New show committee announced as council take over event
A NEW Rockhampton Show Committee has been announced for 2019.
The new committee comes after Rockhampton Regional Council decided to take over 2019 show following disagreements between the Showman's Guild and the Show Society which saw this year's show split across two sites.
The interim committee was passed yesterday at the ordinary council meeting.
Mayor Margaret Strelow spoke at the meeting about the new committee, stating she would like to see council only run the show for one, or at most, two years.
"I think we can add a lot to the show to make it a major event for regional Queensland... we have all the pieces there to do so," she said.
She said it was a good decision on behalf of council to intervene and take over the committee.
"I have had people come up and give me a hug as the result of the action council took," Cr Strelow said.
"We needed to step in and make sure we have one amazing show."
The new committee will be chaired by Tony Cullen, General Manager of Advance Rockhampton.
Cr Strelow backed Mr Cullen's new role.
"Tony has overseen some fantastic events - including this year's exceptional River Festival - and will ensure the 2019 show is spectacular," Cr Strelow said.
Other members of the committee include councillor Ellen Smith, Zac Garven (Tourism, Marketing, and Business Development Manager for the Empire Apartment and Edge Apartments) and Rod Green (President of North Rockhampton Rotary Club).
Cr Strelow said it was important that show volunteers would remain as they were the "peak driving group" of the show.
"The broad base of volunteers that are the engine room of the show are vitally important," she said.
In a later media release, Cr Strelow said she was looking forward to seeing the show back in one place.
"The damage to our reputation, economy, and to individual stallholders after the 2018 show was significant and there was every indication that the same situation would occur again in 2019 if council didn't step in," she said.
"This interim committee will be supported by a host of representatives and volunteers who have always been the backbone of delivering agricultural shows in our community.
"There has been some preliminary planning with the broader group but there will be much more to come.
"It is my hope that council only needs to play this lead role for one, or at most two shows, with the event then reverting back to a community led agricultural show."