Stawell's largest event of the year is just weeks away, but plans and preparations are at a stand-still as the Stawell Athletic Club wait for state government approval to run the Stawell Gift.
The Stawell Gift brings thousands of people to the region each year, and as a result of COVID-19, the Stawell Athletic Club has been forced to complete rigorous planning to make sure the event will be COVID-19 compliant.
Stawell Athletic Club president Neil Blizzard said the club was becoming "frustrated" at the delays in approval, as organising for the event comes down to the crunch.
"It is frustrating because without the COVID plan we can't book the oval, we we can't get a liquor license and we can't get any license or anything at this stage," he said.
"Everyone is frustrated because there is so much we want to do. We want to get food vendors, but we don't know what situation we are in.
"It is something we would normally do over three or four months, we are going to have to do over three or four weeks, but we have done it so many times it is all ready to go.
"That is the whole crux of it. We have about three or four different COVID-plans in place, and we are just waiting on an answer on which way we are allowed to run the event.
"It goes to the state government and you have to do a COVID plan and because we are a major event, we are a tier one, it is a fairly intensive plan."
"It is frustrating because without the COVID plan we can't book the oval, we we can't get a liquor license and we can't get any license or anything at this stage"Neil Blizzard
Mr Blizzard said the potential COVID plan had been sitting with the state government for weeks, but he hoped to hear some good news soon.
"They are meeting again tomorrow (Friday, February 26), so we are hoping we will get an answer either late, late Friday or early Monday at this stage," he said.
"We fit into Tier One because we are a major event, so we are scrutinised a lot more than any of the other running races in Victoria, and for us, we can't afford to make mistakes; we have to get it right.
"Until we are told exactly what we are able to do, it is just a wait and see."
Mr Blizzard said despite the challenges of organising a COVID-compliant event at this size, he was sure the event would run in 2021.
"The event is going ahead, that will 100 per cent be happening, we just have to get the logistics sorted and we are really looking forward to it," he said.
"We are hoping people will be able to travel again, which will be good and it looks like all the borders are opening too so that is going to be really good for the event."
The Git was cancelled in 2020 but is scheduled to take place over the Easter long weekend of April 2-5 in 2021.
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