Major CQ agriculture event victim of ‘scaremongering’
INDUSTRY leaders have been left “speechless” by the cancellation of the annual AgGrow Emerald Field Days, just days after organisers confirmed it was going ahead.
AgGrow managing director Geoff Dein confirmed the three-day event, scheduled for August 27, 28 and 29, had been cancelled due to ongoing coronavirus concerns.
He said the move was “incredibly unfortunate” and left many exhibitors out of pocket.
Event organisers confirmed the event was going ahead just last week, but the fear spreading after two 19-year-olds allegedly caused a virus outbreak in the state’s south east, caused the decision to change.
“We’re supported very strongly by our exhibitors, but there are still a lot of very upset people in the community,” Mr Dein said.
Mr Dein said the event’s plans were going smoothly, working with Queensland Health to ensure all health directives were followed.
With no confirmed cases in the Central Highlands or the central west, Mr Dein said the panic had come from “scare mongering”.
“You can only stand so much external pressure on an event, when you have uneducated people reacting in the community,” he said.
“I’m extremely annoyed.”
The AgGrow field days allow people to find products and services, all in the one venue.
With roughly 400 exhibitors and about 20,000 visitors each year, AgGrow has grown into one of the largest shows of its kind in Queensland.
Mr Dein said many visitors from down south had already started their quarantining this week, with exhibitors having printed off thousands of documents and pamphlets, ready for the event.
He said event organisers would still help exhibitors promote their products and services as best they could.
Mr Dein didn’t think it made sense that large shopping centres could operate as normal, “yet the restrictions put on us were absolutely enormous”.
“It’s impacted severely on us, but we’ll survive, it’s the exhibitors that are all hurting.”
Queensland Health suggested postponing the event until November, but with other events already cancelling, Mr Dein said they would just wait until next year.
The AgGrow Invitation Horse Sale will go ahead on August 29.