Fernhill gets green light

RACEGOERS can breathe a sigh of relief after Penrith Council approved Fernhill Picnic Races to continue for the next five years.

   Fernhill owner Brenda Tripp said she was pleased with Monday night’s council meeting. 

  ‘‘With a short time frame it’s hard to plan an event,’’ she said.

   ‘‘But now, being approved for five years, we have a long period to plan each event.  

   ‘‘[Peter Harvey of the Mulgoa Progress Association] spoke for us and that was indication for public sentiment for support for this event in the community.’’ 

   Mr Harvey, who is the association’s president, spoke at the council meeting in support of the race event.

   He said the association didn’t oppose sympathetic events on Fernhill. 

   ‘‘Particularly if those events assist in the upkeep of Fernhill,’’ Mr Harvey said. 

   ‘‘The other reasons — it brings tourists to Mulgoa and gives people from a range of backgrounds a chance to enjoy a country atmosphere and event. 

   ‘‘We would expect to generate economic activity.’’

   Mrs Tripp said the race event attracted

many visitors to Penrith.

   ‘‘Penrith Council’s objective is to bring businesses and visitors to Penrith,’’ she said. 

   ‘‘Not many events bring people to Penrith, unless it’s [music festival] Defqon.1.

   ‘‘Local shops, suppliers, taxis, caterers and local charities all benefit from the event. 

   ‘‘It’s putting money into the economy and showcasing the new west.’’

   She said the race event fitted under the council’s new tourist marketing strategy — the Adventure Capital.  

   ‘‘It’s the only country race in greater western Sydney,’’ Mrs Tripp said.  

   ‘‘It’s not a daredevil event like skydiving, but it’s something new, unique, interesting and exciting for people to attend and experience.’’ 

   This year’s race meet will be held on October 18.  

   Apart from the fashions on the field and the 2400-metre race track, racegoers will have the opportunity to explore the historic property. 

   ‘‘The Cox family who originally owned the property have a strong affiliation with racing,’’ Mrs Tripp said. 

   ‘‘The family bred two Melbourne Cup horses. ‘‘We have an auction certificate in the house for an auction Mrs Cox was holding for thoroughbred horses in 1848.’’ 

   Mrs Tripp said there would be more shade facilities at this year’s event.

■Details: fernhillestate.net.au. 

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