FOUNDER of the Huskisson Triathlon Mark Emerton has defended the event against complaints that it disrupts coastal villages too much.
Owner of the Vincentia Hardware store Carolyn Bunyan said while she was not opposed to the event she would prefer it moved to another location such as Booderee National Park.
“There is plenty of room out there. There is water and the tourists can still come and support the towns after the race,” she said.
Ms Bunyan explained to Mr Emerton that it impacted local businesses.
“I told him it brings the town down to a standstill,” she said.
“It’s only one day but that can make a big difference.
“He bought about $500 worth of items from me for the event and I appreciate their business but we still lose business over that weekend.”
She said the impact was deeply felt because the whole area was struggling when it came to retail businesses.
“The only people who seem to benefit are the businesses offering accommodation and food.
“We understand the area does need more tourism but if it’s going to shut the town down the whole community needs to have input. It’s got to benefit everyone,” she said.
Mr Emerton said he appreciated the suggestion of moving the event to Booderee National Park but said it had become too large.
“It’s the second largest triathlon in Australia and next year I’m confident it will be the largest,” he said.
“We had 5780 competitors and they brought at least 4000 people with them.
“Huskisson is part of the success of this event.
“It’s all to do with having the shops, pub, cafes and accommodation in walking distance from the race.”
Mr Emerton said there was insufficient parking at the national park and virtually no facilities.
“The people running accommodation businesses love it.
“I think there would be a small number of people who don’t make money when you bring 10,000 people to an area.
“Under council requirements we do two letterbox drops to most of the surrounding homes, post office boxes and businesses. We put a flashing sign on the highway for three weeks before hand and about 15 static signs throughout the area.
“If people have any other suggestions, tell me what we can do,” he said.