Trachmach forced to cancel Lights on the Hill at Brunswick due to COVID restrictions

By Mal Gill
Updated March 22 2022 - 10:08am, first published March 19 2022 - 10:00pm
Ben (left) and Mick Lawler, Brunswick Junction, checking out some of the bulldozers at last year's Lights on the Hill. This year's event has been cancelled because of COVID-19 restrictions.

THIS year's annual Lights on the Hill old tractors, farm machinery and trucks day at Brunswick Junction has fallen victim to COVID-19 event restrictions.

For the second time in three years due to COVID, Lights on the Hill organisers, the Vintage Tractor & Machinery Association of Western Australia, known as Tracmach, decided to cancel the event, which was due to be held on Saturday, April 9, on Talbot's Farm.

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Busselton tractor collector and restorer and Tracmach's South West branch president in charge of organising Lights on the Hill, Robert Cook, said current State government COVID-19 restrictions made it too difficult to go ahead with the event, which usually attracts visitors from across the southern half of WA.

"Under the regulations we are considered an event," Mr Cook said of Lights on the Hill, which normally features static and working displays of vintage tractors and farm machinery, ploughing and tractor pull demonstrations, vintage stationary engines and restored truck and car displays.

"Even though we are outdoors, we're not considered like football or racing, which are a different category because everyone is seated and facing in the same direction," Mr Cook said.

"Under the restrictions as we understand them, we would be limited to 500 patrons attending and as the organisers we (Tracmach) would have to police that somehow.

"We also understand patrons would be required to wear masks and we might have to police that too.

"We decided at a meeting on Sunday that in the interests of not upsetting any of the authorities this year - which might have put our ability to hold Lights on the Hill again in future years in jeopardy - to cancel this year's event."

Mr Cook said the meeting also approved moving next year's and future Lights on the Hill events to the first Saturday in May.

"Holding Lights on the Hill in April meant we had to juggle the date to avoid either Easter or the Anzac weekend each year," he said.

The next Lights on the Hill public event will be held on the first Saturday in May next year, however Mr Cook said there would be a private event for Tracmach members only this May.

"We can do a members-only day with less than 50 patrons," he said.

Although Tracmach managed to hold Lights on the Hill last year, it was cancelled in April 2020 because of the COVID-19 lockdown.

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