Wednesday, October 27, 2021

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HomeIssue 21No government explanation for show shut-down

No government explanation for show shut-down

By ERWIN CHLANDA

The Alice Springs Show Society is facing serious financial uncertainty after the NT Department of Health stopped this year’s two-day fixture from going ahead.

The society was told the “current situation” with a COVID infected miner was the reason for the decision, which was not explained and neither was assistance offered with amending the COVID safety plan.

The Alice Springs lock-down was lifted mid-way through what would have been the event’s first day. Over two days the show usually draws some 19,000 visitors and is a by far the most social of the town’s annual events.

Show president Murray MacLeod says the largely volunteer run society is now assessing the financial damage of the events that started with the miner testing positive, who had been at the Alice Springs airport – and nowhere else in the town – on June 25, a week before.

Mr MacLeod says the society has lost “a hell of lot of money” which was “a drop in the ocean” of what the show receives in government support.

The Government did not provide responses to questions from the Alice Springs News.

The show was cancelled last year because of COVID but before substantial commitments were made as was the case this year, including hire of Blatherskite Park for a week.

It is unclear what will happen to the two paid staff of the organisation.

“We’re paying bills now and refunding money,” says Mr MacLeod.

Today some of the Showmen’s Guild members, who had set up their rides, are selling show bags and fast food to recoup some of their losses. (PHOTO by Toni Ryland.)

The Tenant Creek Show was also cancelled but the Katherine one will go ahead, and so will the Royal Darwin Show.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I haven’t been a fan of the show for a while now as it seems mostly about selling rides and show bags, but why is it that the Darwin show will go ahead?
    Aren’t they under the same COVID restrictions as us?

  2. Although it was not council who shut the show but the NT Government, council (as local government) should at least waive the rights to charging the show society rent of Blatherskite Park for the week. This should be as a “gesture” so the show will have some reason to come back in the future. As they may think twice coming here again if Covid is back next year.
    Rent should be waived regardless to the fact I understand that only the rides went ahead and operated during daylight hours under the banner of “fun fair”.
    [ED – The Town Council doesn’t control Blatherskite Park, also known as the show grounds. An independent organisation does.]

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