressed ‘Mister and Misses Oktoberfest’ award.

“If there is any degree of uncertainty around the capacity of the event organiser to stage a safe event then we must request further information or refuse an application,” Mr Stone said.

“To date the organiser has not satisfied the requirements of the permits. And in doing so has lost the confidence of council officers in terms of lack of consideration of the comfort and safety of the local community.”

The spokesperson said Monster Events understood concerns of council and police were largely around the drinking competitions. He said the company had considered regulations for responsible service of alcohol, but was willing to omit the contests if required.

“I can understand the council’s concerns,” the spokesperson said.

“But when they have allowed previous event structures to happen in the past, I cannot see how they have come up with this decision.”

He said Monster Events had promoted the event before receiving council’s approval, because the company understood that if it supplied all the relevant information and documentation, the Traralgon Oktoberfest could go ahead. The spokesperson said the company would go through all the relevant information with solicitors of event planning.