The Mountain Cattlemen’s Association of Victoria (MCAV) Get Together has been called off days out from the event due to extreme weather.
Initially scheduled to kick off this Friday, the group made this difficult decision out of respect for those currently battling fires and after the Mansfield Shire was included in the Premier’s declaration of a State of Disaster.
“This is not a decision we have come to lightly,” MCAV president, Bruce McCormack, said. “But there is just no way we can get together when we have hundreds of our members battling not just for their farms and their homes, but also for their lives. “We were hoping we could go ahead with the event, which helps us continue to fight for better Parks management, but when our local Shire was declared a State of Disaster we knew we couldn’t proceed.” Not only was the MCAV expecting around 2000 people, they had also organised for the ABC radio program, Australia All Over, to broadcast live from Merrijig.
“The Get Together is our chance not just to promote our own cause, but also to promote the Mansfield Shire,” Mr McCormack said.
“We had people travelling from interstate to attend so it really is with a heavy heart that we have to cancel, but the safety of our guests is the most important thing and being safe at this stage means staying away.”
All of the Alpine National Park and Forest, which surround the Get Together site, were closed to the public last week with visitors told to evacuate.
“The site itself is in a safe location, but that is not our primary concern,” Mr McCormack said.
“We do this not only because we have been advised to by the local authorities, but also out of respect for those who are currently in a far worse bushfire situation than we are.”
The MCAV will be in contact with those who purchased tickets over the coming weeks.
IMAGE: The Mountain Cattlemen’s Association of Victoria (MCAV) has been told to call off its annual Get Together after the Premier, Daniel Andrews, declared the Shire of Mansfield, a State of Disaster, a decision the group say they are comfortable with. PICTURED: Cattleman Graeme Stoney with MCAV president, Bruce McCormack. (PS)