Coronavirus has claimed another victim with the announcement that the 2020 Heritage Bank Toowoomba Royal Show has been cancelled.
Last week the Prime Minister and COAG jointly advised against organised, non-essential gatherings of 500 people or more. A raft of entertainment and sporting events cancellations quickly followed, as well as conferences, meetings and the like, and the Sydney Royal Easter Show.
After an Executive Committee Meeting of the Royal Agricultural Society of Queensland (RASQ), President Shane Charles said the decision to cancel “was one of the most painful decisions ever taken by the Society.”
Toowoomba’s iconic event was due to be held from Thursday 26th March until Saturday 28th March. Mr Charles went on to say “the Show impacts on tens of thousands of local citizens as well as retailers, exhibitors, presenters, entertainers and judges from interstate and overseas.”
The cancellation also has significant ramifications for our regional economy, given visitors will now not be utilising accommodation venues and restaurants and purchasing goods in local shops.
Show CEO Damon Phillips said, “We’d hoped the Show would be a special occasion for our farmers for our farmers and graziers to celebrate the recent good rains after years of dreadful drought. The cancellation is particularly disappointing in that regard.”
“However, the health and safety of our patrons , exhibitors and volunteers is paramount and the final decision was indeed the right one to take,” he said.
It is anticipated by Monday, March 23rd a timetable will be in place to deal with 2020 contractual matthers, sponsorship and refunds. The RASQ committee will now commence work ing towards the 2021 Show program at its next meeting.