Scott Gadd, President, Tasmanian Agricultural Shows joins Dave on Weekend wondering to look at the challenges facing Event organizers in 2022 after two very challenging years.
Tasmania has 23 state-wide annual agricultural shows. Only 7 proceeded last year due to rigid
Covid restrictions imposed by the State government. Three weeks into 2022 and one show has
already been cancelled while two others have been postponed in the hope they can proceed later
in the year.
Other non-agricultural events, all over the state, have been forced to cancel this year or to
postpone in the hope that conditions and restrictions will improve.
Tasmania was meant to be opening up this year, but continuing tough restrictions by the state
government on non-celebrity events make it either too complex or too financially risky to mount
In November 2021, the Tasmanian Government said it was too busy to meet with event organisers
from all over the state to set a frame-work for the events industry in 2022. Even though Covid-19
and Omicron have now become dominant throughout Tasmania, the local events industry remains
subject to onerous restrictions imposed back when the strategy was to keep Tasmania virus free.
Given the widespread prevalence of the virus now, Tasmanian Agricultural Shows acknowledges a
loss of confidence in the community about attending many events. The Government must re-focus
on underwriting event activities, as it indicated it was open to consider in 2021. There has been no
further communication from Government on this now urgent need.
The new pandemic landscape was created by the decision to re-open the State in December, so
that it is incumbent on government to consider ways to restore the confidence of the public in
attending events, and also reconsider now illogical event-killing restrictions.
This is the third year of pandemic chaos for Tasmania’s events industry. The pandemic has now
reached into every part of the state. Infection could occur on any bus, in any café, shopping centre,
or entertainment venue. While restrictions are eased for major, “celebrity” events, tougher
restrictions that severely impact on local events are now irrelevant.