A Maitland Steamfest luminary has hosed down calls for a concrete path at the Rally Grounds to provide better
Steamfest spokesman Peter Garnham defended the condition of the grounds that made disabled access difficult.
“I don’t think a concrete path is necessary,” he said.
“The problems were caused by poor drainage and I’m more concerned about profiling the grounds so they shed water.”
Cr Garnham, in a letter to the editor (see page 16), said he felt compelled to respond to some of the complaints and blogs written on the Maitland Mercury webpage.
“Firstly I would like to thank the various people who have written about their support of Steamfest and what an enjoyable experience they had this year,” he said.
“Whilst we strive for the best event possible it’s almost inevitable that someone will raise concerns about some aspect of an event this size.”
Carrington resident Peter Doran was one patron who raised concerns about access, calling for a concrete path to allow access for prams and wheelchairs.
Maitland City Council responded in a statement that it would take on-board the criticism and consider all suggestions.
Cr Garnham, who is also Maitland Steam and Antique Machinery treasurer, said a concrete path was unlikely to be a feature of the 2013 event.
“It’s not in the plan and it’s not in the management plan for that expenditure to be done,” he said.
“It would take a vote in council and it has never been raised before.”
Instead, Cr Garnham said money would be better spent fixing the drainage.
“Crowning-off the land is probably the most important issue, skimming the hills and filling the hollows, compacting it and getting grass growing,” he said.
“We’ve done that where the Powerhouse marquee was and there was no issue with drainage or access.
“Around midday Saturday [organisers] were made aware that the path between areas 1 and 2 were breaking up and immediately sought to rectify this situation by arranging five cubic metres of rock dust.
“This was paid for by council and spread by volunteers, which resolved the issue for Sunday.”