Lights out for 2016 Gatton Convoy

By: Greg Bush, Photography by: Greg Bush


Due to a situation beyond its control, the Lights On The Hill committee has been forced to shelve plans for the 2016 Memorial Convoy

Lights out for 2016 Gatton Convoy
The Lights On The Hill Memorial Convoy will be missing from the streets of Gatton in 2016.

 

The 2016 Lights On The Hill Memorial Convoy, which was due to take place on Saturday, February 28, has been officially postponed until 2017 due to the lack of a suitable venue.

The committee reluctantly made the decision, announcing it following the annual Memorial Service in October at Gatton in south east Queensland.

The convoy had previously been postponed in 2011 in the aftermath of the Queensland floods, and was held in August that year. However, for the first time since its inception, there will be a two-year gap between convoys.

In what seemed a progressive move, the 2015 Lights On The Hill convoy’s destination was switched to the Gatton Racecourse, away from its long-time previous venue of the Gatton Sports Centre and Showground.

However, due to increase of trucks participating in the convoy, issues arose with limited accessibility to the racecourse. A return to the cramped sportsground was not an option.

Organisers were hoping that the new Gatton Showgrounds would be completed in time for the 2016 event, but construction has barely commenced.

Lights On The Hill president Kerry Wilkins says the postponement of the 2016 event is a decision none of the committee members wanted to make.

"We had no choice," Kerry says. "The council hasn’t built the new showground yet. We were told it was going to be cleared by the end of June, but it didn’t happen.

"And the racecourse, because of the entry, we’re not allowed back there.

"We’ve been fighting with this since two weeks after the convoy this year," he adds.

In the meantime Kerry, the committee and others in the transport industry have another project in mind – organising a hay run to drought-stricken western Queensland in the new year.

And he believes the 2017 Lights On The Hill Memorial Convoy will be back, bigger and better than ever.

Owner//Driver attempted to contact the Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones for his views on the event’s postponement, however he did not return our calls.

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