The Gold Coast Show has hit a hurdle just hours after organisers announced plans to move the event to December, with Council pulling its support.
Organisers made a shock announcement this morning that they were now planning to hold the event on December 11-13, depending on restrictions on mass gatherings.
That’s despite Mayor Tom Tate signalling last week that the Show would have to be postponed until 2021.
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“Choosing a Christmas date to work toward will connect the community and we wish to work with to deliver an event that is entrenched in the fabric of the city,” Gold Coast Show Society President Josephine Tobias said this morning.
But Council today threw a major curve ball at organisers, voting to withdraw support for this year’s event, and stop any further funding.
Chairman of Council’s Events Committee Bob La Castra says given the current ban on mass gatherings, Council was unable to get behind the plan.
“There was funding obviously allocated for this year and we had a funding agreement through to 2022, but of course this year with the uncertainty we are not going to be able to support the show for this year,” Councillor La Castra said.
Council will however cover the costs that organisers have already incurred, which is worth around $23,000.
Ms Tobias says the decision is disappointing but has vowed to push on with the plans.
“We have said from the onset we’re not sure exactly how the show will look, we’re expecting some changes to the format simply so we can abide by the health directives and also social distancing, in saying that we have budgeted for the event and we’ll proceed forward,” Ms Tobias told myGC.
She says the loss of Council funding, believed to be around $100,000 will be challenging, but they will look at other avenues.
“The history will continue and if Council don’t want to be part of that history I guess the opportunity is to see whether State government or Federal government or individual members of the community will step up and keep the show on the road.”
However Councillor La Castra has cast doubt on whether the event will even be able to happen in December.
“Obviously they’d love to go ahead but quite honestly I can’t see how they can at this point in time given the restrictions that are in place and I don’t believe that a venue has been secured either for this year.”
Organisers had flagged using Broadwater Parklands again but would consider the Gold Coast Turf Club if that’s not possible.
“If they have actually come forward to look at that venue, I’m certainly not aware of that, my understanding is that no booking has been made or any approach to book Broadwater Parklands for the show,” Councillor La Castra.