TWO Tasmanian agricultural shows have been cancelled this week, due to current COVID-19 restrictions and uncertainties around timelines for when these restrictions will be lifted, making it difficult to organise the state's large-scale events.
This means to date the Sydney Royal Show, the Royal Queensland Show, the Royal Adelaide Show, the Royal Melbourne Show and the Royal Darwin Shows have all been cancelled for 2020.
The Perth Royal Show is still going ahead at this stage, with no announcement of cancellation made yet. It is scheduled for September 26 to October 3.
Royal Hobart Show
The Royal Agricultural Society of Tasmania (RAST) have announced that the 2020 Royal Hobart Show has been cancelled due to the restrictions put in place by governments to counter the coronavirus pandemic.
It was due to be held over four days from October 21 to October 24.
"The cancellation of the show is a major financial blow to the society", said Scott Gadd, CEO of the RAST.
"It's also a hit for the local economy. We have advised hundreds of organisations and individuals, ranging from suppliers to exhibitors and entertainers, that we are unable to mount an event the size of the Royal Hobart Show this year."
The decision is likely to have repercussions for many of Tasmania's 23 other agricultural shows.
The RAST is however exploring a smaller scale event that could be substituted for the show this year; an event which would not require the logistical time lines which would normally now be well underway to deliver an October show.
"While the traditional large scale show will not occur this year, we have been discussing with the state government opportunities that may permit an event of an agricultural nature to occur in October," Mr Gadd said.
The Society is one of Australia's oldest institutions at nearly 200 years of age.
Royal Launceston Show
Likewise, the 2020 Royal Launceston Show scheduled to be held on October 8 has been cancelled.
The Royal National Agricultural and Pastoral Society of Tasmania society (RNAPS) said the decision was not taking likely with careful consideration given to; insurance risks, financial implications and the health and well-being of their stakeholders and the general community.
With a few excepetions, the Royal Launceston Show has been conducted each year since 1873.
Both shows are looking forward to a bigger and brighter 2021 event.