The ACT Government says the marathon cannot go ahead until the stoush is sorted out. (ABC News)
The 2010 Canberra marathon has been scrapped because of a legal dispute over who owns the race.
The ACT Government has axed the event because the Cross Country Club and the management company Cundy Spots Marketing (CSM) cannot agree who owns the event.
Chief Minister Jon Stanhope says the Government cannot approve the event until the stoush is resolved
Mr Stanhope says he had hoped the parties could resolve the dispute but he believes the courts will not make a decision until later this year.
“We’re in an impossible situation,” he said.
“I’ve taken advice from the ACT Government solicitor who thinks it would be quite inappropriate for the Government to pre-empt the outcome of the court case on ownership by actually sending a signal that the Government’s supporting one of those two litigants over the other.
Mr Stanhope says there is nothing the Government can do.
“They won’t mediate. We’ve made repeated attempts through my office to have the issue resolved and we failed.
“They’re just at loggerheads – neither side will give.”
Mr Seselja says the Government should do all it can to mediate the situation, although he acknowledges the circumstances are difficult.
“I’ve got to say I’ve got some sympathy for the Chief Minister on this. I think it is a difficult issue for the Government,” he said.
“I think it is very disappointing that it appears at this point that we won’t be having a Canberra Marathon.”
“I think it’s disappointing for many Canberrans.”
Cross Country Club president Doug Limbrick says the club tried to reach a compromise but CSM has knocked back its offers.
“The last one we made to them we felt was a very generous offer to allow them to conduct the 2010 Canberra marathon and to take the profit,” he said.
“But in so doing they would need to agree that we owned the event. They’ve declined that offer and many other offers.”
Mr Limbrick says the fight could drag on well into next year.
“If it’s dependent on the court case sorting this out well clearly 2011 is in jeopardy too,” he said.
The Government wants assurances that no-one who has already paid a race entry fee will be left out of pocket.
CSM did not return the ABC’s calls.