Coronavirus stops the shows

Coronavirus concerns lead to Queensland show cancellations

Coronavirus
Cancelled: Chairman of the Royal Agricultural Society of Queensland, Shane Charles, Toowoomba, bush poet Garry Fogerty, and the Miss Toowoomba Showgirl 2020 Keely Berther at the media launch last Wednesday. Picture: Helen Walker

Cancelled: Chairman of the Royal Agricultural Society of Queensland, Shane Charles, Toowoomba, bush poet Garry Fogerty, and the Miss Toowoomba Showgirl 2020 Keely Berther at the media launch last Wednesday. Picture: Helen Walker

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Toowoomba Royal Show among the list of events to be cancelled or postponed due to coronavirus concerns.

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The federal government's decision to ban gatherings of more than 500 people amidst coronavirus concerns will be a massive hit to the southern Queensland show and events circuit.

The Royal Agricultural Society of Queensland confirmed the 2020 Toowoomba Royal Show won't go ahead on March 26 to 28.

Royal Agricultural Society of Queensland president Shane Charles said the decision was one of the most painful decisions ever taken by the society.

"The show impacts on tens of thousands of local citizens as well as retailers, exhibitors, presenters, entertainers and judges from interstate and overseas," Mr Charles said.

"The cancellation also has significant ramifications for our regional economy given visitors will now not be utilising accommodation venues and restaurants and buying goods in local shops.

"The future of the 2020 show was foremost in the minds of my committee over the past few weeks and we held our breath waiting for some improved news about coronavirus. Each day, sadly, the news got worse."

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the Council of Australian Governments' announcement resulted in a raft of entertainment and sporting events being cancelled across the country as well as conferences and meetings. The Sydney Royal Easter Show was an early casualty, as was the Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association conference.

Other shows who have cancelled include Goomeri set for March 20 to 21; Warwick, March 20 to 22; Jandowae, March 21; Dalby, April 17 to 18; Dirranbandi, April 18; Brookfield, May 15 to 17 and Rockhampton, June 10 to 12.

Queensland Ag Shows general manager Trevor Beckingham said the determination of an individual show society hosting an event rests entirely with the management committee of the relevant show society until that decision is removed from them.

"The decision that an individual show makes should be made after considering all of the information available to them," Mr Beckingham said.

Events postponed include FarmFest on the outskirts of Toowoomba, which was to be June 2 to 5, with organisers looking to reschedule in September.

In northern NSW, Casino Beef Week has been postponed from its usual date in May and will be rescheduled for September.

The Livestock and Rural Transporters Association of Queensland has delayed its annual conference, which was to be held in Roma on March 19-20. The LRTAQ said that at this point it anticipates running the conference later this year and will keep members up to date when a new date is known.

A Farmers2Founders Ideas Program for ag technology innovators planned for Toowoomba on Tuesday and Wednesday this week has also been cancelled. The event was designed to bring a dozen or more developers behind farm and post farm-gate innovations together for a development program.

Campdrafting cancellations were still being finalised on Monday afternoon.

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