Concerns over future of weekly event put to rest as Mayor Denise Knight announces council will waive land use fees.
Concerns over future of weekly event put to rest as Mayor Denise Knight announces council will waive land use fees. Trevor Veale

Mayor waives fees to save popular Coffs event

CONCERNS over the future of Coffs Harbour parkrun have been put to rest, with Mayor Denise Knight today announcing council will waive permit fees for the popular community event.

Volunteers with not-for-profit parkrun hold a free weekly run at Park Beach Reserve at 7am every Saturday, averaging around 100 participants each event and drawing in runners from across the state.

However local volunteers were shocked when they were informed that due to council regulations, parkrun would begin being charged to hold the event on council land.

Local organisers took to social media to announce they would be forced to close down because of this, launching a bid to "save Coffs Harbour parkrun”.

Coffs Harbour MP Gurmesh Singh jumped on board the campaign, running in the event over the weekend and using social media to call on councillors to act.

Following a meeting between volunteers and Mayor Denise Knight today, it has been announced the park hire fees would be waived, and administration costs will come out of the discretionary fund to ensure parkrun remains a free event.

"Good health is necessary for a good life, and any activity that lets people participate in a fun, all-inclusive community activity free-of-charge is a worthy cause,” Cr Knight said.

Locals have celebrated the news on social media.

"Wonderful news! Congratulations to Coffs Harbour parkrun and CHCC on this great outcome. I look forward to my next visit to Coffs Harbour and enjoying the scenic parkrun,” Liz Russell wrote.

"Thank goodness, I look forward to running Coffs parkrun next time I'm up there. I'm glad to see the council has made a valuable investment in the people of Coffs Harbour,” Tim Peatman said.

"Totally fantastic news. Clever Mayor, best use of money from council funds ever,” Kathy Crispin said.