Ipswich joggers baffled over Parkrun’s delayed comeback
FITNESS conscious Ipswich folk have been left jogging on the spot while they wait for negotiations to get the city’s Parkrun events back under way following the COVID shutdown.
Eager runners were told via the Ipswich Parkrun Facebook page on Thursday that the event would not be going ahead, “until further notice”.
This is despite all other Queensland events returning last weekend.
No explanation was given in the post, but the Queensland Times understands that negotiations to get the event back under way in Ipswich are ongoing between Parkrun organisers and Ipswich City Council.
At the centre of the negotiations is Parkrun’s efforts to secure permission from Ipswich City Council to use publicly owned parks for the event once again.
An Ipswich City Council spokesman confirmed there were concerns over Parkrun’s public liability insurance.
The organisers must have a mouth-watering $20 million in public liability insurance to stage the events.
The QT understands insurance costs were not an issue prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, and an explanation as to why they have become a problem recently has not been forthcoming.
“Parkrun officials, on behalf of the White Rock Parkrun, applied for a permit recently to use White Rock Spring Mountain Conservation Estate for ongoing Parkrun purposes,” the council spokesman confirmed.
“The permit application was rejected by council due to the fact that the Parkrun’s public liability insurance coverage was not in accordance with council’s minimum $20 million PLI requirements for all user groups booking use of council sports, parks and facilities. This presents a risk to council, Parkrun and the community.”
While declining the opportunity to comment on the situation, Parkrun’s national organisers are understood to be positive about bring the Ipswich events back soon.
Further talks were held between the two parties on Thursday.
Ipswich City Council confirmed Parkrun Australia has provided further information to the council in regard to their insurance coverage.
“Council is presently reviewing this information and assessing the level of risk to the community and council in accordance with council policy and appropriate governance requirements,” the council spokesman said.
“Council has no time frames on when this work will be completed.”
The delay in the return of Parkrun events affects those held at Limestone Park and Augustine Heights.