Westech Field Days put off a year

Committee makes hard decision to postpone Westech Field Days a year

News
David and Clare Paterson, Isisford used the 2017 Westech Field Days to go shopping for improvements to their meat sheep business. Picture - Sally Gall.

David and Clare Paterson, Isisford used the 2017 Westech Field Days to go shopping for improvements to their meat sheep business. Picture - Sally Gall.

Aa

"In no-man's land" is how Westech president Bob O'Brien describes how his committee felt when it made the difficult decision to postpone the triennual western Queensland field days for a year.

Aa

"In no-man's land" is how Westech president Bob O'Brien describes how his committee felt when it made the difficult decision to postpone the triennual western Queensland field days for a year.

Known as the "friendly field days", they were scheduled to be held in Barcaldine on September 8 and 9 this year but have been postponed until September 7 and 8, 2021.

"It was a hard decision - you just don't know what the future holds at this stage," Mr O'Brien said.

The field days are a landmark event on the western Queensland calendar and bring in many thousands of dollars and nearly as many visitors.

Mr O'Brien said everyone wanted to get business in western Queensland back on an even footing but there were too many barriers for Westech to be the vehicle to do that this year.

"It came down to sponsors and them needing lead time to get special items in," he said.

"They needed a good six months to get themselves organised so we had to make the decision now.

"The ongoing rules around coronavirus restrictions were just too unknown."

Related reading:

Mr O'Brien said some of the decision-making had been predicated on the Ekka being cancelled, as much of the livestock and technology showcased there flowed out to the western Queensland event a month later.

"It was curtains for us from the time Ekka was cancelled," he said. "If they can't happen, we'd certainly struggle."

At the same time, he said he understood the Ag-Grow field days in Emerald were still going ahead and had taken over dates when the Ekka would have been held.

According to the Ag-Grow website, it is now taking place from August 6-8 rather than June 18-20 as originally scheduled.

Mr O'Brien said that after notifying exhibitors and sponsors of the Westech decision, all had responded very positively and said they understood why the decision had been made.

Since it began in 1983, Westech has earned a solid reputation amongst exhibitors and visitors alike as one of the best of its type.

Its reputation for providing an extensive array of equipment, product and information specific to the grazing industry and remote area living was what increased numbers of exhibitors and visitors.

Organisers say that it's the three years between events that contributes significantly to its success, by allowing for advances in rural technology.

"Westech next year should be identical to what was planned this year, just 12 months later," Mr O'Brien said.

Aa

From the front page

Sponsored by